There’s no way I could have a blog about health, wellness, spirituality, and loving yourself without addressing the root behind this:
I didn’t even know what the word “Vinyasa” meant two years ago. I spent my days on the treadmill killing myself to lose a few more pounds, embracing the notion that anything other than cardio simply isn’t a “good enough” work out.
When I got extremely sick during my freshman year of college, things changed for me drastically. I could barely stand without getting exhausted, dizzy, and weak. Cardio was not an option. So what did I do? I turned to yoga.
My first experience was YouTube-ing a 20 minute video. For the next few days, I kept returning. Then I got curious and discovered more videos, more styles of yoga, more everything. Yoga was my “gateway drug” into the world of holistic health and wellness. I am so, so incredibly grateful.
There’s a transformation that happens on the mat that is unlike any other experience i’ve had.
There’s a strong, grounded aspect as well as a soft, peaceful aspect. Yoga manages to intertwine all the aspects of Self into one practice. There’s a beautiful transformation that happens within when we build fire in vinyasa, and cool down in shavasana. It’s pretty miraculous, actually.
Maybe you’ve experienced this feeling, or maybe you want to experience it. Even if one style of yoga hasn’t clicked for you, there is always a different one out there waiting for you to try. The styles of yoga are seemingly endless.
Just a few types:
Vinyasa: Includes classes such as “Ashtanga,” “Power Yoga,” “Flow,” “Jivamukti,” and more. Expect to sweat during these and wring out toxins in your body. These are challenging in the best way possible. Expect to feel euphoric, centered, and physically sore afterwards.
Hatha: a slower style than Vinyasa. Can either be challenging and vigorous, or more meditative. Check for a class description, or try out a few classes to see which one you like best.
Kundalini: A much different style of class, includes lots of chanting, meditation, and mantras.
Iyengar: longer holds, may utilize props for proper alignment and focus on muscle activity.
Anusara: Somewhat like hatha, but with more focus on the connection to your inner divinity. Beautiful classes for a good workout as well as connection to your inner loving guidance. Focuses on attitude, alignment, and action.
Yin Yoga: restorative poses held for a long duration of time to promote healing, calmness, and openness.
Of course there are so many other classes and styles out there, but these are my favorites. I think these provide a good example of how versatile and flexible yoga is. If you’re feeling run down, try Yin or Hatha. If you’re craving a good sweat session, try Ashtanga or a Vinyasa Flow class.
Now my challenge to you is to go out into the wonderful world of yoga and start experimenting with new styles. You can go to a studio, YogaGlo (my personal favorite), or YouTube. You can even buy magazines or books with simple routines in them (Yoga Journal, Tara Stiles’ books). Whatever it is, challenge your body and mind to unite during this practice and see what happens.
Questions? Comments? Just want to talk? firstname.lastname@example.org — I love to hear from you!
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