As someone who has loved and practiced yoga since 1998, I have a huge beef* with today’s mainstream yoga ‘industry’. (*with sorry to the vegetarians and vegans out there)
My ground beef is this: these days, a number yoga studios pander to what’s in vogue and trendy, jumping on the bandwagon du jour to give their customers what they think they want.
Sadly, this seems to be at the expense of giving their customers something ‘different’, while teaching, informing and inspiring the ever-growing population of yogis and yoginis that there is a whole world of yoga out there beyond Hot Yoga, Ashtanga or Power Yoga.
I’m on a mission. And my mission is to help you identify if in fact you’re in a yoga rut; to help you break out of the particular rut; and shake things yoga parramatta up by introducing you to a bright shiny world of yoga, beyond what you’re probably currently doing.
Our experience/history with yoga started with my first Hatha class in 1998, in a non-descript little dojo in a suburban rob local mall. Back then, yoga was still quite perimeter and not that ‘trendy’. The master and teacher, a middle-aged Englishman who had clearly spent a large part of his younger years getting together with yogis and ” teachers ” in Of india, gave me what I know now to be my solid foundation and deep love for yoga that continues to serve me today.
And over the past 15 years, I have tried a few more types of practice : Ashtanga, Kripalu, Iyengar, Restorative healing, Bikram, Jivamukti, Anusara, Kundalini, Moksha, Power, and Yin : feeling a natural affinity for some… and a complete aversion to others (just because it’s yoga, doesn’t mean that it’s all great! )
I share this fact not to impress or dazzle you, but because I’m that most yoginis (and yogis) today are doing themselves a huge disservice.
Yes, I’m thrilled that you’re practicing yoga, but are you stuck in a yoga rut?
Here are 5 easy questions to ask yourself to spot if you are.
Do you only ever go to Hot Yoga classes, or high-intensity Ashtanga, Power or Vinyasa classes?
Did you jump straight into the world of yoga through Hot Yoga without trying any other type of yoga beforehand?
Can you name 5 other different types of yoga? Have you tried several types?
Do you know how and when different types of yoga can benefit you (your mind, body and soul) and why?
Do you know how to locate these classes in your city?
Not only is variety the tart of life even in yoga, but wiggling up your regular routine and practice is a fantastic way to get in connect with what your mind/body/spirit needs on any given day, which is never going to function as same collected from one of day to the next.
For instance, if you’re feeling sluggish, a vigorous Ashtanga or Vinyasa class is strictly what you should get your energy going.
In the Fall when it’s cold, windy and wet and you’re cold to the bone, there’s nothing better than the warmth of a Moksha or Hot Yoga class.
And if you’re a driven, intense Type A personality and have just done endurance 60-minute spin class, the best thing for your body would be a gentle yet highly effective Restorative healing class, or even a Hatha class, to gently stretch out muscle tissue… and not a 75-minute Hot Yoga class!!
Don’t get me wrong. I love my Moksha (Hot Yoga) practice, but there are many days that, and in spite of living in a major urban center, I wish I had easier access to a Kripalu, Restorative healing or wonderful ‘old school’ Hatha class when i felt like it, and within walking distance. Unfortunately, it all reduces down to demand and supply. Fewer people today are clamoring for Kripalu, Hatha, Kundalini or Restorative healing classes than they are for Hot Yoga or Ashtanga/Vinyasa/Power yoga classes.
To help help you break from the yoga rut, here’s our ‘playlist’ of 5 different types of yoga for you to explore and shake up your routine.
The key here is to try a different type of yoga class and see how it resonates with you, and then forward movement, make sure tune in from what your mind/body/soul needs on any given day, by opting for one of these instead of doing the same-old-same-old type of class week after week, which not only puts repetitive action stress and strain on your muscles and joints, but also limits the magic and postiive impact of your yoga practice in your life, on and beyond the sparring floor.
Over time, Hatha Yoga describes any of the physical practices of yoga. Today, a class marketed as Hatha generally means upon entering a gentle, slow-paced introduction to the most basic yoga postures, with no flow between postures. You probably won’t progress up a sweat in a Hatha yoga class, but you should end up leaving the class feeling longer, looser, and more relaxed. A Hatha class is a good destination to learn beginners postures, relaxation techniques, and grow comfortable with yoga in general. It incorporates foundational asanas (postures), pranayama (regulated breathing) and yoga.
Kripalu is called the yoga of consciousness. This gentle, introspective practice guides practitioners to hold postures to explore and release emotional and spiritual blockages. Kripalu is 180° away from goal-oriented Power or Ashtanga practices. Vying is dejected and precise conjunction is not as important such as some other yoga traditions. There are three development in Kripalu yoga. Stage One focuses on learning each healthy posture and exploring your body’s abilities. Stage Two involves holding postures for an extended time, developing concentration and inner awareness. Stage Three is like a yoga in motion in which the movement collected from one of healthy posture to another arises mindlessly and in an instant. It’s simply blissful!
In a Restorative healing yoga class, you’ll spend long periods of time lying on blocks, bedsheets and yoga bolsters in passive postures that allow muscle tissue to relax. It’s an absolutely delicious way to way to melt away stress and alleviate frayed nerves, and is also highly beneficial if you’re dealing with an accident or illness. Contrary to what you many think, these passive postures are extremely powerful and effective, while not having to have to generate the kind of effort you would in yet another kind of practice. That said, a good Restorative healing class is more rejuvenating when compared to a quick sleep. Studios often offer them on Friday nights. What better way to remove a stressful week and energize yourself for your weekend.
Yin yoga is a quiet, meditative yoga practice. It is also called Taoist yoga. Yin focuses on prolonging connective cells and is meant to complement yang yogas (the more physically exerting muscle-forming Ashtanga, Vinyasa or Flow type practices) Yin postures are passive, but not in the same manner as Restorative healing yoga. With Yin, you’re supposed to relax muscles and let gravity do the work. Full disclosure: in Yin, you can expect to offer the postures for a long time, 5 to 20 minutes in some cases. Not only does that create space as well as restore and expand your range of flexibility, but it’s a great possibility to practice yoga and quieting the monkey mind. One of the amazing reasons for having Yin yoga is that it enables you to release those deep, intense lots of tension that most of us hold in our key joints: ankles, knees, body, the whole back, neck, and neck. And the outcome is increased flexibility while appreciating your body’s individual abilities.
Kundalini practice focuses on awakening the action at the base of the vertebrae and drawing it upward. In addition to postures, a typical class will also include chanting, yoga, and breathing exercises. What you can expect is constantly moving, invigorating postures. The fluidity of the practice is intended to secrete the Kundalini (serpent) energy in your body. Most people aren’t aware that they have even it : that is, Kundalini energy. The easiest way to think about it is as an energy supply, coiled like a sleeping snake at the base of the vertebrae, waiting to be awakened and tapped. And the Kundalini practice aims to do just that : wake and heart rate a powerful prana/life force energy upward through the body. What you can expect from a Kundalini practice is an amazing yoga buzz, breathing that will skyrocket your power, and postures and yoga that will keep you grounded and focused. It’s more than just a great workout; it’s an excellent option for anyone seeking greater spiritual and mind/body awareness.