For those of you who haven’t started practicing Yoga yet, you should … like right now! A lot of people think of Yoga like a random set of ludicrous poses, but in reality, they cannot be more far off base.
Except for a good physical exercise, Yoga also occupies your attention (balance requires more focus that you might think). It gives you some precious time away from your phone, computer and is a much-needed distraction from your daily routine in general. Precisely because of its effects, Yoga has immensely grown in popularity in the past decade. But if you’re serious about taking up some classes and learning the basics, you should carefully choose the right type for you.
Basically, any type of Yoga will boost your strength, balance and flexibility, but according to the American Council of Exercise there are more than 800 styles. With that said, as a beginner, based on the results you’re aiming for, there are only a few types you should consider when making that decision.
#1 Hatha Yoga
First, there is the so-called “Hatha”. It is perfect for beginners because the Hatha poses are not that much complicated and the tempo is not intense. So, if you’re looking for a stress reliever, go for it.
#2 Ashtanga and Power Yoga
That is a killer combination that gives you the general benefits of Yoga as well as a grueling cardio workout. Quite naturally, Ashtanga and power Yoga is the perfect way to get rid of the extra weight.
#3 Yin Yoga
As you might have already guessed it, this type is named after the calm half of the “Yin & Yang” concept. Corresponding to its name, Yin Yoga consists of slowly moving from one pose to another, staying in it for as long as five minutes. That way you can get enough time to stretch well and chill. So, if you’re looking to relax and stretch, practicing Yin Yoga is what you should go for.
#4 Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar offers you classical poses. But what sets it apart from other traditional styles is that Iyengar teachers are also trained in bio-mechanics. In other words, they know which movements are more likely to cause an injury, so they modify them and make them less strenuous. My advice, those of you who are more prone to injuries, give Iyengar Yoga a try.
#5 Prenatal Yoga
All you moms-to-be, read this carefully because Prenatal Yoga is maybe the best you can do to prepare for giving birth. It involves a lot of core exercises and develops a good posture which will significantly reduce the birth pains. Prenatal Yoga also focuses on breathing techniques and all of you future moms know how important that is.
Another often neglected aspect of Yoga is the place you exercise. When you hear ‘Yoga’ probably the first thing that pops into mind is a big studio with a lot of people in it. It’s a common perception that Yoga is practiced inside but in reality, this is a relatively new phenomenon.
Some of you might even find it hard to go to a Yoga class and instead sneak a session at home. Just stretch your mat in the middle of your living room and you’re ready to go. But you don’t have to do that! I know how much you cherish the cosiness of your mess, so instead of cleaning up your entire home, just bring your Yoga practice outdoors. Last year I found this cool Yoga Sanctuary, which organizes beach yoga events in 4 locations around Melbourne during the summer season. It’s an amazing experience and is totally worth trying it out. Plus, the effects of doing exercises outdoors cannot be overemphasized.
Doing Yoga outside is kind of back-to-the-roots experience since the first Yogis practiced in nature. Do yourself a favour and go limber yourself outside. Find a beautiful and peaceful place under a shade in a park for example and do some Yoga there. Besides saving a ton of money on classes, you’ll also feel incredibly revitalised which is kind of the whole point of doing Yoga.