Everyone is different so we have different ways to practice yoga, some of which will be better suited to you than others. Yoga can be very gentle and relaxing to challenging and dynamic. You could be learning handstands to only doing 3 poses in 30 mins. Read on to see what may be right for you.
Yin yoga – the slowest, most gentle practice
Yin yoga focuses on mobilising the body by holding low to the ground poses for a longer period of time (3-5 mins) to give a deep stretch and feel very relaxed. Work through breathing or mindfulness techniques whilst in poses. Or take time to really understand how your body works.
Hatha Yoga – a gentle to medium practice
In fact the umbrella name for the physical practice of yoga. But usually this class denotes a slower practice, taking time to work on technique, proper breathing and relaxation. This class is held on Fridays at 12pm. We have a theme for each week. The first Friday of the month is Sivananda Yoga (explained in class), the second – shoulders, the third – hips, the fourth – relaxation.
Iyengar yoga – focus on alignment and form
A slow practice, Iyengar yoga explores the precise physical alignment of poses, taking time to hold poses. Adapt poses with the use of props. Highly recommended as a foundation to deepen the understanding of yoga poses. Compliments all other styles of yoga. The practice can be profoundly transformative. Popular with many but particularly older people and those who want to learn more especially about the anatomy of a pose. Not a flowing practice.
Vinyasa flow – can be gentle flow to a dynamic practice
Move through varied sequences of yoga poses with a deep awareness of the breath like a flowing dance. Classes may focus on different themes and areas of the body. Teachers may differ in the tone and approach. Most classes include warming up the body to a peak and then following a cool down sequence before relaxation. Classes include variations that are accessible for everyone but some classes work towards level 1 or 2. Expect to move up and down in a flowing motion holding poses for a few breaths. You may work gently (gentle flow) or more strongly (dynamic vinyasa yoga)
Ashtanga Yoga – a faster, dynamic practice
Ashtanga yoga is a set sequence of fast flowing movement with a deep awareness of the breath. The classes follow what’s called the ‘primary sequence’ which is designed to increase circulation, open the hips, build upper body strength and open the spine. Initially expect to sweat as you build internal heat. Through regular practice Ashtanga becomes a moving meditation and is a brillant practice to see improvement in both flexibility and strength. Best to attend if you have some experience of a vinyasa style of practice. It is a strong class. Sometimes elements of the secondary sequence are brought into the practice.
Power yoga – a strong, dynamic practice
Based on Ashtanga, power yoga is a fast flowing practice designed to build internal heat and sweat. It is a creative practice and does not follow the same sequence every time. Great for building strength and confidence. Expect to be challenged and work towards stronger poses