If you haven’t jumped on the yoga craze yet, make 2020 the year you discover what you’re missing. From better strength and posture to gaining flexibility and calming the mind, yoga has all the benefits. Those who like to sweat usually go for an Ashtanga or hot yoga class, yet some others prefer a gentler practice. Consider these four yoga styles for a slow-paced class to de-stress and revitalize.
Those looking for a calming practice can certainly find it in Hatha yoga. The classes mainly focus on basic yoga poses, so Hatha is great for beginners.
During Hatha, you’ll learn about pranayama, which means breathing techniques, and asanas which refer to yoga postures. Essentially, pranayama refers to focusing on your breathing to improve life energies.
Hatha is about achieving harmony between the energies of the sun and the moon in spiritual terms. After a few weeks, you’ll have all the basic poses down and be ready for a more advanced class if you wish.
Kundalini yoga borrows many of its postures from Hatha, so the two are very similar in a physical sense. The difference is that Kundali generally uses more meditation and chanting mantras with a strong focus on Kundalini energy.
It can take a long time to release this energy, so be patient. A Kundalini awakening, which has many stages, is a spiritual experience. The effects on the body and mind are amazing!
The Kundalini energy is said to lie in the base of your spine. The practice focuses on releasing that energy and moving it through the body’s seven chakras.
During a Kundalini yoga class, you will likely practice breathing techniques such as “alternate nostril breathing.” See it in practice here:
3. More gentle yoga styles: Yin yoga
Yin Yoga goes at an even slower pace than Hatha or Kundalini. During a Yin class, expect lots of floor postures.
You hold each pose for up to five minutes, yet the poses are passive, thus allowing you to stimulate your joints and tissues deeply. The classes encourage flexibility, deep stretches, and circulation instead of cardio.
With each posture, you should meditate or focus on your breathing. Yin is a very low impact yoga style, which allows you to unwind and hopefully sleep better with regular practice.
Some people love Yin classes, while others don’t find the activity dynamic enough to stimulate them. It just depends on which experience you are looking for; once you find what you like for yoga styles, make it part of your routine.
There are also Yin-Yang classes, which alternate between both slow and dynamic sequences. The poses combine breath and movement, with benefits that include boots in flexibility and muscular strength.
4. Restorative yoga
Restorative yoga involves holding around six poses for more extended periods. You’ll usually be given props to comfortably support your body throughout each posture.
You’ll find folds, twists, and backbends during a restorative class, mainly on the floor. The style is similar to Yin, yet focuses more on helping those who suffer from injuries – though that’s not compulsory!
For a restful class and a deep stretch for your body, these classes are the place to be on a weekend or any other time. It can be a wonderful way to end a stressful workday or try a class during your lunch break.
Concluding words on gentle yoga styles
To have the best yoga experience, it helps to learn more about meditation. Each class guides you through meditation sequences to help you to get the hang of it.
If you want further practice, try meditation apps like HeadSpace or Calm, which can help guide you. With a yoga and meditation regime, you can be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle than before.
Always see your doctor before starting a new exercise routine. This professional will help you determine if it’s right for you and the intensity best for your needs and goals.
Are you a yogi? Do you have a favorite style?