If you are giving your first steps in the world of yoga practice, you probably already know that deciding where to start can be a bit overwhelming. Here are some concepts that will help you sort it out.
So, it’s time to roll out the mat and start doing some yoga. But, wait…where to start? Why are there so many options? If you have asked yourself these questions, then this article is right for you. Let’s untangle yoga, one asana at a time.
What is yoga?
Yoga is way, way more than just a physical workout. It is more like a full mind-and-body experience. The practice itself combines a series of poses (also known as asanas) that will help you reach a certain goal. And each pose has its variations, making it an excellent option for anyone, no matter what level of expertise they have.
What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
As hinted before, the benefits that come with yoga practice are wide-ranging. A complete yoga workout will help you keep your back and joints healthy, will improve your posture, will help you gain muscle strength, will clear your head, will help you relieve stress and reduce anxiety. It will also help you improve your focus and balance, and it can be deeply restorative and rejuvenating.
What types of yoga are there?
As a comprehensive practice, there are several different types of classes you can find or follow. Which one is best for you will depend solely on your purpose. These are the most common types of yoga:
Hatha: This is the most common type of yoga you can find in any studio and it is closely related to the physical part of yoga and not so much with the philosophy behind it. If you are trying to find a way to get in shape while improving your posture, this is an excellent option for you.
Ashtanga: This practice is a bit more challenging. It is centered around a progressive series of yoga sequences that students usually practice on their own. Ashtanga classes include advanced poses such as arm balances and inversions and it usually includes teachings in yoga philosophy.
Power yoga: its aim is to build physical strength, so the classes include advances poses such as arm balances and inversions. If you feel comfortable with headstands and handstands, power yoga is for you.
Vinyasa or Flow: Vinyasa classes are usually energetic and flowing and it comes in different levels, so you can find simpler poses or more advanced ones. Vinyasa classes are usually accompanied by music.
Bikram or Hot Yoga: this practice has become fairly popular in the past few years. If you like heat, you can try this class: it is a set series of 26 yoga poses performed in a room at 105 degrees F (40 degrees C)!
Restorative: If what you are looking for is a workout that will help you relax, then restorative yoga is your go-to option. It includes a few restful asanas that are usually held for long periods of time.