One thing I learned while training to be a yoga instructor is how much I didn’t know about yoga.
For one thing there are so many different types to chose from. Which is right for you today? Yes, I said today. That is because each practice is so different. You may need to move fast and sweat one day while you may need to relax and rejuvenate the next.
Take my quiz to decide which type of yoga to practice today. Then I recommend a yoga glo (one of my favorite apps) class to suit you.
What level student are you?
Your ideal exercise is:
Your personality is best described as:
Today I feel like:
I am often described as:
I thrive in a temperature:
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Learn more about your results:
Hatha yoga is a slower moving class that requires you to hold each pose for a few breaths. Some think of this yoga as a gentler style that is best for beginners. It’s slower pace is perfect for anyone looking to learn and perfect their physical posture
Vinyasa yoga is great for your mind as well as your body. Linking the breath to the movement in a”dance and flowy” way helps keep your mind on the task at hand. Your heat rate will rise. Many teachers (myself included) like to include a faster paced music style and then match the beats to the sequences of the poses.
If you are a HIIT lover or a runner, I suggest you try a Vinyasa yoga class. The continuous movement will keep you from getting bored.
I have to be honest, I am not a huge fan of Iyengar yoga. I find it slow and incredibly detail oriented. You hold the poses for a long time. Many of my yogi friends like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, and therefore love Iyengar. Iyengar can also be practiced at any age and is great for those with injuries (but, as with any exercise program, make sure you check with your doctor first).
I love Ashtanga because its predictable yet challenging. These classes consist of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. Some studios will have a teacher calling out the poses, and although I’ve never been to one, some classes do not. Perfectionists love the strict rules and predictability of Ashtanga Yoga.
Similar to Ashtanga Bikram has a very specifically sequenced class. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence. The fun part here is no matter what studio you go to, you will know exactly what to expect.
Be prepared to sweat. Make sure you have a towel or material mat on your blanket to absorb your sweat, plenty of water and a small towel to wipe the sweat from your forehead (although some Bikram Yogi’s would argue that you should allow the sweat to drip and flow and not wipe it off for an authentic experience). Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. The vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy: Rest when you need to and be sure to hydrate beforehand. Additionally, be prepared- some studios frown upon you leaving the room during the session and suggest that if you are not feeling right you just lie down on your mat and drink water to recover.
As a beginner, I loved the predictability of Bikram. Also once I got to the sequence on the floor, I felt super accomplished.
Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. I find that in a hot yoga class (like Yoga Spark) its easy to move deeper than you might be ready to move. You feel super flexible and will enjoy watching your flow in the mirror. But, please be careful, its much easier to overstretch and hurt yourself in a heated room. I’ve been told you only burn 9 extra calories per hour in hot yoga but I find in the winter it feels great.
If you love a tough workout that will leave you drenched, sign up for a beginner-friendly heated class.
Spiritual in nature. Has recently been in the public eye as celebrities flock to the cult-like Kundalini classes. This physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. You’ll perform kriyas — repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. This is said to break through your internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing within you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness. Some people refer to this as a Kundalini awakening.
Ahhh..yin yoga. This practice is better than a nap. This slow paced practice, where you hold your poses for several minutes at a time, is simply meditative and relaxing. Targeting your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity and helping you to relax are just a few of the benefits of yin yoga. I remember how uncomfortable I felt simply being during my first few yin yoga classes. I was unable to relax and let go. Establishing a regular meditation practice made this class much more enjoyable for me.
Let me know your favorites.
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