Yoga? It seems to be on everyone lips lately. From stressed out corporate executives to famous celebrities like George Clooney, Harry Styles and Nicole Scherzinger, yoga has become the workout regime of choice for lots of people.
When you’re choosing the style of Yoga you’d like to practice, it’s important to keep in mind the reason you are wanting to try it, you know yourself best, so what will suit your character and where will you practice? At home or a studio The latter can be the difference between loving it deeply and forcing yourself to keep going as it must be something I like if I persevere!
My name is Jill Simpson, I own a Yoga, Barre and Pilates studio in Farnham with my daughter Katy, so I may be biased on the Studio side of things. My advice for finding a type of Yoga to suit you is that you need to be aware that not all types of yoga are created equal. There are different types and depending on what you want to get out of your yoga practice, you can pick the one that works best for you.
Here are five different types of yoga that are definitely among the most popular ones around the globe.
Hatha refers to a physical yoga practice. The word ‘haha’ is translated as “with effort or Sun (Ha) Moon (The). So translated to mean with effort in a balanced way”. Hatha Yoga is a calming, gentle and supportive form of yoga which increases mind-body awareness. Hatha is the most widespread type of yoga and aims to strengthen the body and relax the mind in a gentle and calming manner.
These classes increase mind-body awareness and are flowing and meditative with attention to alignment. The content of each class differs from week to week so that you can enjoy variety. Classes may include breath work (pranayama) and meditation, and end with a period of relaxation. The feel of the sessions is meditative so that you leave feeling calm and relaxed, as well as stretched
Hot Yoga often refers to a linked flow of Yoga postures practised in a warm, climate-controlled room with temperatures typically between 30 and 40 degrees. Turning up the heat as you can imagine increases the intensity of the class and adds an element to the discipline that asks more of the body, your metabolism works harder and you feel like you’ve had a workout. It’s important to drink at least a full glass of water about two hours before each class and drink plenty afterwards!
Restorative Yoga’s aim is to be relaxing and supportive. You will find these classes involve lots of props like bolsters, blankets and blocks. Most restorative classes normally involve five to six yoga poses, each held a length of time that allows the body to deeply ground yourself into the practice. The aim is to calm your nervous system, decrease your heart rate and lower your cortisol (stress hormone). This class offers the student a deeply relaxing experience, where your joints are softened and you finish feeling refreshed and revitalised.
Vinyasa means ‘Flow’. So a Vinyasa class means that you will practice a sequence of asanas (poses), whilst your instructor will explain how to use your breath during the movement. Using the breath during the poses helps your body and your mind to focus and enjoy the class much more. Vinyasa is designed to build your strength and endurance as well as toning and sculpting your body and its muscles at the same time.
Similar to restorative, Yin yoga is the practice of long held postures or stretches which you practice mainly on the floor that involve releasing the connective tissue, or fascia offering a much deeper access to the body It is not uncommon to see postures held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. Expect to feel a little uncomfortable at times but know that when you have been to this stretch style class you will feel amazing afterwards!
The important this is to try. Our beginners classes and courses so maybe before you venture into the different styles, book yourself into one of those and then talk to the studio to ask their opinion of your ability so that you can choose a class and style that suits you. At Ebb&Flow Yoga we do these beginner courses each week in the evenings, daytime and weekends.
How do you learn more?
The best way is to try, our £30 Discovery Pass is a great start as it gives you 10 classes over 3 weeks…where you can dip in and out of our classes to find something that suits you
Lou Hedderley, Studio Manager