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Posted on Thursday, April 30, 2009

hatha yoga

Which yoga style suits you best? For me it is hatha yoga because that's frankly the only yoga style I found with instructor :-)

Finding the right style of yoga practice can be as hard as finding the right handbag. Having said so, the way of finding your style of yoga is similar to finding your next new handbag: you need to look around, try and see.

I admit, it's easier to enter a shopping mall than to enter a yoga class. And especially after your first yoga sessions, you could think that maybe yoga isn't your thing. Why?

  • Because the yoga style is not your style or

  • because the yoga instructor is not your type.

Whatever the case: go and sign up for another yoga school to find out whether it's the yoga instructor or the yoga style that doesn't suit you! And you can always sign up for a hatha yoga teacher training yourself :-) For sure that's not something I am going to do ;-).

Which styles to choose from? The most popular yoga style taught is hatha. On the health channel you can have an idea what namaste yoga is all about.

Other styles are vinyasa yoga, bikram yoga, ashtanga yoga, iyengar yoga, kundalini yoga, Yin, kripalu yoga, integral yoga and viniyoga. With so many different yoga styles around surely there must be one that is written for you!

Hatha yoga definition

Hatha yoga is a traditional form of yoga which lies at the base of many modern yoga styles.

Hatha yoga is based on the union of body, mind and spirit and therefore includes the practice of :

  • physical postures called asanas

  • breathing exercises called pranayama and

  • meditation called dhyana.

I especially love the breathing exercises and meditation part, as during a normal working day in my Bali spa resort, I already encounter enough physical exercise ;-)

Other yoga styles in a nutshell

  • Ashtanga or power yoga as Madonna calls it, focuses on speed building strength and stamina.

  • Bikram is for experienced yogis with 26 postures performed in a heated room (or outside in tropical South East Asia)

  • Iyengar yoga focuses on alignment using props like straps, blocks and bolsters to hold poses longer. What I find the most appealing on this style of yoga is that you are encouraged to move at your own pace. Just that I don't feel much like carrying props around, I already find pilates mats to much to carry!

  • Vinyasa yoga is a style I don't understand quite well. It has to do with linking your breathing to your movements but every time I see a class of Vinyasa, it looks completely different.

The only way to truly know if a yoga style is for you is to try and see! The easiest way to start yoga is signing up for a hatha yoga class, as hatha yoga instructors are the most common.

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