How can I choose the right type of yoga to do?

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Asking yourself a few questions may help you find the right type of yoga for you. The beauty of yoga is that, like brands of shampoo, there are different kinds for each taste preference and desire. Depending on what's available in your community, options can range from power yoga, which often includes a fast-paced flow of sequences (sometimes called vinyasa) with intermittent challenging holds to Kundalini yoga, which focuses more on breath work and mantras.

Consider the following questions to help you find what you want to achieve from your yoga class:
  • Are you looking for a good workout to enhance your overall fitness routine? Perhaps power, Ashtanga or a vinyasa flow yoga class would be best for you. These classes are faster paced and often more physically demanding. If you like it hot, try Bikram or hot yoga. Make sure to listen to your body in these classes, so as to not overdo it and hurt yourself.
  • Do you want to increase your connection to your breath while exercising and achieving stress relief? Most yoga practices aim at connecting the body to the breath, but if you're just starting out, try hatha or restorative class for a slower-paced flow that will help you to get the hang of it. Kripalu yoga aims at achieving stress relief by observing the sensations in your body.
  • Are you coping with a chronic condition or injury that you think yoga can help with? A slow-paced restorative yoga could be good for you, but the most important thing is to talk to your yoga teacher about whatever specific needs you might have.
  • Are you looking for a place to get in touch with your spirituality and connect with others? Classes that incorporate prayers and mantras might be best for you. For example, Naam combines Kundalini yoga with the principles of Kabalah. It combines movement, pranayam (rhythmic breathing) and mudras (hand positions). Naam yoga provides the tools that can enable you to adapt to constant change, embrace ambiguity, as well as recalibrate careers, health, business models and assumptions about what it takes to thrive, not merely survive, in the age of information overload.
Choosing the right yoga class can depend on a lot of things, even your mood. Some days, you may like to challenge yourself with more strenuous flows, and other days, you may like to breathe and just roll around on the floor a bit. But whatever choice you make, you will always go home feeling like a new person.
The right form of yoga is dependent on your goals and your current fitness levels. Some forms of yoga focus more on relaxation, gentle poses and breathing like hatha yoga, some forms focus heavily on difficult to perform poses like ashtanga. Try out several types of yoga until you find the one that best suits what you want and can comfortably perform.
Dr. Kathleen Hall
Preventive Medicine
Yoga is an ancient practice that comes from the Sanskrit word meaning "to yoke," which means to join the mind, body, and soul or breath. There are 40 types of yoga. Just rent different types of yoga videos and try some until you discover on that is right for you.
A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

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A Life in Balance: Nourishing the Four Roots of True Happiness

Nautilus Book Awards Winners for 2007 (category: Self-Help/Psychology/ Personal Growth) "Like many people, Kathleen Hall found that despite great success and material wealth, she had yet to identify...
All forms of yoga will help you with flexibility, strength, and mental discipline. The best way to know what you resonate with is to try different classes and settle on the discipline that really inspires you. An important thing to remember is that yoga is not just physical exercise; it also elevates the mind to a meditative state. I think it's a very important practice!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.