What style do you practice?(29 Posts)
Hello, my first MN post!
I've done a couple of yoga DVDs in the past and been to a few classes, but after a break, am now focused on regular yoga practice at home. I'm currently doing 30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne as a re-introduction.
I love vinyasa yoga but am looking to incorporate a few styles, and learn the ins-and-outs of yoga. What style do you mostly practice/prefer?
Can anyone give me the low down on each style?
Hi - I'm a Vinyasa fan, too. I think Ashtanga is also quite similar to Vinyasa (it has a similarly-paced flow, breath synchronised to asanas, etc) but it has a rigid sequence.
I have also done Hatha Yoga which is very gentle and felt too slow for me.
Bikram or Hot Yoga is when the studio is heated to about 40 C and sounds like madness to me, but it certainly has its fans
My office mate does Ashtanga and really likes the rigid sequence. Sounds terrible to me. I've got a friend who does Bikram and raves about it but she's the kind of person who goes for a 50km cycle followed by a 15km run for fun at the weekend so we'll ignore her. I like Hatha, I'm a bit high energy in the rest of my life and find the slow pace and breathing quite intoxicating. I usually come home from my class and go straight to bed completely chilled out.
IME Iyengar is the best for understanding each pose in detail, and is an excellent grounding for any other style as the teachers build up the poses and really explain what you should be doing. It also uses props such as belts and blocks that can help you to work towards poses that you can't yet do. It has a really rigorous training and qualification programme so the teachers are all v experienced.
I don't think I've ever done Iyengar. Do you spend a lot of time in each pose, working on getting it just right? Is there any flow from one pose to the next?
I've only done Hatga and that suits me very well for now. I really should get back to it.
That is all great. When I've built up a decent foundation of understanding and gotten used to them, I'd like to incorporate a few different styles as I think they all have their individual benefits and offer different things.
Hatha sounds great for a more calming affect when life gets hectic, etc. Will try Iyengar first then Ashtanga, Vinysasa, etc.
There's a bit of flow sometimes in Iyengar but mostly it's individual poses, although the order you do them in tends to build so it's a logical sequence. Any form of physical yoga can be called hatha - the yoga poses are actually only one of eight limbs of yoga, the others include breathing, meditation, and various guidelines for leading a good life, so hatha classes can cover a wide range of approaches, though they tend to not be too strenuous in practice. For Iyengar Yoga: The Iyengar Way by Silva Mehta is a good introductory book with clear pictures and modifications to poses, or Light on Yoga by Mr Iyengar himself for a bit more detail if you're interested in reading about the poses and the background.
I've loved doing yoga though sadly I'm too injured at the moment from other sports to be able to do much.
I'm sorry about your injuries I'm suffering from both hips at the moment and have a chronic knee problem as well. Yoga is brilliant for my knee but I have to be careful with my hips and adjust many poses not to hurt myself further. It's a tradeoff, unfortunately.
My studio does "Core Yoga Flow" which is a blend of lots of different styles. It's pretty athletic and I think one of my favourite instructors there is an Ashtanga teacher in her other life. My studio has lots of classes with lots of different instructors so you can find one whose style you like.
IMO liking your teacher is really important in yoga, if you find them grating (like one very loud and whiny instructor I had) i find you can't enjoy the class, even if the postures are all the same.
Teacher is definitely the most important reason that I will like a class or not. It is more important than the style of yoga for me.
There is one teacher I tried recently out of desperation (my usual teacher was on an extended holiday) but swore to myself that I would never do a class with her again, even if she is the last yoga teacher in Southern Europe. I cant stand her whiny faux-gentle voice in class but it's mostly how she keeps interjecting these completely irrelevant and distracting questions like "Are you a good mother?", "What are your worst problems?" etc
Eww, that sounds awful, the teacher interjecting. I don't have vast experience but I find more 'distant' teachers (for want of a better word) work better for me. Not too jolly and friendly.
"Are you a good mother?" she sounds like a knob.
My new favourite teacher is a man who talks about the spiritual aspects of yoga in a really practical non-wanky way and gently teases when you get yourself tangled up with left and right
All. The. Time.
Practical and non-wanky is good. I don't mind talk about centering or grounding yourself, setting an intention, etc but can't stand nonsense like "This pose strengthens the immune system". No it doesn't.
I went to a class that linked each pose with a chakra, that was a bit much for me. I completely agree about finding a good teacher for you though.
I'm working my way through a Subtle Realm/Freedom Style class on YogaAnytime at the moment, which is really interesting (but would probably frustrate many people who feel Hatha is too slow!!)
It's a foundation class, looking at how small changes in posture/hip rotation/etc affects breathing with some anatomy teaching thrown in - quite a meditative, introspective approach.
It's been really helpful for me to understand how my body is put together (rather than any super-bendy instructor!) and will hopefully translate well into more of the subtleties of Asana practice.
(I am ready for something a bit faster for my next series, though!!)
My practice has gone to pot this year thanks to a particularly long and unpleasant fibro flare-up, but in the normal run of things i have a daily vinyasa flow practice that i adapt depending on my symptoms. I have easy, moderate and challenging routines, so just go for whichever feels right on that day (unfortunately even the easy one is challenging at the moment).
My class is broadly sivananda in style though my teacher is quite eclectic in his approach. The asanas are held for longer, which i often find harder work than a dynamic vinyasa session. Sivananda puts more emphasis on the other limbs of yoga than other styles, so may not appeal to someone just looking for a workout.
I'll take a look at Sivananda. I don't think I've ever done it before.
Sivananda yoga is beautiful and holistic - a fixed sequence but with lots of possibility to add variations along the way - sun salutations, inversions, forward bends, backbends, standing poses plus time for pranayama and meditation. take a look at www.sivananda.org for a centre near you -
Om Namah Sivaya
None of that is near me, unfortunately. I will look for a Sivananda class around these parts but won't be holding my breath for it
Hatha: soft and relaxing.
Kundalini: spiritual. Gong bath anyone?
Ashtanga: full on and flat out. Sequences.
Iyengar: focuses on improving each pose and developing your practice.
Lie down in corpse pose. Meditation. Gong sounds and you let the sound wash over you. Weirdly soporific.
I miss yoga.
Why do you miss yoga, Wolfie? Surely there are at least some poses that you can do
says the 'yogi' spending the day in bed because of hip pain
Ashtanga here, but that is mainly because that is what my local studio teaches and I suspect I would enjoy any sort of vinyasa based style. I find it is the right combination of power, strength, flexibility and feeling like I've actually done a work out.
One of my teachers is Iyengar trained and I love her classes - she still teaches the Ashtanga sequence but is very precise in her positioning which has been fantastic for me as a beginner/ intermediate.
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