Why take yoga?
There are so many different kinds of yoga to choose from - it can be confusing to try to find the right match. Some students seek yoga classes to enhance their flexibility, and some are looking for stress relief. Some students find yoga classes that provide them with strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. The list of reasons to take yoga is at least as long as the list of styles of yoga.
All yoga that originated in India over 5000 years ago is called “hatha yoga.” Within that category are many, many American variations and permutations. The good news is that all forms of hatha yoga have in common the same yoga postures or poses. Warrior, downward facing dog, child’s pose - these are some of the basic asanas (Sanskrit word for ‘poses’) of hatha yoga, no matter what the individual style of the class.
Class titles generally describe how poses are performed. For example: in vinyasa or flow yoga classes students keep in constant motion from pose to pose. At the other extreme: in yin yoga classes students focus on holding a single pose for several minutes at a time.
Kundalini or power yoga classes involve stronger physical exertion, while Kripalu or Integerative Yoga Therapy classes (the sort of yoga I teach) emphasize the connection between the student and his/her inner experience of a pose.
Besides the physical exercises (which involve a combination of strength and stretching, and are performed on a yoga mat), yoga classes might involve: breathing exercises (pranyama, in Sanskrit), meditation and relaxation. (My classes include all of these things.) In some yoga classes students chant in Sanskrit. (We don’t do that in my classes.)
There are far too many popular kinds of yoga to describe here. Some specialty classes you might be interested in include: restorative yoga (where students perform only the resting poses, on a bolster or blanket), prenatal yoga and even yoga for your dog - which of course is “doga”!
Here are the free videos of the yoga classes I teach.
Here are yoga resources and recommendations.