Posted by on 7/10/2021 to Let's Talk Yoga!
Tips On Deciding Which Yoga Style Works
Best for Me?
Would you like to embark on a yoga journey but you keep asking yourself what’s the best yoga style for me? This articles has your back! Together we are going to answer this question and more!
Yoga is a practice that brings countless benefits both to the body and to the mind. Although it is increasingly associated with something related solely to the physical and performance, in reality this discipline works in a profound way especially on the subtle body.
It is therefore good, before going into physical practice, to understand what it is and choose the best way to approach this practice.
If you have decided to start practicing yoga you will have realized how many styles exist, and it may be that you have felt confused in choosing one. By typing "yoga center" and the name of your city, you can find a wide range of styles and it is important to understand the differences in order to choose the practice that suits you best.
What’s the best yoga style for me?
What is commonly called yoga, i.e. physical practice, is called asana. The study of asanas is called Hatha Yoga. The different styles of yoga have been created over the years, thanks to the contribution of teachers and schools, who have given their interpretation to the classic execution of asanas. One of the greatest masters was Krinshnamachaya who, among the many students, trained B. K. S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois who in turn created two of the most practiced styles in the world, namely Ashtanga yoga and Iyenger yoga.
All styles of yoga work on both the body and the mind and spirit, but in a different way. In some styles, more attention is paid to the inside, in others the muscles are stimulated more, in some styles the positions are held only a few breaths, in others whole minutes. My advice is to try different styles and different teachers before choosing the one to practice consistently.
How do I choose the right yoga style for me if I don't know them?
There are several aspects that need to be considered when looking for your style of yoga. The style you practice must be in line with your physical form and with your psychoemotional state. In simple terms, if it is your first yoga class I do not recommend immersing yourself in an advanced Vinyasa yoga class, because you may think that yoga is not for you, when it may be just the style or level of that specific class. It is also essential to find the teacher with whom to practice that particular style of yoga. Each teacher has their own characteristics and their own personality, which inevitably cannot please everyone, but surely you can find one that satisfies you and that you feel you can trust.
I will provide below the description in a few lines of some of the most practiced and taught yoga styles in yoga studios all around the world, to allow you to have a 360 ° overview, even if limited.
The most popular yoga styles to find yoga style for me
It is a style of yoga with a very relaxed pace that allows you to listen to your body carefully and slowly. Static positions are usually performed and maintained for a long time. It allows a greater understanding of the execution and a deep contact with the body. Chanting of mantra, meditation and breathing techniques (pranyama) can complement the asanas during the class;
It is a dynamic style in which fluid movements are performed combined with the breath. The inhalation and exhalation phases and the Asanas are performed smoothly and continuously. The term "vinyasa" defines the dynamic transition that connects tadasana (mountain pose) to Adho Mukha Svanasana, or the downward facing dog. Often the rhythm is very fast and this does not allow to understand the movements and to listen to the body, especially for beginners;
This style was founded in 1948 by K. Pattabhi Jois and is a physically demanding practice where there is a rapid transition connecting the asanas. Each position is preparatory to the next one. The system of ashtanga yoga is based on 6 series of Asanas of increasing difficulty. We will start with the first guided series, until we practice it independently. This self-practice of the first series is commonly called Mysore Style and if practiced in the centers, one can receive the adjusments of the teachers;
Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, who developed a style of yoga focused on alignments. In this practice, supports are used to achieve the correct training of the asanas. Teacher training takes several years. The classes have a slow pace and are particularly suitable for both beginners and those with physical joint or muscle problems.
It was introduced in the United States by Yoga Bhajan, in 1969, so it is a fairly recent practice. It is called the yoga of awareness and its main purpose is to awaken and release the healing energy found at the base of the spine and then make it rise again. Kundalini yoga classes include chants, mantras, meditations, in addition to physical positions, which are however limited in number. It is a very different practice from the others and for this reason sometimes it takes several lessons to get to the heart and be able to wither.
In 1971 it was introduced to the United States by Bikram Choundhury. It is a very intense practice in which 26 positions are performed within a heated environment (40 ° C). The sequence includes 45 minutes of standing positions and 45 minutes of floor positions. The purpose of practicing in a heated environment is to improve muscle flexibility and eliminate toxins from the body. Before entering a class of this style, it would be useful to already have a basic smattering of body movements in yoga.
How can I choose the perfect yoga style for me?
After understanding the basic differences between the various styles of yoga, the right question to ask is: why do I want to practice yoga? What I am looking for? Would I like a more physical practice or am I interested in learning more about meditation techniques?
Once you have answered these simple questions it will be easier for you to orient yourself and choose a style to practice. Remember that the style you choose today to start may no longer be the most suitable for you in a year. You change, with and through practice, and sometimes it is necessary to change, experiment, evolve. But it doesn't always happen like this, sometimes it's love at first practice with a style and you always remain faithful to it.
Each style has its own characteristics, but they all work both mind, body and spirit. Feel free to experiment, there is no one style better than another. The right style is the one that allows you to feel your body, experience physical, energetic and mental sensations that make you feel good.