Over the last 5000 years, yoga has evolved from one or two basic disciplines into many different styles, each with a different purpose. Some are peaceful and slow; some are intense and require endurance. How do you know which will be the best for you? The best way to find this out is to do your research, and then try the classes that appeal to you. Each type has its own benefits, so depending on you what you want to achieve will depend on what piques your fancy.
“Hatha” in Sanskrit means any kind of yoga that involves teaching physical posture, but a Hatha yoga class covers the basics. It is slow moving and gentle, and it is the best form of yoga if you are a beginner. In a Hatha yoga class, you will be learning the basics of getting into and holding the poses.
Iyengar yoga is all about precision and detail in movement. It involves body alignment, and often includes props such as yoga blocks, blankets, and ropes attached to the wall. These allow a range of motion achieved in a safe, secure environment. Postures are held, and it is great if you detail orients as well as preventing or recovering from injury. It is recommended that you start at a low level because of the precision required.
Yin is perfect if you want to calm and balance your body and mind. It targets the connective tissues and uses props to help the body release into postures rather than stretch and strain into them. This is great for increasing flexibility. The poses are held for several minutes at a time, and it is the route to go if you are looking to stretch and unwind. Not recommended if you are over-flexible already, or have a connective tissue disorder.