Find Your Perfect Yoga Class Today

Find Your Perfect Yoga Class Today

My first experience with yoga was twelve years ago, and back then, I viewed yoga as just yoga. It wasn't until I started my Teacher Training Qualification that I realised the vast array of yoga styles available. This is why I'm writing this blog post; to help those who are new to yoga or those who want to understand different styes of yoga in greater detail.

The most popular yoga style found in nearly every yoga studio is Hatha Yoga, which is ideal for beginners. Why is that? Hatha is an ancient, accessible practice that includes breathing exercises, meditation, postures, and relaxation. The best part is that you can take your time to focus on your breath, alignment, and connect your breath with each pose under your yoga teacher's guidance. This style of yoga will also help you to determine whether you prefer more fast-paced, physically demanding yoga styles such as Vinyasa, Ashtanga or slower styles such as Yin or Restorative.

Once you've explored Hatha, you can consider what you want to achieve from yoga. Do you want to increase strength and power, achieve relaxation, improve posture, or flexibility? Hatha incorporates all these elements, while other yoga styles focus on more specific goals.

If you're interested in strength-building, then Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Broga, and Power Yoga are great options. Vinyasa synchronises movement with breath, making it a more dynamic yoga style that improves blood circulation, detoxifies the body, and enhances your internal connection between your mind and body. Gentle Vinyasa classes move at a slower pace, whereas Fiery Vinyasa classes are faster and more challenging.

Broga is yoga designed specifically for men and involves plenty of strength-based poses, movements, and challenges. Meditation and relaxation are also incorporated to create a well-rounded experience.

Ashtanga is a disciplined, rigorous practice that involves a set sequence of poses. While it may seem dull to some, the ability to see progress practice after practice can be highly addictive and empowering.

Now let’s delve into restorative yoga practices such as Yoga Nidra, Restorative, Yin, and Deep Stretch. Each style offers its own unique benefits listed below.

For those who struggle with anxiety or have busy minds, Yoga Nidra can be a great choice. This practice involves deep relaxation and guided meditation, allowing you to let go of stress and tension. It can be done either at a studio or in the comfort of your own home, making it a convenient option for those with busy schedules.

Restorative, Yin, and Deep Stretch are similar styles of yoga that all prioritise slow movements and extended holds. In Restorative, poses are held for between 8 and 12 minutes, while Yin holds last 3 to 5 minutes, and Deep Stretch poses are held for 1 to 2 minutes. Despite the length of these holds, the use of props and the slow pace of the practice help to create a deeply relaxing experience.

One of the biggest benefits of slow yoga styles is their soothing nature. These gentle practices help to ground the body and mind, providing a sense of calm and tranquillity. The use of props in Restorative, Yin, and Deep Stretch allows you to fully relax into each pose, helping to release physical tension and mental stress.

Another major benefit of Restorative Yoga is its impact on the nervous system. In our modern world, many of us are constantly in a state of stress and overstimulation, leading to chronic tension and anxiety. Restorative Yoga helps to activate the relaxation response in the body, allowing you to let go of this tension and find a sense of peace and calm.

Additionally, Restorative Yoga can be beneficial for those dealing with chronic pain. By calming the nervous system, you can help to reduce the brain's perception of danger and decrease the intensity of pain sensations. This can be especially helpful for those with conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Ultimately, the gentle nature of Restorative Yoga encourages you to be kind and patient with yourself, both on and off the mat. By creating a space for stillness and reflection, this practice can help you release pent-up stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Whether you're a seasoned yogi or just starting out, Restorative Yoga can be a powerful tool for finding peace and relaxation in your daily life.

In summary, there are numerous yoga styles to explore. So, whether you're a beginner or an experienced practitioner, there is a yoga style that can help you achieve your goals.