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With the modern yoga craze bringing with it a surge of many different styles of yoga, Nicole Cain, yoga instructor at Komune Resort & Beach Club in Bali, shares with us how to choose the best style for you.
While some styles of yoga maintain a more traditional method, such as Hatha, Iyengar or Ashtanga yoga, others offer a modern spin on yoga and are becoming more popular, such as; vinyasa, yin, annusara, hot yoga, restorative, aerial, and acro yoga, just to name a few. Knowing which style of yoga is best for you is not a black and white answer but there are a few things to consider when choosing which style suits you best.
For starters, gaining a solid foundation is paramount in creating a sustainable and safe practice. If you are new to yoga, seek out classes that are specifically tailored for beginners and have smaller class sizes. It is important to understand the basic alignment principles in yoga to prevent injury and build a solid foundation. Iyengar yoga is a traditional style of yoga that incorporates many props and focuses on precise alignment of the poses which makes it a great foundation practice to build on. Iyengar yoga is also a great style for those who have injuries or conditions that need modification. Most Iyengar Yoga teachers have years of experience and will be able to help individuals work towards understanding where they need to be in the poses.
Become the ultimate yogi at Komune Resort & Beach Club
If getting to a yoga class is not a possibility for you but you are still looking to gain the benefits of a daily yoga practice, then Ashtanga yoga is a traditional style that may suit your needs. Ashtanga yoga helps to instill discipline and routine using the same poses in a particular sequence, which sets a good base for developing a personal practice when a having a teacher is not possible. Ashtanga yoga carries the reputation of being a stronger practice that creates a lot of inner heat and the poses and sequence may need to be modified for some people. Ashtanga yoga teaches the ujjayi breath technique, drishti or gaze as well as the Bandhas or inner locks in the body. These three principles build concentration and a solid inner and outer yoga practice.
If you already have a solid yoga foundation, then doing classes which incorporate flow and movement with breath can be a very enjoyable way to practice the yoga poses and experience the serenity that comes from a mind and body moving in harmony with the breath. These classes can range from beginner level to more advanced so make sure you choose the class and teacher that is the most appropriate for your level. Choose a teacher that you like and enjoy so that you are inspired to come back to you mat.
Try out new new styles of yoga Komune Resort & Beach Club
If you are looking to have a little bit of fun and connection with your local community, acro and aerial yoga are styles which can offer you the opportunity to meet other like-minded people and connect with others. These classes are generally designed to create a fun and lighthearted atmosphere and allow you to try new ways of practicing yoga like being inverted with the assistance of a silk strap or a partner.
Another factor to consider when choosing a yoga class is to assess how you are feeling. Some days we need more rest and rejuvenation rather than movement and sweat. Modern living is fast paced and we tend to get stuck operating from our sympathetic nervous system also known as the fight or flight mode. Long-term stress is proven to have adverse health effects on the body and mind and can lead to over exhaustion and fatigue. Taking classes such as yin, restorative or yoga nidra can help to bring the body back into the parasympathetic nervous system where healing can take place.
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Whichever style of yoga you choose; the important factor is that you leave your practice feeling like you have more energy then when you started. Your yoga practice should leave you feeling refreshed and or rejuvenated. If you feel exhausted, tired and begin to have disturbed sleep then you may need to choose a different practice. Often times the practice that we want is not always the one that we need. While you may gain strength and flexibity as a result of yoga, the real measure of your practice is seen in your reactions and peace of mind. Yoga is a path whose ultimate goal is to create union of self with one’s divine nature. We are already whole and complete but because our minds are disturbed and clouded by excess thoughts, we are unable to see clearly. In truth we are one but our experience of self feels separate and so we suffer. As we progress along the path of yoga, we begin to wake up to our true selves and live more authentically as divine beings. Old habits, tensions, conditions and limiting beliefs come to the surface to be seen, felt, loved and shed, and it is through this purification process our eyes become clearer and our true nature shines brighter. This is the real fruit of practice and a life long journey.