Which Type Of Yoga Is Good For Me?
Yoga is now a pretty mainstream form of exercise with the benefits of regular practice being many. Depending on the type you are doing the focus and therefore benefits may vary. Typical benefits of practicing include improved core strength, improved balance and posture as well as increased flexibility and mobility. Also mentally it can help with reducing stress and anxiety. There is no age limit and the type you choose to practice should be guided but what you are hoping to achieve from the class.
The Main Types Of Yoga
There are a few main types of yoga offered in Sydney and each type has a slightly different method and focus meaning it may be more or less appropriate for what you are after.
Hatha yoga is the simplest form and most western yoga comes under the Hatha blanket. The poses in Hatha are straightforward and are common to all styles. The pace of Hatha is slow and gentle, the classes are static meaning you will perform one pose come out of it and them move to another pose.
Hatha is suitable for beginners and good for older individuals and those a bit injury prone.
Iyengar Yoga has a mix of traditional yoga poses where the emphasis is on alignment, balance and strength. Iyengar classes often use props (like straps, blankets, bolsters and blocks) which are used by most students, from beginners to advanced, to allow them to move gradually and safely into the poses. It is particularly helpful for individuals rehabilitating an injury and participants who are weak or inflexible. An Iyengar class pauses between poses to allow integration of the pose into the whole body. It is suitable for everyone, from beginners to advanced students and teachers are trained extensively to work with those with with an injury, are not very flexible, those who over extend or with hypermobility as well as those with good facility. Iyengar is suitable for beginners and the injury prone.
Bikram yoga uses poses designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles and is performed in a heated room (heated to 40 deg Celsius!) so practicing Bikram also is considered to facilitate the removal of toxins from your body.
Bikram is great if you love to sweat, it’s an intense form and best for the energetic individual and is biased towards people wanting to improve their flexibility. I probably wouldn’t suggest this as being your first port of call when starting on your yoga journey.
Along with Vinyasa, Ashtanga is one of the most vigorous forms of yoga. Ashtanga is a traditional form of yoga and classes can begin with a chant and then uses a sequence of poses interspersed with sun salutations all in tune with your breathing.
Ashtanga with its breathing focus is good for individuals wishing to extract the mental benefits of exercise. Also the transitions from one pose to the next in Ashtanga is good for coordination as well as improving flexibility and strength.
Vinyasa is a fast paced yoga moving and flowing from one pose to the next. Vinyasa is a physical workout as you move between poses whilst linking your breath.
Vinyasa like Ashtanga is probably not suited for the individual new to yoga and is suitable for people looking to increase their flexibility, strength, coordination as well as their general fitness and toning.
Yin yoga encourages a balanced approach to your body and is designed to increase circulation in your joints and improve flexibility as well as improve the body’s flow of qi. The focus is on seated postures with long holds (from 3-5 minutes) to access a deep stretch.
Yin is good for everyone but particularly good for stressed individuals.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic does not endorse any specific treatments, procedures, products mentioned. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Which Yoga Is Right For Me? should consult his or her general practitioner, physiotherapist, yoga instructor or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.