Choosing a yoga class to suit you

If you are new to Yoga you may not realise that there are many different types of yoga classes you can try, often within the same studio…and so the question becomes “which is right for me?”

There are hot classes, slow classes, fast classes, power classes, classes that focus on the spiritual aspect of yoga and hey, if you are up for it – kick your butt classes!

Confused?  Don’t be!  We have listed the most common types of yoga classes offered today, with an explanation of each one.

Beginner yoga courses in wellingtonHATHA YOGA: This is a great class for beginners because you usually work on one pose at a time, as opposed to flowing from pose to pose.  There is often meditation at the end of class which will leave you relaxed and calm.

BIKRAM YOGA: Be prepared because this class is hot!  Practiced in a studio where ideally the temperature will be around 40 °C (104 °F).  Bikram follows the traditional Hatha teachings and every class is 90 minutes and consists of 26 poses, including 2 breathing exercises.  Bikram yoga naturally detoxes you (because you sweat your butt off!) and is said to help aid in weight loss and toning of the body and the healing physical injuries.

VINYASA YOGA: If you enjoy flow and a faster pace, then Vinyasa is for you.  Your breathe is important in this class as the teacher will guide you to move from pose to pose on the inhale or exhale.  This is a good class if you get bored easily as the flow depends on the teacher’s style and mood.

KUNDALINI YOGA: Often described as intense, Kundalini is not for those who simply wish to stretch and relax.  This yoga style combines meditation, mantras, poses and breathing techniques.  The poses can be very physical and the focus is on self awareness and ones higher consciousness.   If you want a more spiritual based yoga practice then Kundalini is for you.

ASHTANGA YOGA: An Ashtanga class is based off the 6 different series of Ashtanga.  The student will be lead through a series of poses, beginning with sun salutations, followed by standing poses, seated poses, inversions, back bends and ending in deep relaxation.  Ashtanga classes are great for people who like routine but prefer to learn at their own pace and practice individually (Once a student has mastered the sequence of Ashtanga they can attend Mysore classes which are self paced).

IYENGAR YOGA: There are three main elements of Iyengar Yoga: technique, sequence and timing.  When learning Iyengar you will spend a lot of time in the same poses and your teacher will continuously adjust to ensure your technique is correct.  This is a great class if you want to learn correct posture in poses and breathing techniques.  The use of yoga props such as blocks and blankets are used in these classes.

RESTORATIVE YOGA: This is a slow paced class, where poses are held for approximately 10-20 minutes.  Props such as blocks, bolsters and blankets are used to support the body so you can stretch deeper and easier.  This class is great for stress relief and relaxation.  Don’t be fooled by the passive poses, you will definitely feel the stretch in this class!

YIN  YOGA: This style of yoga class is focused on the connective tissues such as ligaments, bones and the joints.  While the class itself may be more soft and passive the poses are often held for longer periods of time.  Yin Yoga is designed to compliment your usual yoga practice.

BEGINNER YOGI TIP: Experiment with different classes to find your perfect yoga flow!

Some of the above information was sourced from: About.com, Wikipedia, Iyengar-yoga.