How To Choose The Right Yoga For Your Needs
These days yoga is a relatively mainstream form of exercise where the benefits of performing regular yoga practice being numerous and varied. Depending on the style of yoga you are performing means the focus and therefore the benefits will vary. Some of the typical benefits listed regarding the practicing of yoga include; improved core strength, assisting in building better balance and posture as well as helping increase flexibility and mobility of the body’s soft tissues and joints. Mentally it has long be associated with helping reducing stress levels and managing anxiety. A fantastic activity choice, regularly promoted by physiotherapists worldwide with virtually no age limit. The style you choose to practice, should be dictated by what your goals are and what you hope to get out of the class, be it, relaxation, mobility, balance, strength and fitness. As an exercise discipline yoga has a lot to offer and is not just for the young and flexible.
The Main Types Of Yoga Offered In Sydney
There are a few main types of yoga offered in Sydney and each type has a slightly different method and focus. This means a specific individual style may be more or less appropriate for your needs.
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 and often a go to referral option given from many physios looking to get some of their older stiffer active males into with the intention of them safely regaining some of their mobility back.
Iyengar Yoga has a mix of traditional 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. The use of blankets, bolsters… allow individuals in the classes 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 ideally if the teachers are trained extensively to work with individuals with an injury, who are not very flexible, those who overextend, or with hypermobility… 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!). Due to the heated room, practicing Bikram is also considered to facilitate the removal of toxins from your body. Bikram is great if you love to sweat, it’s an intense form of yoga and great for the energetic individual, biased towards people wanting to improve their flexibility. Personally, I probably wouldn’t suggest this as being your first port of call when starting on your yoga journey as it can be a bit of a shock to the system and many find initially, they require taking multiple breaks throughout the sessions prior to being able to complete the full class.
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 followed with 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 not just physical benefits of exercise. Also, the transitions from one pose to the next in Ashtanga is great for improving coordination as well as flexibility, strength and general fitness.
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 more suitable for people looking to increase their flexibility, strength, coordination as well as their general fitness and toning. Not a starting point when rehabilitating following injury or pain episode.
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 great for everyone but particularly good for individuals not wanting aggressive stretching with regular posture changes. A good choice for those looking to access mental health benefits of this relaxing form of yoga, so is fantastic 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.