How to Pick the Right Yoga Class For You

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With so may styles of yoga, how do you pick the right one for you?

Have you ever found yourself half-way through a yoga class, thinking to yourself ‘oh boy, how did I get here.?’ You’re not the only one.

Different yoga styles are designed for different purposes. And if your body’s vibe is in the wrong place (energy-wise) for a certain style of yoga, it can make you feel tired and uncomfortable. And, you’re more than likely to never go back.

To help you choose the right class, we go through the most popular styles of yoga and what they do for the body, to help you choose the right one.

For Strength – Vinyasa:

No two classes are the same. These classes are a flow of strong poses designed to focus on breathing and holding the pose to create a strong connection with your lungs and muscles. If you’re looking to strengthen your body, this is the perfect class as you will be learning steadiness in your poses, learn comfort in your body and poses and focus on smooth and long breathing.

For Beginners – Hatha:

If you have never done yoga before, Hatha is the perfect choice. Classes are a mixture of different styles of yoga, from floor poses, to standing poses, to flow and meditation and are gentle, slow and perfect for beginners. You also hold poses for longer, to help you relax better at the end in meditation.

For Body Contouring – Power Yoga:

This is a nonstop yoga class of strong poses (like that of Vinyasa, but faster) which flows quickly between transitions to build muscle strength and contour the body. Classes are fast-paced and strong and recommended for the more experienced yogi. Power yoga classes are generally vigorous and physically challenging to help yogis develop strong core and support strength throughout the body.

For Tight Muscles and Posture – Iyengar (may also be referred to as Deep Relax):

Poses are held longer, alignment is key, and classes are structured around teaching students to pay closer attention to their musculoskeletal alignment. Deep Relax classes often use a lot of blocks, bolsters and blankets to help you get deeper into yoga positions and hold them for longer, ensuring a deep stretch within the layers of the muscles, for better relaxation and release of tension.

For Stress – Restorative:

Like Deep Relax, yoga is perfect for those of you who need some TLC on the body from being over tired, sore from injury or stressed out. Very little stress is applied to the body in a restorative class and many instructors will use bolsters and blocks to help you relax tired and sore muscles full of knots. You will also spend a lot of time in meditation often at the beginning and then end of a class.

To Detox – Bikram:

If you drank too much on the weekend or ate way too much chocolate and need to flush all the nasties from your system, Bikram yoga is the way to go. Classes are held in a hot 30 to 40-degree temperature regulated room to help you sweat it out. This class is not for the fait of hearted, especially if you haven’t done a lot of yoga. The classes are designed to make you move and challenge you both physically and mentally as you work out in a high humid room with other hot and sweaty yogis. Not only will your body detox, these classes are also great for weight-loss.

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Rebecca Wilkinson

CONTRIBUTOR

Rebecca is a pescatarian, who may yet one day become a vegan. She loves all things health & travel with a weakness for coffee, and is often found scouring the city for the latest tastes in breakfast smoothie bowls. If you can't find her, or she's not answering her mobile - it's probably because she's hiding in a yoga studio, working on her zen.

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