What kind of yoga for me?
As you will have noticed, yoga is more and more present in the media and in the sports halls. We find more and more types of yoga such as: Bikram, Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Ashtanga, Sivananda, Yin, Kundalini,… And I know that for many, that's one of the reasons you don't get started. You don't know which course to choose. Often after you have done a course that you did not like, you store yoga in the "not done for me" box. And it's so bad! So I will help you to know a little more about the different types of Yoga and especially how to choose the course that will suit you
"Yoga is not a sport"
One day I was told "Yoga is not really a sport" and at the time I took it very badly. But today I tend to agree, because yoga is much more than that. Sport is according to the definition of the Dictionnaire Larousse, a "physical activity to improve its physical condition." The term "sport" is rooted in the old French word "deportation" which means "physical or spirit Entertainment" yoga is a philosophy of life that understands a physical, mental and spiritual practice, native to ancient India. The term "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit "Yuj", meaning "joint". Thus, yoga is the practice that aims to join the mind, body and soul. You see the difference? In the West, yoga is still very much assimilated with asanas (postures), the "Sport/physical" part. While yoga comprises 8 main principles: Yama and Niyama, rules of Life, Asanas, pranayama (control of Breathing), Pratyahara (Control of Senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (awakening or liberation). Ok, I'm done with the theory, but in practice I now give you what you need to know to choose your next yoga Class!
Choose the style of yoga that best suits you
If you are rather… You'll like
- You like that it enchains, you seek to sweat and you challenger ⇒ VINYASA, ASHTANGA, BIKRAM
- You need to relax and go to your rhythm ⇒ HATHA, YIN
- You like the predictable courses, or you know what's waiting for you ⇒ SIVANANDA, ASHTANGA, BIKRAM
- You want to explore your consciousness and develop your energy ⇒ KUNDALINI
- You are tense and need to relax ⇒ all
- You want to work in depth your flexibility (ligaments) ⇒ YIN
- You have hurt yourself and are recuperating ⇒ HATHA, ACCESSIBLE
- You like to have a lot of explanations and go to the bottom of things ⇒ HATHA, IYENGAR
- You are very athletic and seek to complete an activity like the race ⇒ all
- You have never done sports ⇒ HATHA, SIVANANDA
- You are looking for a more spiritual practice ⇒ KUNDALINI
- You are looking to muscle yourself and to be "fit" ⇒ VINYASA, ASHTANGA, BIKRAM
The main types of yoga
You have found your style, here are some more explanations.
It is the purest form of yoga, because it is in fact the physical practice of Pantajali Yoga. However, this term is also very generic since not specific. In the West, there is a course under the classes "Hatha Yoga" which enchains asanas (postures) that will be held by the pupils during several breaths. The greater the number of breathing, the more difficult the practice will become. Advanced Hatha courses are much more physical. Holding the poses for 10 breaths becomes a real sheathing exercise, great for deep muscle. Often the teacher's explanations are often more complete and the pupil can concentrate in a meditative way on his breathing and feelings.
Iyengar-structured, long poses
The teaching of yoga according to B.K.S. Iyengar is based on the thorough practice of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (yogic respiration). The whole thing is done in the search for rigor, intensity, alignment and precision. Https://www.afyi.fr/La-methode-IYENGAR-R.html This style uses media to correct and teach students the alignment of postures. The courses are divided by level and organized in sequences. People who are thorough and need structure in their lives enjoy the framework of Iyengar courses. «
Sivananda-Fixed set of posture
Sivananda Yoga comes from Swami Sivananda, as his disciple Swami Vishnudevananda brought him to the West in the late 50, participating in the first wave of popularity of yoga. The Sivananda style respects the Indian traditions of the Vedanta with 5 key points: Asana, Pranayama, Dhyana (meditation) as well as a vegetarian diet and relaxation. The classes begin and end with songs, meditation and breathing exercises. The structure of the course always uses the same 12 postures with variations according to the level of the pupils. For beginners, each pose is followed by the posture of the Savasana corpse to allow the organism to assimilate and progress. Interesting for beginners who learn to master the poses, the course becomes later a meditative routine because the postures are always the same.
Bikram-Fixed set of posture, in heated room
Developed by Bikram Choudhury, this type of Yoga consists of a sequence of 26 repeated postures in a room heated to 40 ° Celsius with a humidity of 40%. There are more than 700 studios offering this yoga which by the heat relaxes the muscles and thus allows to be "more supple". However the difficulty of postures makes this practice not accessible to all. In addition, the practice in heated rooms has been questioned because of cardiovascular risks.
Vinyasa or Flow-chained, fast
The Vinyasa Yoga is the synchronisation of movement and respiration. So we get a dynamic, faster and more fluid type of yoga. Power Yoga is sometimes referred to as the chaining of postures is fast and designed to stimulate the cardiovascular system and strength. Vinyasa courses are good for people looking to clear their heads. Chaining postures by synchronizing your breathing requires concentration and prevents you from thinking about before or after, we stay in the moment. Some Vinyasa courses say "soft" will chain simpler and easier postures to allow the beginner to get used to this type of yoga.
Ashtanga-Fixed set of posture, intermediate level
Ashtanga Yoga is a type of vinyasa style yoga. There are five sets of postures and each student must master each set of the first series before moving on to the second series.
In a Mysore-type class students practice at their own pace and according to their own level with the teacher's individual support, giving advice and adjustments. It is called Mysore because at the Ashtanga Yoga as taught by the founder of this school, Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. If you want to know more, Mathilde has made a great article here. These courses are more intense by the more difficult postures that the seated series carry. There is also a debate about the fact that some poses are not recommended for all, especially the position of the lotus (to avoid if knee pain).
Yin & repairer-Relaxing, passive long poses
First, Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga (restorative in English) look very much alike but have different goals. The Yin will seek to go further while the repairman has a purpose of relaxation and recovery. The 2 styles offer to stand still in a position using accessories (bolsters, blankets, cushions). The Yin Yoga seeks to work in depth on the tissues, ligaments, bones and joints. The aim is to increase the mobility of the joints by completely releasing our muscles, the accessories support if necessary to have no muscles in action. Holding the poses between 2 and 5 minutes or more for the advanced requires a meditative approach with a deep concentration on the breathing. The poses are often the same as yoga says Yang (active) but with a different name. If you want to relax and relieve tensions, you will enjoy a restorative yoga class. Yin courses are often taken as a complement to yoga practice to go further in stretching, to open up body parts that are less flexible and gain mobility in advanced postures.
Kundalini Yoga incorporates movements, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation and chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning "truth is my identity". The goal is to develop physical vitality and increase consciousness. Kundalini is the Sanskrit term used to describe the energy stored at the base of our column. This yoga aims to liberate this energy and give us the tools to master and channel our emotions in order to awaken our consciousness. It is a type of Yoga that keeps a strong spiritual and traditional dimension. Do not be surprised to see the teachers of kundalini dressed in white and wearing an immaculate turban, it is to keep away the negative energies. You'll find out how a class is going here.
to your carpets!
I hope this article has helped you find your style or type of yoga. Namaste Em