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Finding the Right Yoga Style For You

A quick search for “yoga classes” is sure to result in hundreds, if not thousands of results, all talking about different styles and poses of yoga. If you’re new to the practice, the fact that there’s more than one style of yoga can leave your head spinning. Don’t let it deter you from visiting our studio in Manhattan and trying a class, however. The instructors at Water and Rock Studio are here to help you find the right yoga style for your needs and interests. Take a look!

How to Find Your Preferred Style of Yoga

One of the best reasons to practice yoga is that it’s accessible to everyone. The different forms and styles allow you to find one that best suits your body and mind, and can help you reach certain health and fitness goals. But rather than simply picking out a style and committing to it at random, we encourage everyone to explore the different styles and take a few things into consideration before they commit to a style.

Discover Why You Practice Yoga

Yoga is a multi-faceted sport that offers a suite of benefits. People practice yoga for any number of reasons, each unique to them. Before choosing a style, think about why you practice yoga. For some, it’s their primary form of exercise, and they need a style that will help them break a sweat. Others use yoga as a chance to cultivate a sense of inner calm and concentrate on how their mind and their body feels as they perform each pose. Still, others use it as a way to stretch and build strength after an injury or to recover from other exercises and activities. 

Whatever you’re looking for, there’s a specific yoga style to help you reach those specific goals. Here are a few different reasons that people practice yoga:

  • For strength and mobility, you might try Iyengar Yoga
  • To break a sweat, take a look at Bikram Yoga
  • To find your center, try Integral Yoga
  • For a toned and lean body, explore Ashtanga-Vinyasa Yoga
  • To feel creative and passionate, experience Kundalini Yoga
  • To practice self-compassion, seek out Kripalu Yoga
  • For a spiritual connection, we suggest Jivamukti Yoga

Recognize Your Needs

More than just why you practice, also consider how you like to practice. For some, arriving at the yoga studio is like visiting a second home. The instructor and fellow classmates are dear friends and it’s the community that makes yoga as appealing as much as the exercise itself. For others, individual attention and coaching might matter more, and yoga is something that’s practiced in a more focused setting. This will help you decide if you should practice at our studio in Manhattan or in the comfort of your own home with our online classes.

The Importance of Finding Your Style

Fortunately, this is a fairly low-stakes process, as you might find that your interests and needs change over time, meaning that your preferred style of yoga does as well. But finding a style to commit to early on in your yoga career allows you the chance to fully explore that style, rehearse its poses, and learn the fundamentals of yoga. You’ll find that many of the lessons you learn in one style translate fairly easily to another. Having a foundational style gives you the chance to branch out and explore other styles with time and experience.

A Primer on Yoga Styles

At every yoga studio, you’ll find instructors teaching a variety of different yoga styles, each focusing on different forms and results. Here’s a brief overview of each:

Hatha

Hatha yoga blends simple poses at a slower pace, making it great for beginners. This is a gentle approach to yoga, making it accessible to everyone, including the elderly and those with disabilities.

Vinyasa

One of the most popular styles taught in yoga classes, Vinyasa links breath with movement and postures are performed in a graceful flow. Instructors might encourage their students to memorize these poses and their flow as a way to practice a sort of moving meditation. 

Iyengar Yoga

Named after a successful yoga instructor from India, Iyengar yoga focuses on breath control, movement, and the use of props. In this style, bolsters, blankets, and other objects are used to help you perform the movements.

Ashtanga

Meaning “eight limbs,” Ashtanga is viewed as the traditional Indian yoga style. Like Vinyasa, Ashtanga pairs movement with breathing and a sequence of postures and poses. The postures are the same every time and are usually performed set to music.

Bikram

A Bikram yoga class is made up of 26 unique yoga poses and two breathing exercises. Classes are usually 90-minutes long and are set in hot, humid rooms. To ensure that students are focusing on form first, the room is often bright, quiet, and uses mirrors.

Jivamukti

Translated, Jivamukti means “liberated being,” and incorporates spiritual elements with physical movements. Students might chat in Sanskrit, participate in Pranayama breathing exercises, and perform movements, all set to a theme or a lesson.

Sivananda 

This yoga style is focused on the five yogic principles of proper breathing, diet, exercise, relaxation, and positive thinking. When taken together, these principles help students live healthy, meaningful yogic lifestyles. Students will usually perform 12 basic postures.

Yin

This is a meditative practice that allows the body to settle into each pose. Rather than focusing on strength, this style focuses on comfort by practicing stretching the body’s connective tissues. 

Power

In power yoga, students perform the Ashtanga poses quickly and focus on developing their core and upper-body strength. Rather than performing the poses the same way every time, poses are mixed up.

How You’ll Know You’ve Found the Right Style For You

We encourage all of our students to reflect on their practice and hold an inner dialogue about their yoga practice and what it’s offering them. We believe that you’ll intuitively know when you’ve found the right style for you. You should feel comfortable and safe at each class, and confident in your understanding of the movements and poses. You should have a connection with the instructor and your fellow classmates, and you should feel excited by the idea of taking future classes!

Sign Up For Your Yoga Classes in Manhattan Today

The best way to discover which style of yoga is right for you is to simply try them for yourself! Water and Rock Studio is proud to have yoga studios across the United States, and we’ve recently opened a location in Manhattan. 

At our yoga studio in Manhattan, you’ll find our team of talented and personable instructors who are ready to lead you through a variety of yoga styles. We also offer self-defense classes, and nutrition and wellness programming. Visit us in Manhattan and sign up for your first class today!

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