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  • Sam Turner

My take on the types of yoga

As a beginner, yoga is a minefield. Jeez, I sometimes struggle to keep up. There are loads of unfamiliar words that can be off-putting. The reality of yoga styles is this: the teacher is the style. Each phrase in the list below are, in most cases, a signpost for what to expect (in my opinion). Hatha: The yoga sequence moves slowly from pose to pose. It’s a practice that’s ideal for everyone that wants to strengthen the muscles through an extended hold of each pose. You have time to consider how it feels in the body, slow down the mind and experience the subtly of the breath. Side note: this is what I mainly teach. Vinyasa: A faster style of yoga that gets the heart racing where you commonly move with every inhale/exhale. What does this mean for the practice? You rarely hang around in poses. You tend to float through a beautiful sequence starting with one side and then following with the other. These are great to build heat, increase heart rate and really losing yourself in the movement. Hot: This refers to the temperature of the room. Depending on the provider, they heat the room to the temperature I would struggle to handle. Usually, these classes follow the Vinyasa style mentioned above. The heat aids in relaxing the muscles of the body which allows freer movements in the body. Yin: This slows the pace right down and works with connective tissues and is influenced by the meridian system from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). But most importantly, it is a meditative experience. Through the exploration of your edge, you endure an embodying experience that keeps you present but allows you to enter a mindful state. This practice can be bliss, or it can be a challenge. Restorative: Restorative yoga is prop heaven! It focuses on fully supporting your body with loads of props so you can stay in a pose for 10+ minutes. It gives your body time to relax and has a positive influence on the nervous system. Honestly, in these classes, I often drift in and out of a sleeping state. Booking onto a restorative class is like scheduling adult nap time. This is not a definitive list of yoga styles... There are many more but most of them share the principles mentioned above. Each and everyone is worth a try but let’s bring our attention back to my original point; the teacher is the style. Each teacher is unique which means they aren't for everyone. Best way to find out? Go and try them all! I hope this helps illuminate some of these key phrases mentioned when people talk yoga! Palms together at your chest. Take a deep breath. Thank you for joining me.

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