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4 yoga styles for a gentle practice

Gentle yoga styles

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.

1. Hatha

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.

2. Kundalini

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?

14 thoughts on “4 yoga styles for a gentle practice”

  1. I usually practice Hatha and Yin yoga and it was great to read you blog post. I would not necessarily refer to Hatha as one of most gentle Yoga types because it is very inclusive. At a more intermediate to advanced, it may entail a lot of backbending sequences and some intense asanas :) but of course, that at the end of the day, yoga is a deeply personal experience and what is gentle on the mind and body is very relative :) Thanks for sharing x

  2. Hey Christy, I taught yoga when I was younger. Full lotus, standing on my head, sun salutations… no sweat! I had an accident about 10 years ago that ripped up my knee and ankle tendons. Now, add my back injuries to that! UCH.
    Now I am back to yoga, but a type of Hatha Yoga for injured, or old folks that I am developing. It’s mostly based on standing postures, not much knee twisting (ie. Tai Chi, which I studied under a Master, and had great compliments) although Posture 1 repeated, with proper breathing technique repeated at least 10 times is part of the regime.

    1. That’s great that you have found a gentle style that fits for you… But sorry to hear about the effects of the injury :( Hope you’re having a restful weekend xx

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