Which yoga is the one for me?

Ever looked on the schedule of a yoga studio and found yourself feeling overwhelmed: what do all these words mean? Take the following quiz to see which yoga is right for you (in this particular moment) and delve further into what these styles are about. It's in the style of a 90s flow chart that Mizz magazine would very much like back.

Restorative yoga

Restorative yoga uses long held postures (asanas) without placing the body under stress, allowing it to open whilst feeling safe and comfortable. The effect is a calming one: releasing tension and building mind-body awareness.

My two cents on Restorative...

Each pose offers a chance to reflect inwards, process and let go. I found greater depth to what it means to be relaxed through restorative yoga: inner bliss awaits.

Yin yoga

Like Restorative, Yin utilises passive (without engaging muscles) long held stretches. Unlike Restorative, these stretches place stress on the body, which can range from mild to intense. This style is great for mobility and flexibility, working into connective tissues of the body where a great deal of tension is stored.

My two cents on Yin...

A cooling style that complements a busy lifestyle well. Don’t be fooled into thinking slow means easy: Yin challenges the body. Each posture offers the chance for a mini mediation, to delve inwards and experience the depths of each asana.

Hatha & Iyengar yoga

Many styles of yoga today have their roots in Hatha yoga (such as Ashtanga, Iyengar & Vinyasa) and so it is sometimes considered as an umbrella term. It's a classical style of yoga that moves between individual poses, staying for several breaths with awareness of form. Iyengar yoga places a particular emphasis on alignment, utilising props such as straps and blocks to find form.

My two cents on Hatha & Iyengar...

These classes often have a slower pace to other types of yoga, but are no less challenging. Personally, I prefer a more fluid style that focuses on functionality over form.

Ashtanga & Rocket yoga

Ashtanga yoga is an energetic style of yoga that moves through set sequences with adherence to the breath. Yogis start by practicing a primary series, and once they have mastered each asana they progress through to the intermediate and then advanced series. Rocket yoga is a modification of Ashtanga yoga that plucks out challenging and juicy poses (e.g. handstands) from the more advanced Ashtanga series' and weaves them into a set sequence that requires no progression.

My two cents on Ashtanga & Rocket...

Once memorised, repetitive sequences become moving meditations, enabling you to breathe through each posture in turn without needing to think. Rigorous, demanding, fun, but not something my body craves every day.

Vinyasa flow & Power yoga

Variety is the spice of life. Drawn from the set sequences of Ashtanga yoga, classes weave together a variety of asanas with “vinyasas”, creating a rhythmic flow. Power yoga is a style of Vinyasa flow that is more strength & fitness based, weaving in stronger balances, backbends & inversions.

My two cents on Vinyasa & Power...

Probably the most common style of yoga on offer here in the UK. Creative, fluid and feels like dancing. This style can vary wildly by pace, content and approach depending on the teacher and intended participants.

..to name a few

I cobbled this list together based on the most common forms of yoga offered up here in Northern England. This list is not exhaustive (there are people better placed than me to comment on styles not included).

Sometimes the more choice we have, the harder it becomes to make a decision. But if you never try, you never know. Despite different methods, the common thread that weaves these practices together is not WHAT you practice but HOW you approach it. Yoga aims to focus your attention inwards: observing the mind along with physical sensations of the body and breath.

I'm ready to join a class!

Match your style to a Restore yoga class. Classes take place at the Yoga Loft in Whitley Bay, Newcastle.

RESTORATIVE YOGA - Tuesday evenings A soothing and calming class that incorporates both restorative and yin yoga practices to create a relaxing and nourishing environment for body and mind. Ease tension in the body and allow your mind to drift into stillness. No prior experience of yoga is required. YOGA FOR ALL - Wednesday lunchtimes A class that moves slowly and gently through the foundations of yoga. A perfect place for those newer to yoga, but all levels are welcome to take part and deepen their understanding of the fundamentals of yoga. No experience of yoga required.

POWER YOGA - Thursday evenings An energetic, fast-paced class that uses breath-led and playful movement to build strength, balance and flexibility. These all-level classes are accessible to everyone: variations are offered to enable you to practice depending on your energy and experience levels. If you’d like to work on total-body fitness whilst cultivating a mindful approach to movement, this is the class for you.

Coming? Book your spot on the mat here!

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