Choosing the Best Type of Yoga for You

best type of yoga

Yoga Class Locations

The next question is where to practice yoga – at the yoga studio, a gym or a community centre. Usually the location of the class will dictate how often you attend so the more convenient it is for you, the better. You may not find a perfectly suitable class or instructor right away, but be persistent. After sampling a few different types of yoga, you will know what location works for you and which type of instruction helps you learn best.

Yoga Instructors

Great instructors teach in all different locations; however, as a general rule, the most experienced instructors will teach at a yoga studio or even have their own studio. Wherever you attend class, be sure to ask about the instructor’s training and background. In some areas group fitness instructors are given a certificate to teach yoga after taking only one weekend workshop, but in India, for example, where yoga originated, teacher training can take years. It’s worth it to shop around for an instructor who is well trained and to whom you can relate.

Yoga Class and Personal Practice

Whichever style and at whatever location you choose to practice yoga, the benefits you experience are directly related to the frequency of practice. In the beginning you may find it difficult to find time to add in a yoga practice to your day but after awhile you will find that you look forward to it. A few minutes every day or every other day is preferable to just one long session per week. Practising on your own also allows you to set your own pace, repeat postures and practice exactly what your body needs that day. Just as a musician who practices her instrument every day becomes proficient, so you too will become proficient at playing the instrument of your body with your breath the more you practice. If you need the group energy or to go with a friend for motivation, then honour that and just do what you can. Be mindful for the time you are practising without wishing it was longer/shorter/harder/easier and let it be good enough.

Trying Different Yoga Styles

Each type of yoga has its advantages and you may find that after some time with one type you want to experiment with others. This is natural and you can learn a lot this way. Once you have found the style that suits your particular needs, it is best to work with one teacher and stay focused. Changing styles all the time is stimulating but can hamper your learning in certain ways. It is difficult to obtain any depth of understanding if you are always going to a different class with a different teacher and trying different styles. Using the musician analogy, if one day the musician played jazz, another day opera, another day rock and roll, one day in a concert hall and one day in a studio, one day with one teacher and another day with a new teacher and so on, it would take them several years to become proficient in any one style. Focusing on one style consistently with attention will yield greater results.

Finding the Yoga Type for You

If you're an athletic type who wants a physical challenge, you will likely enjoy the active yoga styles like Bikram's Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Power Yoga. If you're not particularly athletic and prefer a moderate approach then you could try Kripalu Yoga, Hatha Yoga or Iyengar Yoga. By taking a class that easily fits into your current routine you will increase the likelihood of attending class and therefore obtaining more benefits. The most qualified instructors can usually be found at yoga studios. A regular yoga session at home, even if it's short, will yield greater results than just one or two long sessions per week. It's worthwhile to experiment with different styles and classes. Once you find the fit for your current needs, sticking to it will enable you to gain a depth of understanding which is invaluable. By following these tips you will be well on your way to a fulfilling experience of yoga, regardless of which yoga type you choose.

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