Do you feel stressed in your everyday life? Between children, work, bills, chores and all the nuisances that are dropped on you last minute, you struggle to unwind.
Speaking of which, some of you will have been advised to go running. The problem, however, is that you do not have any green spaces near you to do so (running in town with gas exhausts isn't a great idea).
Others people rave about the benefits of yoga!
But how do I pick the right yoga classes near me?
Learn everything there is to know about every type of yoga and Yoga's history!
Hatha Yoga is the most common form of yoga in the West.
It is based on linking a string of held poses (for about 3 minutes each) and is associated with concentration and breathing exercises.
The session always ends with some relaxation techniques.
Different levels are available: from beginner to expert level.
For group rates between £15 and £25 (1.5 hours) or private lessons (to be discussed with the teacher).
If you practice regularly, you will see improvements in:
- Your flexibility;
- Your concentration;
- Your memory;
- Your sleep;
- Your anxiety and stress management.
Why not discover the origins of yoga as well!
Kripalu Yoga originates from Hatha Yoga.
Indeed, this form of yoga is also based on breathing, meditation, relaxation, posture maintenance and body awareness.
The word kripalu means "to be compassionate". Thus, in practicing this type of yoga, the focus will be on seeking inner wisdom and compassion in everyday life.
If you are interested in personal development, this is the yoga for you.
Kundalini Yoga focuses on the harmonisation of energy centers and the awakening of vital energy.
It consists of exercises called kriya ("being in movement" in Sanskrit) based on:
- Relaxation ;
- A series of progressive movements (the goal is to gently reach as far as possible);
With consistent practice, you will be well equipped to fight stress and also be able to connect with people more naturally.
Power Yoga is a recent form of yoga.
As the name suggests, it is a very dynamic yoga based on a sequence of poses.
What characterises this yoga: the fact that it is practiced in a heated room.
Thus, it is aimed primarily at people in good physical condition. If you have cardiovascular or respiratory problems, ask your doctor.
In any case, Power Yoga gives you:
- Better endurance;
- Toned muscles;
- Improved circulation;
- Better stress management.
Yoga Iyengar is another modern form of yoga.
Like all other yoga, it is based on breathing and poses to practice on a regular basis.
In this instance, yoga poses are accompanied by props (ropes and chairs, for example).
This is to facilitate the practice of yoga and to open this discipline to beginners.
A new form of modern yoga: Yoga Sivananda.
This also takes advantage of more traditional varieties of yoga while promoting:
- Positive thinking;
- Meditation ;
As a result, this form of yoga is based on 5 principles:
- Practising gentle poses for the body;
- Breathing properly throughout the session;
- Relaxing the body and mind;
- Promoting positive thinking through meditation;
- Eating in a way that favours vegetarianism.
If you like meat, that's fine. Otherwise, this type of yoga may interest you.
Sudarshan Kriya Yoga
This is a form of yoga entirely based on breathing. You'll find no sequence of poses here.
You must adopt a single position throughout the Sudarshan Kriya session: the lightening bolt (or thunderbolt) position, which consists of putting your bum on your heels, your knees bent, your spine straight and your hands on your thighs (palms down).
Then, you listen to your natural breathing rhythms.
The aim is to create a link between the body and the mind by breathing to synchronise all your biological rhythms.
According to fans, this type of yoga offers you a feeling of well-being and harmony while getting rid of negative emotions (anger, stress, depression, worry, anxiety ...).
Discover the amazing history of yoga too!
If you are an expert in yoga and expecting a child, don't worry. You will be able to adapt your daily exercises to suit your needs.
However, as a general rule, this activity is not recommended for pregnant women who are just starting out in yoga.
If you still want to practice yoga, we recommend that you look into pre-natal yoga (or yoga for pregnant women).
Prenatal yoga is excellent during pregnancy as it prepares you for childbirth.
It helps you:
- Relax ;
- Keep in touch with your body and your child;
- Improve your flexibility (or maintain it);
- Breathe better;
- Fight against mood swings;
- Learn about childbirth and your role as a mother;
- Combat physical pain related to the development of the child (primarily related to the back area).
What is unique about this type of exercise is that the teacher is experienced teaching pregnant women.
Your teacher can help you in a way that is tailored to your needs.
The other name of Yoga Nidra is "Yogic sleep". So, you understand that this type of yoga is going to be very relaxing.
In fact, it is closer to sophrology.
It is generally performed lying down, with your back straight and feet spread slightly or sitting.
The session begins with some relaxation methods accompanied by deep, regular and slow breathing. This will help you get into a near-sleep state.
You are completely relaxed, but you are still aware of what is going on around you.
As a rule, the teacher will guide the participant to visualise a soothing environment. This is to help fight any negative emotions he/she may have.
You can use it to help you:
- Fall asleep more easily;
- Improve the quality of your sleep;
- Manage your stress and emotions better;
- Be more focused.
Ashtanga Yoga - Raja Yoga
Raja Yoga is the other name of Ashtanga (or Astanga) Yoga.
In Sanskrit, "raja" means "royal" while "asta" means "eight" and "anga" "member".
So, as you can imagine, it's an important form of yoga. Its 8 members (as described in the Yogas Sutras of Patanjali) are:
- Yama: self-restriction;
- Niyama: observance;
- Asana: positioning of the body;
- Pranayama: breathing;
- Pratyahara: sensory transcendence;
- Dharana: concentration;
- Dhyana: meditation;
- Samadhi: self-realisation.
It is considered one of the most comprehensive varieties of yoga (often called the "yoga of the culmination").
Here you will find a mix of all forms of yoga in one.
Vinyasa Yoga comes from Ashtanga Yoga. However, contrary to the latter, which consists of always doing the same sequence of moves, Vinyasa yoga is more free and dynamic.
Always focusing on your breathing, you let yourself go in order to synchronise your movements with your breathing. Everything starts from this.
If you have the image of a static yoga, lying on the ground, this form of yoga will take you by surprise as it is very rhythmic and intense.
Similar to choreography, you make each pose in a fluid way, one after the other.
Very popular with people looking for an indoor sport, it is practiced by all ages.
In addition to sculpting your body without building it up, you eliminate fat and rid yourself of bad energy.
According to specialists, it is still necessary to be a bit athletic to fully appreciate a class in Vinyasa Yoga.
Another form of yoga created in recent years: Anusara Yoga. Centered on the heart and listening to your body, it is a yoga accessible to everyone.
In the same way as Vinyasa Yoga, Anusara Yoga entails chaining several movements together, in complete freedom.
The goal is to regain self-confidence and ability by succeeding in positions that were thought to be difficult to achieve at first glance.
By relying on meditation, concentration and breathing exercises, you come out of the class feeling perfectly relaxed.
There you have it, the most common forms of yoga in the West. If you are interested in this practice, we advise you to check your local area to find the different associations offering lessons. This will help you to become acquainted with a specific form of yoga, which you never could have imagined.
However, if you want to excel at a specific type of yoga, why not check out the profiles of our yoga teachers on our website.
Perhaps you will find the yogi who can give you the serenity you seek?
In any case, in a world where everything moves at such a fast pace and where it is increasingly difficult to focus on yourself and your emotions, yoga is an oasis of happiness that can rectify many modern ills.
These include stress, primarily, but also fatigue, anger or anxiety about the future.
If I'm searching for yoga classes near me in the UK, I find them on Superprof. They have hundreds of tutors in all yoga disciplines all over the country.