With so many types of yoga, choosing the right style isn’t an easy task. There is no right or wrong type of yoga, just one that might be right for you at this moment.
For example, people who live fast lives often prefer slower hatha yoga practice, while those who like to take things slowly often enjoy energetic ashtanga classes. On the other hand, once in a while you might want to mix things up, depending on what your body and soul may feel like that day.
If you are a beginner read through the short descriptions of yoga styles taught at the We DU Yoga studio and allow your heart to tell you where to start.
Yoga styles you can practice at the We DU Yoga studio
Vinyasa yoga is one of the most popular styles of yoga, taught at most yoga studios in the world. “Vinyasa” in Sanskrit translates to “place in a special way”. We named our studio classes “Vinyasa flow” to emphasise the continuous rhythmic flow of poses, almost like a dance. The movement is synchronized with the breath, which makes it meditative and calming, even though you are in continuous movement.
If you like relaxing music, variety and that feeling of yoga being a dance, go for Vinyasa flow. It’s great for all levels, especially beginners. No two classes of Vinyasa flow are the same. It’s a dynamic practice so you don’t have to worry about sitting still for a long time.
“Ashtanga” translates to “having eight limbs or components”, which refers to the eight limbs of yoga as defined by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras. One of the main characteristics of Ashtanga is that you move through a rhythmic series of postures practised the same way every time. Ashtanga yoga consists of six dynamic series of specific poses taught in order. You move to the next series once you have mastered the previous one. In its original form, Ashtanga is taught Mysore-style, which means that students memorise their own practice and move at the pace of their own breath while teachers give hands-on adjustments. However, you can also join our studio classes or take private classes where our knowledgeable yoga teacher will lead you through primary series or secondary series and the closing sequence. The primary series of poses called Yoga Chikitsa or “yoga therapy” focuses on cleaning and purifying the internal organs, while building strength and flexibility.
Don’t get intimidated before even trying Ashtanga. It might sound hard or rigid, but it’s far from both. “No pain, no gain” is the last thing you’ll hear in our Ashtanga class or any other yoga class for that matter. Be gentle to yourself and simply witness to how your body and mind changes every time you do Ashtanga. Following a set series of postures will ensure you get a balanced practice every time. Go with a flow of the sequence. As you become familiar with Ashtanga, you will go deeper into the poses, you won’t need to focus on instructions or your breath and you’ll simply be in the moment. If you stick to your practice, you will enjoy the meditative state that it gets you into and you just might end up with both your legs behind your head.
Hatha translates as “Ham” meaning “Sun” and “Tham” meaning “Moon”. It’s designed to balance opposing forces of masculine (sun, active, hot) and feminine aspect (moon, cool, receptive), which are present within all of us. This balance also refers to strength and flexibility, mind and heart, breath and movement. If you are taking a Hatha class you can expect a mixture of poses (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation techniques. In Yoga Upanishad the meaning of Hatha Yoga is to bring the balance between mental and physical bodies. Looking from a traditional perspective, all styles practiced in our studio could actually be described under Hatha yoga.
If you are looking for a gentler practice, focusing on controlled breathing and poses, relaxation and mindfulness, our Hatha classes could be your perfect match.
Dharma yoga includes a progressive series of vinyasa sequences designed to allow the free flow of energy up and down the spine and throughout the physical body and mind. The postures include stretching, twists, balancing poses, backbends and some inversions. Because Dharma Yoga has several series vinyasas, it can be practiced by yogis at the level appropriate to their skills. During Dharma yoga classes we also practice pranayama breathing exercises and meditation.
Some benefits of Dharma yoga are that it strengthens the body and improves flexibility and agility, as well as calms and strengthens the nervous system.
Yin Yoga was founded in the late 70s by martial arts expert and yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Unlike previous yoga styles, Yin yoga’s name doesn’t derive from Sanskrit. Yin yoga (also known as Taoist yoga) got its name from Chinese philosophy, where yin is one of the two opposing principles (yin and yang), whose interaction influences everything in the universe. Yin is passive. Therefore, Yin yoga is a slower style of yoga in which poses are held for several breaths or even minutes. It’s done without any strength. Your body becomes comfortable in the pose and the muscles are allowed to relax with gravity and rest. It focuses on the body’s connective tissues, which improves flexibility and increases circulation. It goes hand in hand with Yang yoga and provides a great balance to other more dynamic yoga practices like vinyasa flow.
If you are recovering from hard workouts or you simply want to stretch and enjoy slower-paced practice, try one of our Yin workshops.
Still not sure which yoga style to start practicing?
Get in touch and we will figure it out together!
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