I have been doing a lot of Yoga lately. I love how yoga makes me feel. It is such a spiritual experience for me. I don’t compete with anyone or anything, including myself. I can fully relax, and not worry about anything except my time with myself. I don’t care that I can’t do a posture completely, or I fall when I try others. It is for me to improve myself.
I do a local class that is called a Hot Power Fusion class. It is a hot style Yoga that is a mix of power hatha, vinyasa and ashtanga yoga. It is the perfect combination of breathing, meditation, flexibility and strength exercises. But this type of class isn’t for everyone. Some people can’t handle the heat. Others can’t do the strength. Others can’t do the flexibility. Some want to concentrate only on meditation, while others don’t care about the relaxation and just want the workout. So this “poses” the big question: What is the best type of yoga?
The answer to this questions is based on a complete personal preference. But let’s start creating your preference with some education. First, what are the main types of yoga out there? There are actually many different types of yoga, and new ones are being started all the time. Some of the oldest, most mainstream types are:
- Hatha – This your basic, slow movement, gentle, beginner yoga. It focuses on uniting the body, mind and soul in a slow, controlled movements.
- Vinyasa – This type of yoga focuses on breathing. Typically, your movements are synced with your breaths. Every breath in is a movement, and every breath other is a movement. You move with your movement for a total flow and rhythm through the entire yoga session.
- Ashtanga – Better know as power yoga, this type focuses on fast, intense poses and movements. It is a series of poses in order, at a strict and vigorous pace.
- Iyengar – This yoga focuses on body alignment. The main emphasis is for holding poses for a longer period of time, in the correct posture, rather than moving from one to another.
- Bikram/Hot yoga – Bikrams is a hot style yoga that uses a series of 26 poses in a hot room (usually around 108 degrees). There are other styles of yoga that are considered “hot” yoga that are variations of Bikrams. It is basically a yoga style done in a heated room to promote increase in body temperature for cleansing and stretching purposes.
I am not a yoga expert. I know there are many other types of yoga and many others being formed as we speak. These, to me, are a broad description of the types of yoga that are out there. Every time there is a variation done on a specific type of yoga, it is called something different and is a “new” type of yoga. So what is the best type of yoga for you? The one that you like the best.
I highly suggest trying all the different types of yoga classes you can get your hands on until you find that perfect mix for you. If you want to focus on flexibility, try out a basic yoga class and work your way up. If you want a full body workout, try a power yoga. If you want to meditate, try a flow style yoga. If you aren’t sure what you want, try them all! You should be able to leave the class and not only feel like you got a workout, but you should have a complete body/mind experience. You should want to go to the class every time it is offered. Most yoga places offer a free trial week that you can try their classes out. If not, ask the instructor if you can sit in on one of the classes to ensure it is the right class for you.
The most important thing to remember when finding is a class is what you want. Yoga isn’t about how much you can lift or how fast you can run or anything else. It is a set amount of time where you can dedicate a workout to you. You aren’t competing with anyone else, including yourself. You shouldn’t get frustrated when you fall out of a pose. You shouldn’t be self conscious that you are dripping sweat when doing Bikrams. You should take the time of yoga, clear your mind, and do it for you. That is what makes yoga such a “spiritual” experience. It is you, and yourself. Whether it is a gentle yoga outside, or a power class in the heat. So go out and find a class, and do it for you. No one else.