So, how to choose a yoga class? How do you know the best yoga class to take? There are so many different styles of yoga that it can be tough to figure out which one is the right one. You’ll find that there are as many health or fitness clubs offering to teach both beginning and advanced students of yoga the benefits of the art.
When you check the classes out, you’ll see that the styles vary from quiet, undemanding moves to intense, focused moves that make you wonder how you could ever do something that physical.
Why Yoga Is Good For You
If you’re wondering how to choose a yoga class, follow these guidelines and let them lead you to the right class.
First, ask yourself what you want out of the yoga class. What is it you hope to gain? Are you seeking a way to relax and learn how to meditate?
Or do you want something deeper, something that benefits you spiritually?
Next ask what is your primary goal for taking a class? Do you have concrete ideas in mind? A goal you’d like to accomplish?
In other words, do you want to lose weight? Strengthen your body and mind? Or are you looking to improve your overall health?
The best yoga class for beginners will be those taught by an instructor.
You can usually locate a yoga instructor at an exercise club. If you’ve already studied yoga and are looking for a new class or want to get more in depth training, then you’d be better off seeking someone who teaches the art. Remember that the trainer is only as qualified as the knowledge he or she has about your physical condition.
Refrain from taking more rigorous yoga if you’re not used to any type of exercise. Get the okay from your family doctor if you have a pre-existing medical condition that yoga might aggravate.
For example, while certain styles of yoga can help limber the joints, if you have arthritis, your instructor needs to know this so that you can both watch out for your health. Don’t expect to ‘get’ yoga after a couple of classes. It takes a while to fully absorb and learn the practice.
If you’re a novice, Kripalu is one of the better forms of yoga to start with because it’s not as tough on those just starting out. For those who have already mastered some forms of yoga and are looking for something that pushes their limits, then Ashtanga or Iyengar is a great yoga to practice.
Watch This Kripalu Beginner Yoga Video
When trying to decide what the best yoga class is for you to take, always remember, that you can start out slow, with a gentler yoga and move up once you get the hang of that one.
All forms of yoga help users to learn how to relax and reach a point of inner calm. The hardest part is getting started, but once you learn the discipline, you’ll be pleased with the end results.
Ashtanga Yoga Explained
Ashtanga Yoga is a yoga that teaches the eight limbs of yoga. It focuses on controlling one’s breathing through the movements, controlling the senses by not allowing distractions to interrupt the art, and by deep concentration.
This kind of yoga has roots in morality, meditation and focuses on the asanas or the poses. The purpose of concentrating on the use of the eight limbs in this yoga are to remove from inside the body the things that cause it to be unclean.
The purpose of practicing the asanas within this yoga are to lead the individual into developing a body that’s full of health and strength. When health and strength are present, it’s easier for the mind to concentrate and keep tuned in to the purpose of the yoga movements.
By stretching and toning, by concentrating and meditation, the body is freed from the internal and external weights that drag it down. Focus helps to achieve the goal of a healthier body, a stronger mind and a freer spirit.
Watch This Introduction To Ashtanga Yoga Video
Through the performance of Ashtanga Yoga, the poses are worked in harmony with the breathing. There are specific that are done while exhaling and other specific movements that are completed while inhaling.
The movements are correlated to work in conjunction with the breathing to reach a point of attention in the body, which helps to create that bond, that union that yoga is known to help users reach.
The eight limbs of yoga can be done as individual steps apart from one another, but just like the steps in a two-story home, they’re made to help users reach the next level. They work best when achieved in order and in a consistent way.
This style of yoga has a purpose in each of the movements. When used as a form of exercise, you’ll get a tougher workout than you would if you were practicing a more serene form of yoga.
You’ll find the movements of certain styles of yoga to have specific levels for the beginner student, a stronger level for the somewhat experienced and a tougher level for the person who’s been a student of Ashtanga before.
Taking part in Ashtanga Yoga will certainly get your heart rate up. Some users equate it with the same workout that one might find in a workout designed to bring cardiovascular benefits to the table.
If you’re a complete novice to the art of yoga and haven’t yet mastered some of the basic asanas, this kind of yoga is what you want to reach in the future, but not where you should begin.
Is Bikram Yoga Hot Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is yoga postures performed while in a room where the temperatures are higher than normal. It’s also known as ‘hot yoga’ and for that reason, should never be practiced by those expecting a child.
The purpose for the elevated temperatures is for the limbering of the entire body.
The humidity in the room reaches higher than normal levels. The purpose of the heat and humidity is so that the body can relax and the muscles will be supple and able to hold the poses easier. This serves as a warm up much like you would warm up the muscles before working out at the gym.
Throughout this style of yoga, users will go through a series of 26 poses and these poses will be done a total of two times through. Breathing is worked into the movements but is not considered to be the main goal as it is in other yoga positions. This is a yoga that requires users to go the distance and give the poses their all rather than engaging in a soft, gentle style.
In Bikram Yoga, you’ll learn to relax while toning both the outside and the inside of your body. The teachings of Bikram show practicers how to let go of the noise inside the head- noise like ‘this is too hard’ or negative self talk.
It teaches how to center one’s thoughts on the positive and to learn even when not in posture, how to regain the calm and refocus simply by breathing. It combines aspects of Hatha Yoga – particularly the meditation part-and makes it part of a life more filled with serenity.
There are many benefits to this style of yoga besides learning how to remain calm and centered so that the stress of life rolls right off your back without affecting the inner core. In an hour and a half, in a warm room, this yoga can show you how to gain control of your body, your emotions and your mental state.
Although it’s difficult at first, you’ll learn how to push yourself beyond what you thought you couldn’t do and you’ll learn to stand strong and secure in your beliefs. While it certainly won’t act like a magic pill and make all the irritations in your life go away, it can give you the stamina and the power to handle them.
Watch This Bikram Yoga Tips Video
Putting the body through a detoxification is another plus to learning how to do Bikram Yoga. As you purify your body, many positive changes will take place. You’ll see how to take your body that’s on the borderline of declining health due to being overweight or inactive, and bring about positive changes.
People who practice yoga have changed their lives from couch potatoes to getting back into the swing of life again. Physical changes aren’t the only changes either. Yoga gives users a ‘can do’ mentality that pours out into all areas of their lives.
Hatha Yoga Is Great For Beginners
Hatha Yoga is a style of yoga where the movements are not as fast as some other types of yoga. It can be considered as a springboard for beginners to discover the basic elements of what yoga is all about.
Learning any kind of yoga can teach users how to relax and meditate, how to center and refocus energy. This type of yoga is gentle which makes it great for beginners. You’ll learn the necessary poses that are the building blocks of all the different kinds of yoga. The basis of yoga is to achieve tranquility that can transcend the stresses of life and help a person to reach inner peace.
Many years ago, yoga was first practiced in India as a way of connecting the physical-the body-with the spiritual – the spirit. For someone who’s not familiar with yoga, it’s easy to watch a class in motion or see it on television and assume it’s almost like a warm up exercise before the real exercises begin.
But yoga is so much more than that and a lot more involved. The benefits of partaking in yoga can be great because the end product of yoga is the harmony it brings to the body and mind.
What Hatha Yoga does is to combine both the spiritual and the physical in a series of stretching and toning poses that make the body stronger and the mind more focused. It’s sort of like a slow aerobic exercise routine. In the same way as aerobics, this yoga teachers users how to go through the postures in a repetitive manner.
While this kind of yoga might look like a kind, gentle way to meditate and tone your body, it’s actually quite a workout. Each person will experience yoga in a way that is unique to them.
What exists in a balance of postures today can be different the next day. It can be deeper, more involved. Unlike heading to the gym and working out, comparing yourself to others, yoga benefits each individual according to his or her own harmony.
Watch This Hatha Yoga Explained Video
No matter if you’re an adult, a teenager or a child, anyone can take part in yoga. It’s not exclusive to any religion either. For some people, Hatha Yoga is a spiritual way to get in touch with themselves and their beliefs in this world.
The relaxation methods can help users contemplate their journey in life – where they’ve been, how they’re walking through the journey and their ultimate destination. All you need to get started is some comfortable clothing and if you plan to sit and meditate for a while, you might want to purchase a mat.
Pranayama Yoga Techniques
You’ll often see the words Pranayama Yoga written together and this gives people the idea that it’s a type of yoga but it’s really a technique rather than a style and is part of yoga rather than a type of yoga itself.
It actually means to take control of one’s breathing in order to correctly control the body’s energy. When the breathing function is out of whack, it follows that everything else within the body follows suit.
Uneven breathing during times of stress or strenuous exercise can lead to the organs in the body not getting enough oxygen. The lungs were meant to fill deeply with oxygen and to exhale, releasing carbon dioxide. Not knowing how to breathe properly can cause an imbalance in releasing that carbon dioxide.
Watch This How To Do Pranayama Yoga Video
The correct breathing patterns can help the body to properly function and it’s one of the reasons why it’s an important part of training in yoga postures. If you’ve ever been angry, you might have heard the phrase, “Take a deep breath and count to ten.”
Many people assume that the counting to ten is what helps to calm the mind and to let go of the anger but it’s the deep breathing that controls the emotions and helps to focus on behavior. It makes a person think before acting and to make better decisions over out of control actions done in anger.
In Pranayama Yoga, breathing is the core of the yoga, it is the self discipline that will help take you from doing the asanas to experiencing the asanas. Proper posture during the yoga allows the lungs to fill to capacity and lets the body receive the oxygen it needs. Having correct breathing function benefits every one of the organs and promotes a vigor to help sustain energy.
There are different stages of breathing in yoga and each one is necessary for the various asanas to progress to the next one. Each stage works together in function as a cycle. Inhale. Exhale. There are four types of breathing associated with yoga.
In the first stage, the Puraka, it’s an inhale. The second stage is the Kumbhaka which means to hold on to the breath that was inhaled. Rechaka is the next stage and is a slow exhale. The final stage is a brief wait after the exhale.
The purpose of the stages of breathing in Pranayama Yoga is to free the body from the toxic impurities that trap the flow of energy and keep the body from experiencing the release that yoga can bring.
How To Do Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga is another style of yoga. Like the other styles, the root of this yoga can be found in India and in the language of India, it has two meanings. “To place” and “in a special way” meaning it’s a series of postures worked along with a breathing technique.
The two are made to flow easily from one move to the next. Watching this style, you could assume it’s some type of ancient dancing the moves are so fluid as they’re worked with inhaling and exhaling.
This kind of yoga uses breathing as an essential part of the moves. It helps people to let go of stress and reach an inner peace.
Practicing yoga won’t give you a perfectly happy life but what it will do is show you how to find a balance, a way to handle the stress and keep it from reaching deep into the core of your being.
People take part in yoga for many reasons. To connect with their inner selves, to relax, to reach their spiritual roots and even to lose weight and shape up their body.
If you’re surprised at the thought that Vinyasa Yoga could be handy with weight loss, don’t be. The way the yoga is conducted, with the breathing and movements performed with simultaneous precision, the flow is constant, the moving constant.
While you’re not rushing or bopping around like you would in a dance class, you are in effect dancing albeit slowly and with a greater point to the movements. The poses or postures are completed with an inhale or an exhale and are timed to be done that way.
One thing you can expect as you practice this style of yoga is that there will be different movements but each with room for you to express yourself as you’d like. There’s no cookie cutter way to this form of yoga and it embraces people as unique and separately wonderful.
You might find some parts of this yoga is very fast paced while other parts of it is slower. Like other yoga styles, there are specific movements or postures associated with this particular yoga.
Waych This Vinyasa Yoga Workout Video
Performing Vinyasa Yoga offers many benefits to each individual. Benefits like being more in tune with what’s going on in your body and mind as well as achieving a bond of relaxation and peace at the deepest part of yourself.
The first time you take part in any type of yoga, you might feel awkward, maybe even a little foolish, but know that yoga doesn’t judge based on performance – how well you move or how long it takes you to reach serenity. It can and does bring so many health benefits to those who practice it faithfully.
How To Do Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is yoga that works the tissues of the body. While seemingly gentler and laid back than other yoga styles, in reality, it gives a tough, thorough workout that stretches the body.
Holding the postures takes long in this style of yoga and stretches the tissues and joints in various parts of the body. Because of its helpful benefits, some doctors prescribe a treatment of this type yoga to help people with addictions deal with the emotions and find the tranquility they need.
There are approximately 36 different positions to learn with this style. The purpose behind them is to draw the energy (or the chi) from dormancy to work throughout the body. The positions or asanas should be completed in a particular order to help achieve that energy filled body.
Yin Yoga is not the new kid on the block but rather a resurrection of traditional old style yoga. The main difference is found in the length of time used to remain in the same pose. Some of the poses are short – just a few minutes or so but other positions are held stationary for up to twenty minutes.
That might not seem like it’s such a workout, but try doing one of the poses and holding it still (don’t forget the proper breathing!) for twenty minutes. If you haven’t ever done it and haven’t familiarized yourself with the correct techniques, by the end of the twenty minutes, your muscles will quiver from the exertion of holding still.
Watch This Yin Yoga Video
Relaxation and learning how to stretch the tissues and joints is an important part of this type of yoga. It’s only by knowing the first steps to limber and flex the body that you’ll be capable of moving on to the positions.
Learning the poses is what helps those who practice yoga with the meditation postures. Performing this yoga brings a satisfaction to the mind in that it relieves stress and it brings a relaxation to the body in that the tension is freed from the joints.
All forms of yoga can transform lives and can help to slow the ravages and the toil that time dishes out onto the body. Taking up Yin Yoga has a lot to offer anyone and it’s a great style for the beginner and those who are recuperating from emotional trouble. It can bring a deeper level of energy, balance and better health to all who practice it.