Which Yoga is right for you?
My advice would be to think about why you want to join a class? What do you hope to achieve? What do you hope to gain? How do you currently feel both physically & mentally?
At Ashgrove Yoga I currently teach 3 styles of Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga & Yoga Trapeze®. They are all very different yet they all complement each other perfectly. In order to grow and evolve we need different experiences, different stimulations, and so do our bodies. Every teacher is individual as is every student so it’s about what style, location and teacher suits you best.
To help you decide what is right for you, here’s a quick description of each style of yoga, the style of my teaching here at Ashgrove Yoga and how I feel you’ll benefit from taking that class.
I often teach different ranges of classes at varying levels for Hatha Yoga depending on my student’s needs. For example; Beginners Hatha Yoga, Level 2 Hatha Yoga or Mixed Level Hatha appear regularly on the monthly schedule. Gentle Grounding Flow, Energetic Flow, Yoga for Mobility and Balance etc. are all based on Hatha Yoga and are added to the schedule every so often subject to demand.
Hatha Yoga Classes are brilliant for focusing on the mind-body connection. Your movements flow with the breath. It’s great for all over body fitness, helping you to get stronger, improve flexibility, body awareness and balance. During class we can practice meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga nidra (relaxation) and of course Yoga Asana (postures).
If you have a stressful sedentary job where you feel the need to re-energise and get active, while still reducing stress and tension, Hatha Yoga could be a good choice for you.
For some, however, Hatha Yoga can feel a little too energetic, if this your experience, look out for the more gentle classes that are sometimes offered for example: Gentle Grounding Flow and Yoga for Mobility & Balance. These courses are designed for those that need to get the body moving in a more gentle and subtle way.
That being said, some may prefer a really strong flowing class, which is both challenging, fast flowing and energetic. If this is you, look out for the more energetic classes when they come up. For example: Energetic Flow.
Yin Yoga is a grounding, meditative, passive yet very effective practice. We move through the postures very slowly, holding each one from 2 – 5 minutes. We make ourselves as comfortable as possible in each pose using a combination of pillows, blankets, bolsters and blocks. Our aim is to allow ourselves to relax into each pose to the point of a good satisfying stretch. Over a period of time we allow our minds to completely relax, we focus on the breath and the sensations of the body. We notice how and what we are feeling, if the body relaxes and the stretch dissipates we go a little deeper. If the stretch intensifies we breathe into it, releasing tension and calming the mind, while encouraging the body to let go. Each student goes to his/her own level on that particular day, honouring the fact that each day the body can be different. We never force ourselves into a pose even if we think we should be able, we leave the ego at the door.
This practice is brilliant for deeply stretching into the fascia, connective tissues and joints in the body. It also stimulates the various meridians in the body by gently stretching them encouraging the body to send vital nutrients (chi) to the internal organs.
Yin yoga is great for everybody at any stage of life. For those who prefer a more gentle approach or are recently getting back into exercise after an illness or procedure (subject to GP’s approval of course), to hard working adrenaline seekers who are constantly pounding and working the joints. Think of Yin & Yang. Energetic practices, sports, jobs are known to be Yang in nature. Yin Yoga creates the opposite. It’s about creating balance in the mind and body. Too much Yang in life is not healthy, the body becomes over-worked, stressed & fatigued. Just as too much Yin is not healthy, the body become lethargic, lazy & lacking in energy.
Yoga Trapeze® Classes
Yoga Trapeze® classes build strength…. Upper body strength, posterior chain strength, grip strength, core strength. We also use the Trapeze to invert our bodies and create traction in the spine. The Yoga Trapeze® is a great tool for those suffering tension in the back, neck and shoulders.
The handles of the trapeze can be used as a suspension trainer, we can hang, row and pull to strengthen the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders. We use the straps for our ankles to perform flying planks and crunches to create core strength. We can do various squats to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings and muscles in the back of the body (posterior chain) to strengthen and support the spine.
The Yoga Trapeze® is not an easy practice but it is accessible to all ages. If the mind is willing to get stronger the body will become stronger. In this practice I currently teach both male and females students from the age of 20 up to 70.
Working the Trapeze gives you an amazing sense of achievement. Strength builds quickly and students can see a rapid improvement in their abilities.
Because this is a specialised class I insist that each students completes an Introduction Course first before they can attend group classes. This is a huge benefit to the student as you get to build confidence, ask questions on a one to one or two to one basis. If a student continues on to group classes, they are still very small, with a maximum of 6 students per class. Group classes are intimate and fun. I also give current students access to an exclusive Facebook Group. Where you can connect with myself and fellow students and find information, tips and tutorials on poses we have been working on in class.
So what now?
A combination of all styles will work really well for all over physical and mental health, however, if it’s not possible for you to attend more than one class per week right now, pick the one that appeals to you most at this moment in your life. You can always change around and try the other classes when you feel the time is right for you.
If you are still not sure, give me a ring. We can chat over the phone or you can arrange to have a one to one class. We can chat about your current health and expectations and you can experience a combination to see which suits you best.
I’ll look forward to chatting to you soon.