Stretch… and Breathe

Don’t you love that combination of deep relaxation and energy boost that follows a stimulating yoga class? If you haven’t tried it… maybe now is the time. After a day of oral examinations and procedures, yoga may be exactly what you need to restore and energize. There are so many benefits: better sleep, improved posture, elevated mood, increased muscle tone… why not give it a try and put those Lulu’s to use?

There are many styles of yoga to choose from—here’s a quick summary of different types to help you pick the one that’s right for you.

Hatha Yoga. Although this is a general term for many types of yoga, hatha classes are considered a slower moving, gentler form. Great for beginners.

Kundalini Yoga. Here’s another good one for beginners. Kundalini features repeated movements or exercises (called kriya), dynamic breathing techniques, chanting, meditation and mantras.

Vinyasa Yoga. This ‘flowing’ yoga is a faster paced style linking movement and breath. It’s almost like a dance, with music sustaining the tempo. Be prepared to sweat a little.

Moksha (Hot) Yoga. Moksha yoga is Canada’s very own hot yoga practice. Founded in Toronto in 2004, it involves a series of postures practised in a heated room. Many devotees report they’re surprisingly energized by hot yoga, and most will tell you that they’re able to stretch further. It is also said to help detoxify the body. You don’t have to be an expert, just be ready to sweat.

Bikram Yoga. Okay, this one’s hot too—very!—but it’s much more structured. You go through a set series of poses and breathing exercises in a 90-minute session. This never varies. Drink lots of water before and after. Opinions are mixed about drinking during a session—you’ll need to find what’s right for you.

Restorative Yoga. As the name implies, restorative yoga is for people who are recovering from an injury or illness. It’s mellow, slow-moving, and very relaxing. Blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks are used to help support your body in each pose.

 Ashtanga Yoga. Although there’s a mystical basis to all yoga, ashtanga may be the most spiritual. Based on teachings of the ancient sage, Patanjali, ashtanga is made up of six series, from primary to advanced, each with its own strict order of poses. This one’s not for newbies.

Iyengar Yoga. This one’s for the gurus. We’re talking about a focus on proper alignment, with precise poses being held for longer durations. It’s all in the details! Props like yoga blocks, blankets, straps or ropes may also be incorporated.

Namaste!

 

You already voted!