What kind of yoga is right for me?

“What kind of yoga is right for me? What a great question! I have been practicing yoga for nearly 10 years and I’m still asking it.On the most basic physical level – the ‘kind’ of yoga you practice may reflect your desire to get hot, cool down, open up, tighten up, move quickly, flow slowly…etc.

On a more fundamental level, you may find yourself called to a particular path of yoga (ie. Kundalini, Ashtanga and Bhakti Yoga).

To add to this mix of schools, many Western brands of yoga have evolved from their traditional Indian roots (ie. Anusara, Jivamukti and Power Yoga).

The different yoga schools simply adhere to different applications of inner discipline, all of which ultimately lead to the liberation of the soul and to a unique understanding of the Divine Unity. The schools are merely named according to the yogi’s objective of self-transformation and the instrument chosen for such anticipated change. www.experiencefestival.com

The kind of yoga that you practice may be defined by name – but truly, it is your body and your practice.

If you’re like me – you may find that your taste changes from year to year, and even day to day.

You may be attracted to a vigourous style (i.e. Ashtanga or Power Yoga) only to find that your practice is injurious.

At other times you may feel a strong calling to surrender into a restorative practice.

Ultimately, the right kind of yoga is one that brings you into balance.

For more insight check out Mary Jo’s articles: Is Yoga For You? and A Brief History of Yoga.

How much soreness is normal?

This is a very interesting question. One that I too have wondered about. After taking a hiatus from practising, as in anything, it’s important to ease in wisely. For yoga you might consider starting with some free form dance to loosen up, reduce any tension and warm up the joints and tissues. Vigorous, free form movement can be much less hard on the muscles than jumping into a somewhat “linear” practise. When you are in the asanas, you might consider a longer slower time in them with deep and steady breathing.

Be sure to have a 10 minute minimum relaxation at the end of your practise no matter what length it is as recovery and rest are very important.

Yoga Once a Week?

For many students it is challenging to create and maintain a home based practise. One way to ensure that you get some home practice in during the week to enhance the many benefits of such a powerful practice you might like to buy a DVD or audio CD to help lead you through a series. There are many on the market. You will have to look closely to see what they offer and what focus they have. The ones produced by Gaiam are quite reliable indeed.

Doing a little everyday is adequate to continue the learning such as 10 minutes of resting child and savasana or relaxation. Sun salutations are very effective and encompass many openings too. Be gentle, give it as long as you realistically have and go from there.