By Lynsay Hurd – Certified Yoga Teacher
Lynsay is one of our wonderful receptionists at Sage Clinic Victoria.
Yoga originated in India over 5000yrs ago and continues to endure today as a means to achieving essential vitality. Today we have a plethora of studios and styles to choose from when deciding to attend a yoga class. To help you navigate these nimble waters and find the style that suits you best, here is a short overview of what’s out there:
Hatha Yoga – Hatha Yoga is considered a slower paced practice that may incorporate some simple breathing/mediation exercises. This is an ideal practice for beginnings as it allows the student time to become familiar with the postures.
Iyengar Yoga – Similar to Hatha Yoga, Iyengar yoga is a slower paced practice focused on detailed, precise alignment in every posture. This style is also ideal for beginners as the Iyengar method uses various props; such as belts, blocks, ropes and blankets, to ensure that regardless of your age, ability or body type you are able to get the optimal alignment in every pose.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga – This is a vigorous practice linking a progressive series of set postures. ‘Vinyasa’ refers to the linking of movement and breath that turns a static practice (Hatha and Iyengar Yoga) into a dynamic flow. This practice is designed to build internal heat producing a purifying sweat that detoxifies the muscles and organs.
Power/Vinyasa/Flow Yoga – These styles were derived from Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga; similarly linking postures in a dynamic flow, however without the use of a specific series. The pace of these classes can vary from moderate to vigorous depending on the teacher.
Bikram/Moksha Yoga – Both styles are practiced in a heated room and are commonly referred to as ‘hot yoga.’
Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room heated to 40deg C and consists of the same series of 26 postures held for 30sec to 1min.
Moksha Yoga is practiced in a slightly cooler room (around 35-38deg C) and consists of 40 postures. 40 postures are too many to do in one class, so you can expect more variety in Moksha Yoga compared to Bikram Yoga.
Restorative Yoga – Restorative Yoga is the slowest and gentlest of all yoga styles. This practice is designed to guide the body/mind into a deep state of relaxation and rest. Poses are usually well supported with various props and are held for several minutes.
Yin Yoga – Yin yoga is different from the above-mentioned styles as it targets the connective tissue in the body (ligaments, tendons, fascia), whereas the other styles focus on muscular tissue. In order to move into these deeper tissues you can expect to hold postures anywhere from 1-20 minutes. Yin Yoga was designed as a balanced complement to a more dynamic yoga practice and/or exercise regimen.
Along with all of these styles there are many different teachers to choose from as well. Be sure to attend a couple of different classes with different teachers, to ensure that you find the class that suits you best. Whatever the style you choose you can look forward to experiencing the multitude of benefits that come along with this ancient practice.
I’ve been a student of yoga for over 8 years, practicing everywhere from the sunny shores of Australia, to the mystic jungles of Bali and the sacred soil of India. My yoga journey has involved immersing myself in Power Flow, Ashtanga Vinyasa and Iyengar Yoga. I started sharing my journey as a teacher almost 2 years ago: having taught corporate yoga in Australia and now at several studios here in Victoria. My teaching style integrates my ongoing studies in the above disciplines: using a moderate flow to build heat, before progressing into longer more sustained holds. This practice will build strength and flexibility in the body, whilst cultivating steadiness and clarity of the mind.
All my classes range from 5-10 students, creating an intimate environment ideal for any level of practitioner. Join me at the below studios –
Hemma Yoga and Acupuncture: Tuesdays/Thursdays from 7:00-8:00am
Studio 4 Athletics: Tuesdays 12:00-1:00pm/ Wednesdays 5:30-6:45pm
Fernwood Yoga Den: Wednesdays 9:15-10:30am