Yoga is no longer seen as the domain of ageing hippies, but is now recognised as an effective panacea for all ills……..this was the headline in the “Daily Express” article by Peter Tory.
Peter gave his own report on his own experience at his first Hatha class. He also went on to explain that this was one of the many types of classes available.
Increasingly as teachers we see students coming along for this “panacea” and sometimes they are unaware of what they are letting themselves in for. They do not always have the confidence to ask about what “type” of yoga they are “doing” and what the benefits are. Others are eager to know as they want to try or not to try certain types of yoga that they have heard about.
As teachers we do our best to put them on the right path. It was good to read an article that did try to explain the differences and where to gain some information. I thought I would share the information given with you :
“There are a number of different styles of yoga, although most practised in the West are forms of Hatha Yoga, which is based around series of postures which are called asanas, breathing exercises know as pranayama and some meditation or relaxation. As well as the common types described below, more unusual yoga hybrids include YOGILATES, a mix of yoga and pilates, and DISCO YOGA, which originated in the U.S.A.
ASTANGA YOGA, on which POWER YOGA is based, is the most dynamic of the traditional forms –
and the most demanding physically. It involves sequences of breathing and postures linked by jumps and builds stamina, strength and flexibility. You can do a beginners’ course but a reasonable level of fitness is suggested.
IYENGAR YOGA, developed by BKS Iyengar, focuses more precision in postures that are held for several breaths. But it isn’t static –
you still have to work and concentrate hard. Props such as foam blocks are used to help students ge their bodies into the correct alignment.
Association for Yoga Studios (Formally know as VINIYOGA) develops practices for individual conditions and needs. It uses the main elements found in other styles, working in particular on integrating the flow of breath with the postures, but is wide-
ranging, employing different approaches depending on the goals being aimed for.
Therapeutic yoga, tailors posture to specific problems, from chronic fatigue to sports injuries.
You can also go to specialist pregnancy classes. Some positions are not recommended, but antenatal yoga concentrates largely on breathing and stretches to help in labour. Yoga is growing in popularity, inspired by the word of mouth and celebrity exponents. More and more classes are available. To find a teacher near you, contact the British Wheel of Yoga. Local leisure centres and health clubs will often hold classes, while in larger towns and cities you’ll find specialist yoga centres.
These are a guide to the types of yoga you may find in a class. You should check the qualifications of your teacher and theirs and your own aptitude for the type of yoga they teach.