Beginners Guide to Yoga
With the growing popularity of yoga these days, many people are not sure what to look for in a class or even where to start. With more people wanting an intense workout but still bring the benefits of yoga into their life, the growing popularity of it has lost some of the true aspects of what yoga really is. When looking for a class you want a class that is going to allow for that deep spiritual flow that will open your body into a new world. Yoga has wonderful health benefits and can provide anyone looking for a way, to relax from their busy schedule. I strongly encourage anyone who is interested to start doing at least a 10 minute session a few times a week and you will begin to notice little changes in your body, such as the release of tight muscles, feel less stressed and even some toning and weight loss may take effect.
Here is a little insight into a few different types that are offered. If you find one that you are interested in, I would highly recommend to start researching more about it! Don’t forget there are many other types out there such as prenatal yoga, laughing yoga, nude yoga and many more.
Hatha is perfect for first timers. Its main focus is purifying the mind and the body, while learning to understand body mechanics, creating a certain atmosphere, and using body postures to move your energy into specific areas. This allows for the body to take things gently.
Vinyasa means “movement linked with breath” it refers to aligning your body’s movement with your breath, allowing for your body to flow through the movements. It originated from Hatha yoga which focuses on perfect body alignment. Vinyasa’s focus is based on your breath and the journey between the movements. Classes are generally more active and requires the mind to stay focused.
Iyengar yoga/Restorative yoga
Iyengar is also based off from Hatha yoga. Iyengar includes props such as blankets, blocks, straps, pillows, chairs, and bolsters. This allows for the student to have the best possible alignment while their bodies learn to align properly. This style holds positions for longer durations allowing for the body to increase flexibility and build strength.
Ashtanga is known for promoting harmony within yourself and creating a greaterself. It is known to help purify the body and the mind, creating an ideal environment for meditation. Each movement is interlaced with your breath creating a fluid sequence of postures. Through daily practice you create an internal and focused awareness, leading the body to freedom and relaxation. When you begin your journey in Ashtanga yoga, you’ll learn that there are six series that are taught in order and each series is competed when the correct postures have been attained.
Bikram yoga was first introduced when Bikram Choudhury became injured in a weight lifting competition. Through an intense six months of yoga therapy, he created what is now called Bikram yoga. It has 26 specific postures that are done in a 90-minute time frame, each posture is performed twice throughout the class. The class is also started with a breathing exercise to warm up. The classes are generally conducted in a heated room allowing for greater flexibility and less injuries, there are also mirrors giving the students a greater sense of body awareness.
The basis of Kundalini yoga “is to awaken each individual’s full potential by recognizing, refining, and expanding that awareness and focus it on the unlimited self”. There are six components that the classes consist of turning-in with Adi mantra, pranayama, kriya, relaxation, meditation, and closing with a song. Unlike many other yoga styles, Kundalini does not have levels instead it focuses on the individuals mental focus and breathing. The exercises are created to improve flexibility in the spine.
Ying yoga is a very quiet and simple practice, targeting the deep tissues in are body. The basis of this style is the conterdicting aspects of unmoving and changing of positions, there are other polarities included throughout the practice such as hot and cold, down and up, calm and excited. It mainly works with the slow movements that allow for the connective tissue to stretch and muscles around them to relax. This allows the body to lengthen and strengthen the tissue.
Anusara yoga is a newer style of yoga based off of the teaching of Iyengar yoga. Anusara yoga focuses on seeing the good in everything and believing the universe is good by nature. The practice believes that the Divine is already within the students, so students are not corrected on the alignment instead students are asked to seek the goodness that lies within the position they are in. This style of yoga is designed for students of any level or ability, with over 250 poses that are used.
Power yoga has a background of Vinyasa yoga along with Ashtanga yoga. It has a vigerous approach and takes on the athleticism that is found in Ashtanga yoga, with an emphasis on flexibility and strength. Each teacher may have a different way of teaching this particular style of yoga, since the goal was to get away from the set poses in Ashtanga yoga. Be prepared for an intense, flowing style of yoga.
With a blend of Hatha and Vinyasa yoga, the teachings of Jivamukti yoga can be found. This intense style becomes a way of life prioritizing the idea of nonviolence. It is great to highten the senses of the mind and of the body, purifying your body mentally. Each class includes scripture, chanting, music, physical poses, breathwork, and meditation. It can be an enriching experience.
Jump in with a partner and experience acrobatics and yoga in a whole new way. With a base, a flyer and a spotter, you can begin to learn this new-found art that is slowly taking part in the yoga world. This style is generally suggested for students who have a knowledge of yoga and have practiced it for a while, seeing as you need flexibility and strength to hold your position in each pose while a partner depends on you.
For those of you interested in a new style of yoga, that could bring out your interchild this is the style for you. Learning to increase mobility and spinal decompression as you are suspended in the air by silk or hammocks. It is meant to build strength, flexability, while giving your core an intense workout. This is a fun way to learn yoga for anyone who is interested.
My absolute favorite kind is Yin Yoga, if you have some time check out Boho Beautiful on YouTube. They have some incredible classes!
Ready to Get Started on your Yoga Adventure!! Check out one of my favorite Yoga Mats!