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Finding The Right Yoga Class For You

Yoga

With so many different styles of yoga available it can be overwhelming when trying to find the right one for you. However, given the myriad of health benefits of practicing yoga regularly, many agree that it’s well worth the hunt. The practice is especially kind to stiff achy joints. Recent studies have shown that yoga can help to improve flexibility and function in joints as well as lower stress levels, resulting in better sleep.[1]

 

Below is a breakdown of some common yoga styles to help you on your search.

  1. Hatha

Hatha is generally used to describe a blend of two or more yoga styles, with an emphasis on breathing and relaxation. It’s a good choice for beginners and those looking to to relieve tension in the mind and body.[2]

  1. Bikram

Bikram or ‘hot’ yoga is, as the name suggest, performed in a room heated to 40 degrees celsius. This class is suited to experienced yogis looking to sweat, so remember to drink lots of water beforehand! The heat helps to add suppleness and flexibility to your muscles, but on the downside, this means that Bikram carries a higher risk of injury.[3]

  1. Iyengar

Iyengar style of yoga uses blocks, straps, harnesses and incline boards, which are all employed to assist people in increasing their range of motion.[4] It may sound complicated, but it is in fact the opposite! Iyengar is designed to include people of all ages and fitness levels, as the props help to tailor the practise to suit the needs of the individual.

  1. Vinyasa

Vinyasa is a general style of yoga that connects a series of poses together in a ‘flow.’ Experience levels can vary from beginner to advanced, so be sure to check that your centre’s vinyasa is set at the right pace for you.

  1. Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is considerably slower than other forms of yoga. Participants should expect to strike a pose and hold it for up to 15 minutes, with the aid of such comfort promoting tools as pads, blocks, bolsters, straps and blankets. Restorative Yoga benefits deep muscles, joints, spine and bones and has little to no risk of injury.[5]

 

[1] Arthritis Foundation (2019) Yoga Benefits for Arthritis [online] Available at: https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/exercise/workouts/yoga/yoga-benefits.php [Accessed 18 April 2019]

[2] AARP (2019) Which Yoga is Right For You? Available at: https://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-09-2009/which_yoga_is_right_for_you_.html [Accessed 18 April 2019]

[3] New York Times, What Are The Benefits Of Bikram Yoga? Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/ask/answers/benefits-of-hot-yoga [Accessed 18 April 2019]

[4] AARP (2019) Which Yoga is Right For You? Available at: https://www.aarp.org/health/fitness/info-09-2009/which_yoga_is_right_for_you_.html [Accessed 18 April 2019]

[5] Digital Culture Magazine, Restorative Yoga, Available at: https://www.digitalwelt.org/en/lifestyle/online-yoga/restorative-yoga/ [Accessed April 18, 2019]