When it comes to yoga classes, the biggest hurdle is to find which style suits you. If you are a beginner, it can be daunting to choose the right type of class to fit your goals, abilities and flexibility. You want to feel comfortable knowing that the practise you’re about to participate in will provide you with the tools to achieve greatness from within.
Yoga practice is known for its inner peace and stretching benefits, but you will be surprised by the number of benefits that yoga can give you when you practice regularly. From improving flexibility, and strength to breathing and inner peace, the type of yoga you choose is crucial to help you find out if you love it or not. And the best way to find out is by trying out a class.
The Benefits of Yoga:
- Aids to relieve stress
- Improves flexibility
- Quietens your thoughts
- Improves breathing technique
- Relieves pain
- Loosen up muscles
- Increases strength
- Keeps the mind healthy
By practising yoga regularly, you’ll notice the difference and benefits of the type of practice you choose, whether you want to help with a sore back, loosen up muscles, or quieten your mind.
According to Kate Ivey, owner, founder and trainer at DediKate, "regular yoga practise provides many benefits, including improved posture, a great stress-management tool, increased flexibility, improved balance, and better sleep!"
Now that you have decided to start yoga, choosing a suitable class is essential to enjoy the practice and go back to it. Many yoga classes are available, and each will have a different goal or purpose. The best recommendation is to try it out and see what suits you and your goals. The best place to start is thinking about what you want to achieve with the class.
For example, if you’re looking for a class that will give you plenty of time to do the poses and a slow-paced class, Hatha yoga is for you. But then, if you are looking for a vigorous style that will challenge you, try Ashtanga yoga.
As Trudy Vains, Hatha Yoga instructor says:
Yoga is not about the end pose, it’s about what you learn along the way. My best advice to anyone starting out is, to go into a class with an open mind, join a block of beginners yoga classes, tell your teacher if you have body aches and pains, learn as much as you can without pushing yourself, use the breathing and mindfulness as often as you can and just simply be the best version of yourself on any given day.
Here is a guide to some of the classes available:
- Vinyasa – is a vigorous style-based class with rapid flow through sun salutations.
- Hatha – is a combination of yoga poses and breathing exercises, which helps to bring peace to mind and body.
- Ashtanga – is a fast-paced, vigorous and physically challenging class consisting of 6 series in total that increases in difficulty as you move in each set.
- Hot Yoga – is a class in a heated room (40.6°C) where you will perform 26 poses and two breathing techniques.
- Iyengar – is a class where poses are held much longer than other practices.
- Ying – is a slow-paced practise that lets you hold a pose from 45 seconds to 2 minutes.
- Restorative - is a deep relaxation class in which you will hold a pose for 5 to 10 minutes with the assistance of all sorts of props.
Yoga Class Tips:
Some of the tips that Kate Ivey recommends for someone just starting out:
- Start with a stretching based yoga. There is nothing worse than starting yoga and being frightened off by intense poses!
- Practice yoga frequently. You will experience more benefits of yoga if you practice frequently as your body will gradually become more flexible and comfortable with the practice.
- Remove distractions. Your Yoga session will be less enjoyable if your mind is constantly being reminded of your To-Do list and your phone!
- Let go of your ego and expectations. Set your intention at the beginning of the practice, remember why you are there and don't compare yourself to anyone else! Also, allow yourself time to get better at it, that includes being able to be still mentally and being able to do the poses.
- Wear comfortable clothing - I even practice in my underwear to feel more in tune with my body!
There are many types of yoga classes to choose from. And picking the right one for you is a matter of trying it out and seeing which one fits you. Find the type that suits you, and then it’s a matter of grabbing your mat and going! No matter what yoga class you intend to go to, you will get the benefits of practising it regularly. And as Kate Ivey says " Do YOUR best, not someone else's, and give yourself the time and grace to improve and get used to it!"