There was a time when I didn’t really think much of yoga. As a runner, I’m used to sweating it out, lots of intense movement, burning tons of energy, and actually going places. Yoga seemed like something for those who wanted to relax (never mind that I clearly needed to relax) and stretch. It didn’t seem like something I had time for. And I was sure I’d get bored with holding poses, standing still, breathing deeply.
But then I decided to test out a yoga class at my local gym. And it… was pretty intense. The next day I was sore, but felt relaxed and invigorated. And I could hardly wait to go back and give the Vinyasa class another try.
What I hadn’t realized before was that yoga encompasses a wide variety of styles and methods of practice, each of which is based on the foundation of breathing, balance, mindfulness, and spirituality. And depending on what the needs of your body and mind are – whether it be more meditative and restorative, or more physically demanding – there’s probably a method of yoga practice that is a good fit for you.
The tricky part is knowing which style that is. Here’s a quick yoga style guide to get you on the right track and to the right class.
all images via istockphoto.com