How to choose your yoga style?
There are very different styles of yoga in terms of postures, rhythm, benefits. Here is a short guide to help you make the right choice.
Developed by Pattabhi Jois, this very dynamic yoga (or even acrobatic), is based on six series of postures chained with the breath. Originally, Ashtanga Yoga was developed for young men up to 25 years. The practitioner passes from one posture to another, sometimes with small jumps and keeps certain poses concentrating on Ujjai, breathing made sound by a contraction of the back of the throat. This discipline has the merit of strengthening muscularity and flexibility, but the repetitive aspect of the series can be weary. It is advisable to have an excellent physical condition.
Vinyasa Yoga (personal favorite)
Vinyasa Yoga, also known as Hatha Flow, consists in linking the postures in a fluid manner, being guided by your slow and controlled breathing. It comes from Ashtanga Yoga, but it is more free and creative, because it does not impose series of postures in a specific order.
From the name of its Indian designer B.K.S Iyengar, who died in 2014, this yoga is demanding, difficult, very precise in aligning different parts of the body. It is well suited to Westerners who do not have the same flexibility as the Indians… and often have a fairly developed ego! It uses supports (straps, bricks, blankets, ropes …) that facilitate the postures. A good teacher must allow time for his students to stay in postures in order to gain access to a meditative state. Thus, Iyengar encompasses Kundalini Yoga and Yin Yoga (see below). It has the advantage of correcting bad habits, it improves flexibility and endurance.
Kundalini Yoga has its source from Swami Vivekananda, and it was passed on to the greatest number by Yogi Bhajan who started his teaching during the hippie period in California. Kundalini is a primordial energy at the level of the spinal column, in the center of the spinal cord, which can snake from the sacrum to the top of the head. A Kundalini Yoga course aims to awaken this energy, to master it and thus to increase its consciousness towards the path of enlightenment. The session is composed of dynamic postures at a steady pace, techniques of breathing and recitation of mantras. This yoga is suitable for students in good physical condition.
Inspired by Paulie Zink, professor of martial arts and Tao Yoga, Paul Grilley and then Biff Mithoefer developed Yin Yoga. Yin Yoga or Restorative Yoga is a slow yoga where poses are held for a long time. So they are less numerous than in another types. By means of blankets, bricks and duffels, the practitioner settles comfortably in the posture. Yin Yoga aims to cultivate inner silence; It favors the release-taking resulting in moments of meditation. It is an excellent complement to other more active forms of yoga. It is accessible to all, whatever the yoga experience!
Fly Yoga (sounds appropriate for me doesn’t it?)
Developed by a group of physiotherapists, Fly Yoga gives a feeling of lightness. Set in a hammock or a large scarf suspended from the ceiling, the practitioner connects the asanas, but also the movements of gym and dance. At the end of the course, everyone meditates in their hammock.
Bikram Yoga was developed by Bikram Choupdhury from Hatha Yoga. It is practiced in a humid room heated to 40 ° with intensive postures which can change every 5 to 6 seconds. Heat makes the body more flexible, but this type of yoga can result in a loss of awareness of limits. There is a risk of fainting, nausea, cramping and dehydration despite the water bottle at hand. (It is totally inadvisable to cardiac patients…) A shower is essential at the end of a session!
I really hope that this helped you choose which one is right for you. And if not, give them all a go!