When you think yoga, you think many: Ashtanga, Iyengar, Hatha, Bikram, Yin….and it keeps going like Kundalini, Vinyasa, Sivananda…

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I know you’ll be like ‘homaigod what da…?’ *lost* *gulp*

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Yeah, me too I was super confused. But hear this out: Whichever one you try, or do or keep to give amazing benefits and results. Physically, mentally and emotionally. It is worth trying. It is worth exploring. Yoga Medicine is a great one in terms of explaining the breakdown of each type of Yoga(s) and its differences. If you want it bullet pointed, try mindbodygreen‘s post bullet pointing all 11 current yoga types.

If you really have no time, you can read my post. I have had exposure to Iyengar and Hatha really briefly in the beginning stages of exposure to yoga but I have been practising Vinyasa more just because teaching Les Mills BODYBALANCE is a class mainly inspired by Vinyasa.

So here are the 3 favourite, or the ones I’ve tried which turns out to be popular for others to try.

Hatha

If you’re super fresh and super new to yoga (as in you’ve heard it but never tried it even once), this is a good place to start. Why? Because there are fewer poses to focus on at a slower tempo, and this will set foot on ground before moving to more exposure. It is also good to set up a routine too. This was where I started too.

What is Hatha?

In simple terms, it’s pairing a type of yoga pose (“asanas”) to a type of breath (“Pryanama”). This is the umbrella of the other traditional yogas such as Ashtanga and Vinyasa so this will really give you an overall picture of what is to come with the little snapshots.

Where did it originate from?

Not gonna bore you but if you’re curious, Britannica has a good summary of it.

What is so unique about it?

It is where the ‘birth’ of yoga came about from the incredible yoginis to us. And all the terminologies such as shakti and chakras that you hear originates from this essence.

What would I expect when I go to class?

It’s usually termed as ‘beginner’s class’ for most places. And the type of lessons is really tailored by the teacher itself with an overall goal of focusing on breathing, poses and meditation. In Les Mills BODYBALANCE, we do follow a similar structure and has SMARTSTART sessions for newbies as they are allowed to leave mid-way of the class.

Too afraid to go to class? Try these 5 basic poses at home :). Just hold them for as long as you can whilst breathing.

Don’t worry about the terminology for now. Hold each pose for at least 30 seconds for the body to absorb and produce the benefits.

Vinyasa

What is Vinyasa?

It is a style by stringing postures together so a person from one move to another continuously and seamlessly using breath. It is sometimes referred to as ‘flow’ yoga and confused with ‘power’ yoga (I’m confused too)

Where did it originate from?

Krishnamacharya was widely referred to as the architect of Vinyasa. He is often referred to as the ‘father of modern’ yoga’ and revived Hatha yoga.

What is so unique about it?

Vinyasa, is a breath initiated practice, that connects every action of our life with the intention of moving towards what is sacred, or most important to us. So as we breathe, we move and flow. No class will be the same as there are 60 different variations instructors can pick to teach.

What would I expect when I go to class?

Classes will differ slightly in terms of poses, how it’s set up and how it’s run in sequence. But the body keeps moving or the breath will with stillness of certain postures. Regardless, holding a certain pose won’t be longer than 1 minute. If you do Les Mills BODYBALANCE, we add music to the move.

If you want to give Vinyasa a try, I made a video of a sequence which is basic and something you can do at home. It takes a total of 10 in and out breaths and 10 moves. You can choose to try any number of moves and cut it short.

Start off breathing in on No.1, then out on No.2 and alternate as you move.

Iyenger

What is Iyenger?

A very ‘attention to detail’ yoga which focuses a lot more on alignment of a pose followed by sequencing and timing. Iyengar yoga is based on strengthening the connection between body and mind.

What did it originate from?

The student who learnt from Krishnamacharya himself (same guy I wrote about on Vinyasa), B.K.S. Iyengar. His famous quote is “Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured,”

What’s so unique about it?

Iyengar really focuses on proper alignment and precise technique. Through slower movements and an emphasis on quality over quantity, Iyengar yoga combines asanas (poses) and pranayama (breath) to build strength, stamina, and flexibility just like Ashtanga but on a more detailed focus. So, this creates stamina to the muscles holding the poses.

What would I expect when I got to class?

There are more props seen when going to class to help support and motivate a student to hold position using breath for a longer period of time. How long? Say 3 mins (yessss it’s loooonnnggg) so it really builds strength, plus it reduces any injuries (yes, important point!) long or short term.

Have you tried any yoga? What is it like? Which do you prefer? Let me know or comment below 🙂

Till then, the results of the survey to come! Watch the space….

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