Which Yoga Class is Right for Me?
Whether you’re a yoga newbie or it’s been a while since you’ve rolled out your mat, getting into the flow of a yoga practice can be challenging. But knowing where to start will give you a leg up. Here’s what class you should try, depending on the intensity and vibe you’re looking for.
If you are a first timer, try:
This is a gentler form of yoga that goes at a relatively slow, relaxed pace. The result: ample time to ease into poses, extend your stretches and enjoy a meditative experience. One main focus is deep breathing, which is shown to lower stress and anxiety. Doing poses like Cat-Cow, Mountain and Warrior can start to feel familiar quickly. And the soothing savasana at the end makes your effort feel worthwhile.
If you’re up for a workout, try:
While the poses are also typical of those in a hatha yoga class, vinyasa goes by at a quick, heart-pounding clip. Each movement is synched with breathing. While some instructors may like to stick to the same series of postures, the very nature of vinyasa is unpredictability. In fact, the Sanskrit word “vinyasa” comes from a prefix “vi,” which means “variation.” No matter where your class takes you, you’re likely to experience endorphin release (aka: a very happy brain).
If you want to break out of the box, try:
Warm up your vocal chords: This ancient yoga practice focuses not just on breath and physical postures, but also chanting, meditation and singing. While slower paced, it’s physically challenging; you’ll hold poses for an extended period — sometimes up to five minutes. That means you’re really strengthening and toning your muscles. Even your breathing is more intense. The “Breath of Fire,” for example, is intended to engage your abdominal muscles.
If you like it hot, try:
Bring a towel and get ready to sweat. Due to the heat of the room (usually around 104 degrees), you can get extra benefits like increased blood circulation and detoxification as you “sweat out” toxins. Some people liken how you feel after hot yoga to how you feel after a massage. Considering the heat of the room, hot yoga does have a way of melting stress.
If you need healing, try:
Easy does it with this gentle yoga style. A big focus is emotional relaxation, which is reached thanks in large part to your instructor, who may deliver messages of self-love and acceptance throughout your session. There is no rush; only a handful of poses are featured. Still, you will get physical benefits, as restorative yoga is known to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps keep basic functions working as they should.
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