For many years, I was struggling with depression and stress caused by an inability to understand what is my true calling in life. Who am I? What am I meant for? Whether I’m doing everything right?
Soon enough, I got tired of having this negative mindset, this uncertainty, so I’d decided to change it, and then I discovered Yoga. I have seen hundreds and thousands of blogs and articles, describing different styles and types of Yoga, personal stories, and experiences. It was extremely overwhelming, but I realized that this is a way for me to overcome my stress and depression.
Before starting practicing Yoga, read this story and pick the right style for you, which will help you to open your true self, deal with stress and depression, and will bring more colors into your life.
Finding the Right Yoga Practice for You
In the U.S., most Yoga classes originally focused on some type of hatha yoga, which involves postures, called asanas, and breathing – activities that will prepare a person for meditation of some type. However, in recent years, a large number of different types of Yoga training have become available in classes or on video, ranging from the basic Hatha to rigorous activity for muscle toning and weight loss. And there are lots of crossovers that combine different Yoga practices in the same workout. As you look for a match for yourself, consider the following:
- Why Do You Want to Practice Yoga?
This is, of course, the first factor in your exploration. Are you looking for a strenuous workout or are you looking more for the peaceful, meditative aspect of Yoga practice? Maybe you are looking for a practice that will ease muscle aches and pains. Perhaps you want spiritual aspects and raising of your consciousness. Identify your goals first.
- What Type of Environment Do You Want?
Some want the social experience of a class; others want more personal attention from an instructor, and still other people have a lot of self-discipline and prefer to work on their own at home. Which are you?
- Consider Your Limitations
How much time do you have to practice? If you are thinking about classes, what are your budget constraints? And, of course, how out of shape are you right now? And how early are you in your spiritual journey?
- Do some Research and Attend Some Classes
The only way to really find the Yoga style that suits your needs is to try them. Borrow some videos from the library; some Yoga studios or classes held elsewhere will usually allow you to visit for free.
Try several different types, and see how you feel during and afterward. If your body feels good while you practice, this is a good sign; however, be mindful that you do want a practice that is somewhat challenging you too. Assess how you feel after the session – are you stressed and somewhat disconnected or do you feel relaxed and emotionally/spiritually open and grounded? The best indicator, of course, is that you want to do this again.
The important point is this: You have to find a style that resonates with you or you will not feel fulfilled and you certainly will not want to continue your physical and spiritual journey. And as you take this journey, your needs may change. So, you will need a program that will allow you to grow and evolve, cover the basics, and then move you forward, whether that is in a physical class or through a video series – either will work dependent upon your preference.
- You Want Flexibility
Because there are so many variants of practices and because your needs may change from day to day, there should be some flexibility in session offerings, whether through classes or video programs. Some days, you may feel unusually stressed and need a more meditative, breathing form that will bring you back to peace. Other days, you may find that you want a practice that will give you more energy. As you get to know the types of Yoga and how they meet your changing needs, you want to be able to switch back and forth.
Brief Guide to Yoga Types
As you consider classes, whether at a physical facility or through video and/or live streaming, you may want to have a brief idea of each type of Yoga as you consider where to begin your quest for the best match. Here is a short rundown of eight styles to get you started: