Belfast is the 12th largest city in the United Kingdom and the second-largest in Ireland, and we know how stressful city life can be. Sometimes it is very hard to unwind and de-stress in larger cities like London or Edinburgh, where the environment is crowded and loud.

Would you like to know what you can do to ease your daily life and reduce your stress levels?

Yoga is an ancient and complex practice, rooted in Indian philosophy, that combines the body and mind through physical postures (asanas), meditation (dyana), breathing techniques (pranayama) and sometimes even nutrition. In western culture, yoga has been practised to help decrease stress, reduce blood pressure and drop your heart rate. But remember that yoga began as a spiritual practice, and you can integrate this into your practice as well if you want.

The regular practice of yoga has several health benefits, research suggests that yoga helps in the following aspects:

  • Improves general well-being by relieving stress
  • Relieves pain from tension accumulated in the lower back and neck or knees.
  • Helps people who are overweight, through discipline.
  • Helps people with anxiety disorders and depression
  • Relieves menopause symptoms
  • Lessens the risk factors of chronic conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

If you are looking for something that will help you enhance your general well-being, yoga is a highly recommended discipline to get you started.

The great thing about yoga is that everyone can do it, this is because yoga is a diverse discipline, that offers different kinds of practice that adapt to your needs and goals. No need to be strong or flexible, yoga will teach you how to listen to your body and improve little by little.

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The Different Types Of Yoga

There are 7 major types of yoga, each and one of them has a specific practice, poses and philosophy. Here we will just give an overview of their particularities and differences. But if you feel more inclined to know more about a certain type of yoga, we recommend you to do more research if any of these have watched your attention, and you want to practice it in your city.

girl doing yoga
Woman practising yoga. Source Unsplash

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga means the 'discipline of force', this is because Hatha yoga is the umbrella of the discipline of yoga and many other types use physical technical postures of Hatha. The goal of Hatha yoga is to combine asanas, pranayama and dyana to achieve a mastery of the body to reach spiritual perfection.

Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga yoga is more athletic and challenging because it follows a set of postures in a sequence. You might also know this type of yoga as Vinyasa yoga, which refers to the flowing movement that links the physical postures during the sequence. Ashtanga is physically more demanding and requires more endurance and flexibility to achieve the asanas and pranayamas. Some people consider that the level of mindfulness is also elevated due to the concentration that is required to follow the sequence.

Bikram yoga

Bikram yoga was founded by Indian-born American yoga guru Bikram Choudhury and gained popularity in the 1990s. This type of yoga consists of a set of 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a heated room up to 104℉ (40℃) with 40% humidity. The aim is to reproduce the Indian climate that Choudhury knew. Since then, different forms of Hot yoga have emerged with different sequences and postures. It has been internationally recognized to increase flexibility, detox through seating and increase cardiovascular fitness after 12 sessions of yoga.

Iyengar yoga

This type of yoga focuses on the precision and alignment of the asanas, it uses a number of accessories to help you reach the perfect alignment, such as blocks, bands, blankets, and cushions. This is a slower style of yoga but requires a high level of concentration and mindfulness to achieve the correct alignment.

Kundalini yoga

Kundalini combines asanas, pranayamas and sound in the form of chanting, it is designed to activate your spiritual energy known as shakti. A regular class begins with an opening chant followed by a series of asanas and pranayamas before closing with a dyana or a chant. The spiritual aspect of Kundalini has proved to enhance your mood, focus, strength and lower blood pressure, as well as a balanced metabolism.

Restorative yoga

A huge benefit of restorative yoga is stress relief, this type of yoga focuses on fewer postures that are held for a longer period of time (up to 20 minutes). As a result, participants can achieve a state of deep relaxation.

Yin yoga

Yin yoga is similar to restorative yoga, it focuses on slow-paced asanas but adds stretches to lengthen muscles and connective tissues on a deeper level. This practice is known for activating the parasympathetic nervous system and allowing the body to release stress and tension, both physically and mentally.

yoga pose
Woman practising an advanced asana. Source Unsplash

Now, that you know a bit more about yoga, where can you practice? But most importantly, where can you find a place that offers the type of yoga you want to practice?

Here is a shortlist of the yoga studios in Belfast that gathers most of the types of yoga, but remember you can find them in almost any city.

Flow Studio in Belfast

Flow Studio is a professional and welcoming practice that will help you find the foundation for your flow.
Whether you want to teach yoga or expand your personal practice, Flow Academy gives you the necessary instruments to move forward in the direction you choose.

They offer dozens of classes at their studio but also online, prices vary depending on how many classes you want to take. A great offer of Flow Studio is the variety of teachers and types of yoga, they are a great community to start your practice.

The best Yoga tutors available
Isabela
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£30
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Jenny
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5 (9 reviews)
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£20
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Charlie
5
5 (7 reviews)
Charlie
£40
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Michele
4.8
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Michele
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Emilia
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Sarabjit kaur
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Laura
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Isabela
5
5 (12 reviews)
Isabela
£30
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Jenny
5
5 (9 reviews)
Jenny
£20
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Charlie
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5 (7 reviews)
Charlie
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Michele
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Emilia
5
5 (6 reviews)
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Jake
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5 (5 reviews)
Jake
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Sarabjit kaur
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4.9 (10 reviews)
Sarabjit kaur
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Namaste Yoga Centre

Since 2003, Namaste Yoga Center is located in a beautiful space full of light. They can teach yoga from the very basics to the more advanced standards, they are the only yoga centre to provide yoga classes for people who are recovering from an injury or illness.

They are very precise about the different levels they offer, making it easy for you to identify which class suits you better. Namaste Yoga Centre also offers yoga for kids if you want your children to be exposed to mindfulness of their mind and body.

Yoga Quarter

Yoga Quarter is warming, welcoming and vibrant local yoga studio in the heart of East and South Belfast. They offer different types of yoga classes, such as Vinyasa Flow, Slow Flow, Restorative Yoga, Pregnancy Yoga, Yin Yoga and Vinyasa Flow for beginners. If these are some styles of yoga you are looking for to start your practice, Yoga Quarter is a beautiful place to start and be part of their community.

Private Yoga Lessons In Belfast

If you are not ready to be taking yoga classes with a group, or you would like to have a tailored practice for you or with a group of friends, you can always consider a private yoga instructor via Superprof.

This option is great both for beginners or more advanced students, if you are a beginner it is always best to learn the asanas in the best way possible to avoid injuries or repeated mistakes that might occur during your practice.

But if you are a more advanced student, and you feel that group classes are slowing down your practice, a private lesson is a very good way to keep up improving your level. If you are more focused on pranayamas and dyanas and want to integrate these more into your practice, it is also possible to find someone that suits your needs.

We currently live stressful lives, so stressful that it might be difficult to even find a studio that adjusts to your schedule or budget, through Superprof you can find qualified yoga teachers near you all around the UK. From London, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Leeds but also located in Belfast depending on if you want an online practice or prefer a face-to-face class is what you feel more comfortable with.

Considering the effects of a stressful lifestyle in larger cities but also with the uncertainty of the Covid-19 crisis, it is important to focus on our well-being. Practising yoga on a regular basis will help you achieve a fulfilled spiritual life. It will also reduce your high blood pressure, the tension accumulated in your body, have a better posture and be part of a community that wants to focus on their general well-being.

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