What type of Yoga class is best for me?
by Kate Pippos on Thursday 08 June 2023
5 min read
Perhaps for you, yoga seems mystical, mythical, magical, or maybe just not “for you”. But for me, it’s been a lifelong journey. I first came to yoga to clear my head and heart during a mentally hectic time. Yoga has offered that, and so much more. I have been lucky enough to forge a career doing something that I love and believe in, and I hope that after reading this, you feel comfy (or at least convinced!) enough to join a class someday.
What is yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice of mind-body fitness that originated in India approximately 5,000 years ago. It is considered a science of anatomy, physiology, and psychology. Loosely translated as union from the Sanskrit would “yuj”, to yoke, yoga combines muscular engagement with an internally and consciously directed focus on the breath, energy and self.
What are the benefits of practicing yoga?
The results of the practice manifest this union as a sense of overall wellbeing and calmness, a far cry from screen time. Modern research affirms the benefits that ancient societies extracted from this form of physical, mental and spiritual exercise. It shows that yoga can affect a variety of wellness benefits including stress management, mental and emotional health, the promotion of healthy eating habits, improved sleep, balance, gradual and moderate reduction of weight, and can be as effective as other methods of exercise in the management of menopause symptoms and other chronic diseases.
More than just movement
Ultimately, yoga helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system (our relaxation response) to provide an opportunity to learn more about yourself than whether or not you can touch your toes. Yoga theory refers to all practices beginning at the physical level and working their way deeper and deeper. What I’ve discovered about yoga over the years is that it can really be anything you want it to be. Flexibility? Sure, you’ll develop that. Release stress? Tick, this will naturally occur. Getting over a breakup? Step into my office.
Yoga at Virgin Active
At Virgin Active Australia, we have three different styles of yoga to help you find your yoga groove. In all of them, we focus on the benefits of yoga to mobilise, articulate, challenge and chill, set to the background of music. These three different styles are derived from Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, meaning “science of life”.
Yoga Flow (similar to Vinyasa Yoga)
Yoga Flow, similar to Vinyasa Yoga, is the most popular style that people find themselves frequently returning to. This fast-paced style can be heated to 32 degrees and invites you to move your body in time with your breath. Practitioners say that Flow becomes like a meditative dance, with movements repeated making it easy for you to find your own version of “flow”. It is intense, dynamic, and incredibly rewarding and encourages flexibility, mindfulness, and better fitness capacity.
Yoga Align (similar to Hatha Yoga)
Yoga Align, similar to Hatha Yoga can also be heated or normal temp (26 degrees). You will discover each pose as though anew in your body that very day. It is reflective and builds presence, allowing 5-10 breaths in each pose to observe the specific placement of your body. Align requires focus, discipline, and the use of a mantra to help flex those skills. It is wonderful for mobility and strength and is well suited (but not exclusive to) people who are making a comeback to yoga, beginners and those wanting to refine their practice.
Yoga Calm (similar to Yin Yoga)
Yoga Calm is our version of Yin Yoga. There is nothing else in the VA world like it. This practice is loved by many and offers a warm and comforting embrace in longer held (averaging 5 minutes) seated and reclining poses. Teamed and themed with guided meditation and breathwork, this practice gives a much-needed release to your connective tissues, joints and beyond.
Our Yoga studios
All of our studios are purpose built and we provide and encourage the use of hard props such as blocks as well as soft props like mats, bolsters, blankets, and straps. Our experienced, knowledgeable, and respected teaching team usher in yoga well beyond your “gym yoga” expectations. This is yoga in a yoga studio in a gym. We welcome everyone to yoga, understanding that we come for different reasons and continue for different reasons and hope to meet all of those and more when we facilitate your yoga journey.
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