So many yoga options—how do I choose?
Choosing a yoga class can become an exercise of its own. The poses (asanas) are performed to a set of verbal teaching cues, but the sequencing, the temperature in the room, the class pace, and the degree of difficulty varies within each yoga style.
If you like the same routine each time, then you might look for Ashtanga yoga, an ancient and rigorous practice that follows a specific sequence in the exact same order. Bikram yoga and hot yoga also follow a set sequence, but these are practiced in a heated room with 40-percent humidity.
If you prefer to execute poses in more of a workshop feel rather than sequenced as a flowing dance, Iyengar yoga is the choice. Props are used to help achieve the proper alignment.
Hatha yoga is gentle and slow- paced, as is a restorative yoga class. These classes will leave you feeling longer and stretched.
And if you’re hankering for variety and like to sweat, you might opt for power yoga or vinyasa (also called “flow”). Each class is different and the poses are choreographed together and with music.
Sanskrit words and remembering each pose’s name might feel daunting at first, but repetition makes them quickly familiar. While bodies and flexibility differ, the practice of yoga is enjoyed equally by men, women, and children.
But only a man can be called a “yogi,” a commonly made mistake in American classes. A woman is referred to as a “yogini.” That’s the very first lesson.