An Honest Approach on How to Choose Your Style of Yoga

Continuing the series of posts about pursuing your heart’s desire, whether you’re looking to deepen your practice, shifting between styles or even considering taking a teacher’s training program; it can be daunting to choose between the many yoga styles and teaching methods.

When searching for yoga classes you may come across many types: Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa/Flow, Hot Yoga…

And choosing the right type is essential to give you clarity and confidence when you’re about to join a class, knowing the purpose of what’s gonna be practised.

Here’s an introduction to the main Yoga styles to get acknowledge of…

  • Ashtanga is a rigorous style following specific asanas in the exact same order. Based on the ancient yoga techniques, it can be sweaty and definitely physically demanding;
  • Vinyasa includes breath-syncronized movements and is very physically active designed to create a flow throughout the practice;
  • Hatha is a term referring to any form of yoga, but its general meaning in the West relates to a calm, gentle and slow basic sequences of Yoga;
  • Iyengar is an advanced practice coordinating breathing and poses but requiring very precise body alignment;
  • In Restorative Yoga, the intention is to allow the muscles to relax, so it’s used accessories like blocks, blankets and yoga bolsters;
  • Kundalini focuses on awakening the spiritual energy, so besides asanas this practice includes chanting, meditation, and breathing exercises.

 

Knowing what style is what is crucial to get to know Yoga, but most importantly – Yoga is fundamentally a personal practice.  Keep in mind that above any styles, the norm should just be you picking a type that suits your needs and your body, rather than you fitting to a specific type of yoga. 

So the best approach to finding your way of yoga is by exploring…

  • Look at who’s teaching, the way they describe the postures, the sequences and the philosophy;
  • Where you’d like to learn, whether is in an ashram or in an urban yoga studio;
  • If you’re considering a teacher’s training, think of the type of immersion that fits your schedule – a full immersion program or taking your time on a year-long course;
  • Try as many classes as you can and see what drives you

 

At Ganesh Grove Studio, Dipa Trivedi supports a self practice.

“It’s basically adapting yoga to you rather than you adapting to a style of yoga. So the way I teach a class is I’ll give the students some guidelines, general instruction but every single person will do the pose according to their own body and I’m not gonna try and change it completely, I’m gonna correct according to their body rather than according to the pose.”

I learned the basics of Iyengar training and I adapted to my style of yoga which is more about understanding the style, shape of bodies depending on where you’re from; so for example, the skeleton of a person from the East is different from someone from the West; hence the Yoga cannot be the same for all.

Also, if you’re interested in simply deepening your knowledge in Yoga to apply for yourself or teach others, or you’re not completely sure about committing to a teacher’s training; Yoga Muni encourages all with the will to teach and learn to enrol in Rohan Yoga Education, where Dipa trains anyone interested in teaching children around the world the gift of yoga and the benefits of meditation. The training is completely free as it’s an NGO project and it’s available online as well as in person for those based in London.

For more information, contact us on ask@yogamuni.com

Yoga is about movement, energy, freedom… so let’s not hold ourselves into a style; let’s not practice yoga, let’s be yoga.

Alice Lima is an aspiring journalist and yoga enthusiast who loves to share her passions to the world: positive thinking, yoga and nutrition. 

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