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How To Decide Which Type Of Yoga Is Right For You?

Think you need to be flexible to do yoga or that it’s an ‘easy’ exercise? Think again!

There are many types of yoga – from gentle to hot and dynamic or therapeutic. Each type of yoga has a specific benefit like increasing your stamina, restoring an injury, or simply improving your breathing.

We speak with a Yoga Teacher at Pure Yoga on what type of yoga is right for you.

Rene Ekeheien, Yoga Teacher, Pure Yoga 

What are some common misconceptions or stereotypes about yoga?

Rene: I would say two of the most common misconceptions about yoga are that you need to be flexible to start practicing and that it’s for women. I also hear from some people that they think it’s too “easy” so they don’t bother trying.

My personal experience and the experience of my students is that flexibility increases over time with consistent practice. “I’m not flexible” seems to me to be more of an excuse to not try yoga, so I use examples of athletes who improve their performance through yoga practice as a motivation to get people to try it out.

Women do seem more open to trying yoga for some reason, perhaps because it is less competitive than other forms of exercise.

What are the demographics of your students like? What are the most popular types of yoga amongst them?

Rene: I mostly teach in the CBD, so my classes are predominantly attended by professionals and mostly women. They like challenging classes such as Hot 26, Hot Vinyasa and regular Vinyasa classes.

Could you tell us more about each type of yoga?

At Pure Yoga, we categorise our yoga classes into five pillars:

Healing classes are aimed at people who have injuries and need more therapeutic styles of yoga. Some might find these classes “easy” since they work to assist the body in healing and can help calm your nerves and increase your flexibility.

These include Therapy and Yin classes that tend to be slower paced with longer holds giving the practitioners time to get into the poses and slowly explore what the body is able to do.

Grounding classes are also slow paced, giving the practitioners time to explore the poses. These classes tend to be a bit more challenging than Healing classes – either through deeper stretches or by strengthening the body. They also challenge the mind to be present and aware.

Dynamic classes are faster paced and aimed at practitioners who have a basic understanding of the poses and want to challenge themselves more. Many see these classes as a tougher workout for the mind and body since we move consciously with the breath. You will also be able to increase your stamina and flexibility through these classes.

Hot classes are aimed at people who want even more of a challenge and want to sweat out the stresses of the day. We offer both grounding and dynamic hot classes. These classes are best suited for those with a moderate fitness level who want to condition their body, as well as raise their stamina and endurance.

Specialized classes offer new ways to approach the yoga practice. Wall Rope, Aerial and Wheel classes use equipment/props to help the practitioners get deeper into poses or to support the body to achieve better understanding of the yoga practice. These are helpful if you want to learn about a specific aspect or yoga or train a specific area of the body.

Which type of yoga is best for beginners? What are the benefits of each, and how long before you would see ‘results’?

Rene: Beginners will benefit from starting with Healing, Grounding or Hot classes, depending on their needs and interest.

I personally recommend people commit to at least three classes a week in order to start feeling the benefits. The long-term benefits accrue over time and depend on the level of commitment to the practice.

Could you share your best tips for getting started with yoga?

Rene: I think the best tip I can give is to try a few different classes and teachers in order to find a style that keeps them motivated.

A great way to get into the practice is to join one of the challenges we offer.

One of our dedicated members did her first class in one of my 30-day challenges. She completed the whole 30 days and has been a very regular practitioner ever since!

What is your favourite type of yoga and why?

Rene: I started practicing Hot Yoga 14 years ago and still enjoy it a lot. It challenges me on a physics and mental level and I have seen consistent progress through consistent practice.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Rene: Showing up and stepping on the mat is the first, and sometimes most challenging step. Just show up with no expectations and see what the practice brings.

Still not sure? Take this yoga quiz to find out just which class is right for you.

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