Different Yoga Styles: Hatha Vinyasa Yin Restorative - Which One Should You Practice?
What’s the best type of yoga for you?
Anti-gravity, hybrid or extremely hot, there really is a type of yoga for everybody
Yoga: it’s just stretching and chanting, right? Not according to the increasing number of women who find its cardio, strength and toning benefits make it the ultimate mind and body makeover.
Always quick to try the new fitness trend, I’ve blitzed my way through a spinning class with a rave soundtrack, searched for my ‘inner diva’ at a Beyoncé dance workshop (don’t ask) and channelled Nicola Adams in a box-fit class. Fun, yes. But, like crash diets, these fads rarely produced long-lasting results. Then three years ago, aged 36, I tentatively tried Bikram yoga. Ever since, I have practised some form of yoga up to five times a week and, often, it’s the only form of exercise I do. My body has never been more toned.
I’m not alone. Tired of long working hours, commutes and childcare, being yelled at in frenetic bootcamp-style is losing its appeal for women, who no longer want to risk the muscle and joint injuries associated with high-impact workouts. For the time-poor, psycho-babble intolerant, much of the attraction is that it doesn’t take long for yoga to yield results. A study by the American council on exercise found that after eight weeks of hatha yoga, performed three times a week, participants had stronger, leaner muscles; after six months, they reported increased definition and strength.
The promise of physical transformation in a meditative state has never been more enticing. Emily-Clare Hill, a Lululemon UK ambassador who teaches vinyasa flow at Hotpod Yoga, Stretch and Yotopia, goes as far as saying that yoga is all the exercise you need, if you find the best type of yoga for you. ‘As a form of toning, strengthening and cardio, yoga is enough on its own, but I encourage clients to diversify their practice. Yin yoga and restorative yoga are the perfect combination for when your energy levels are low and stress is high. Both styles work the body on a deeper level.’
And yet, the misconception endures that yoga is little more than some gentle stretching. ‘The most common thing I hear is that “yoga is too slow,”’ admits Sweaty Betty ambassador Charlie Morgan, who teaches vinyasa flow. ‘But right now, yoga is undergoing a complete image overhaul. People are realising it is the only practice that works both mind and body simultaneously.’
On a physical level, yoga works every muscle in the body, plus the heart, lungs and blood vessels, which decreases your risk of heart disease. it builds muscular strength and bone density, improves flexibility, and supplies a steady flow of oxygen around the body. On a psychological level, it’s been found to regulate blood pressure, lower anxiety and increase mood-boosting chemicals, helping you to relax and sleep better.
Video: Advice for Yoga Beginners | 5 Yoga Tips for Beginners | Suggestions for How to Start Yoga
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