Yoga has enormous health and well being benefits – so long as you get the right sort for you! When you practice yoga, you uncover how to listen to and respect your body. To get the most benefit, you should choose a yoga style that matches your current fitness level, as well as your personality and goals for practicing yoga. With any style of yoga, you can improve your strength, flexibility, and balance. And all yoga styles release tension in your body, quiet your mind, and help you relax.
Try different classes and teachers, and see what works for you.
Acro yoga is a physical practice which blends elements of yoga, acrobatics, and healing arts to form a practice that cultivates trust, connection and playfulness between partners. This type of yoga is interactive and fun. Classes typically include partner-assisted postures, some massage and simple acrobatics techniques accessible to all levels of practitioners. There are seven main elements that make up the practice: circle ceremony, postures, massage, partner flow, therapeutic flying, inversions and spotting, and partner acrobatics.
Ashtanga is a cardiovascular activity and involves a lot of flowing sequences, known as ‘vinyasa’. Each 90-monute class is the same sequence of poses, or ‘primary series’. Ashtanga yoga also uses a special breathing technique that’s said to help focus the mind and control the flow of breath through the body.
Each class features a vigorous 90-minute sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises always performed in the same order in a very hot room, above 100 degrees.
Check with your doctor if you have a medical condition like hypertension or diabetes before starting this “hot” style of yoga.
Dru yoga is a style of yoga that works with postures, breath work, relaxation and meditation. Its series or sequences are called ‘Energy Block Release’ and include flowing dynamic movements, directed breathing and positive affirmations. There’s a focus on spinal movements, core stability and deep relaxation. Dru yoga designed for all fitness levels and all age groups.
Detail-oriented and slow-paced, Iyengar yoga is good for beginners, and it emphasises on increasing of strength, flexibility, and balance. Poses (especially standing postures) are held for a longer amount of time than in other yoga styles and students are shown how to use props (such as straps, blankets, and blocks) to bring the body into alignment and to help accommodate special needs such as injuries or structural imbalances. This style of yoga is great for beginners. Iyengar yoga aims to unite the body, mind, and spirit to promote well-being.
This style of yoga emphasizes chanting, meditation, spiritual teachings, and how to apply yogic philosophy to daily life. Jivamukti classes offer a vigorous flowing physical practice, and foster intellectual stimulation to lead to spiritual awareness. Classes often focus on a theme, and include breathing techniques, chanting, readings, and eclectic music. One of the core principles of Jivamukti Yoga is non-harming (Ahimsa) and classes often promote environmentalism, animal rights, and veganism.
Kundalini yoga is more spiritual and philosophical in approach than other styles of yoga. The practice involves postures, with an emphasis on dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and chanting. Kundalini is one of the more spiritual styles of yoga that goes beyond the physical poses. Kundalini sequences can be physically demanding, and are great for those looking to challenge themselves both physically and mentally.
The classic asanas, such as spinal twists and back bends, are performed as a twosome. Partner yoga is often taught as a course, rather than drop-in classes, with the idea that you then do the yoga at home together. The type of poses you’re taught will depend on your flexibility.
Restorative yoga helps to open the body through passive stretching so that practitioners can access a deep conscious relaxation. A typical class will include several floor poses held passively for a longer amount of time than in other styles of yoga, with the support of blocks, bolsters and blankets to eliminate any strain on the body. The final relaxation is usually held for 20 minutes to allow complete rest. Restorative Yoga offers many benefits that can help with ailments such as stress, chronic pain, migraines and insomnia. This type of yoga is accessible and beneficial to all ages and fitness levels.
Scaravelli yoga is a gentle style of yoga, designed to work with the natural movements of the body in relation to gravity. It combines movement, breath, and meditation to naturally unfold outwards. Students are taught how to move the body as a whole unit, focusing on the spine and the hands and feet, which act like levers. This style is suited for those looking for a gentle and inward-focused practice.
You do 12 poses and lie down in between the poses. This style of yoga is designed to help raise the practitioner’s consciousness. Sivananda Yoga is based on five principles: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet (vegetarian), positive thinking and meditation. Sivananda yoga is easily adaptable to people of different physical abilities.
This is a very spiritual form, which blends hatha and Iyengar asanas with Buddhist and yogic philosophy. Classic standing and sitting yoga poses are performed, as well as meditaion, mantra (chanting), pranayayama(breathing exercises) and relaxation.