Which Yoga Practice is Best for You?

Crystal Champagne
In the past decade or so, there has definitely been an influx of Yoga studios offering many different types of practices. So it's important with so many choices around that you find the right style of Yoga for you. Below is a quick description on a list of the popular types of Yoga that you will come across, when looking at classes.

Some classes offer a more spiritual aspect, and some classes are more physically demanding. But whatever practice you choose, remember you can always challenge yourself more, or take a rest during the class to adjust what feels best for you. Spirituality is what you make of it and certain practices will lead you to it, while others let you find your own way.  As I always say in the beginning of my classes:

“Have no expectations from the class or from yourself. It is not about perfecting any particular pose, but rather the journey in trying the poses that makes Yoga fun. In the end it is about learning about yourself and your limits.”

So here now is the list I mentioned earlier:

Ananda: This tends to be a gentle Yoga with poses that focus on meditation versus athleticism. If you are looking for a gentle physical practice and want to focus on meditation you may try this type.

  • Benefits: Relieves stress and helps mental clarity.
  • Sweat Meter: Low
  • Level of practice: Beginner and anyone looking to de-stress

Ashtanga: Also known as power Yoga, this tends to be more athletic with challenging poses and is often fast paced. If you are looking for a strong physical and spiritual practice this might be for you.

  • Benefits: Relieves stress, helps co-ordination and may help loose weight.
  • Sweat Meter: Medium to High
  • Level of practice: If you are fit and looking to maintain strength and stamina this may turn out to be a favourite.

Bikram/Hot Yoga: This is based typically on the same 26 posture series in each class. The room is very hot, up to 40 degrees Celsius.

  • Benefits: It is said that the heat helps release toxins in the body as well as helps with flexibility.
  • Sweat Meter: High, you will sweat a lot, I suggest bringing a towel to place on your mat.
  • Level of practice: Beginners and advanced yogis will enjoy and benefit, however due to the heat this practice is not for everyone - especially if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure.

Hatha: Hatha is one of the more popular types which tends to be slow-paced, gentle, and focuses on breathing and meditation.

  • Benefits: Relieves stress, provides a little bit of exercise
  • Sweat Meter: Low to Medium
  • Level of practice: Hatha Yoga is for all levels of yogis but particularly good for beginners who are wanting to learn the basics of yoga

Lyengar: Lyengar focuses on poses that are taught with a strong emphasis on alignment.

  • Benefits: Helps improve balance and body strength.
  • Sweat Meter: Medium, depends on each teacher
  • Level of practice: This is great for beginners who want to learn the correct alignments in each pose as well as anyone looking to improve balance issues.

Moksha: Like Bikram, Moksha classes are done in a very hot room. This method typically uses a set series of about 40 poses covering a wide range of levels.  A large part of the Moksha philosophy has to do with social consciousness, and this is reflected through community initiatives, environmentally friendly studios, karma classes, and pay-what-you-can classes which makes Yoga accessible to all.

  • Benefits: Improves body strength, flexibility and helps reduce stress. The heat is supposed to help with detoxification through excessive sweating.
  • Sweat Meter: High, bring a towel to place for your mat.
  • Level of practice: Moksha has several levels of classes so it is best to call in advance to make sure you are not doing a power flow if you are a "newbie".  Remember once again that due to the heat this practice is not for everyone. Check with your doctor before trying this out, if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure.

Vinyasa: Very popular, this type of practice focuses on basic and athletic poses with breath-synchronized movement. It covers a wide range of levels and difficulty which will depend on the teacher. It emphasizes on the Sun Salutation which is a series of 12 poses where movement is matched to the breath.

  • Benefits: Helps improve strength and flexibility as well as reduces stress.
  • Sweat Meter: Medium to High
  • Level of practice: Beginners and advanced yogis looking to strengthen their bodies will enjoy this style.

For anyone living in the West Island and looking to do Yoga outside in natural surroundings, I will be guiding Yoga classes which will be a mix of Ashtanga and Vinyasa at the Pointe Claire waterfront park. Every Monday night at 6:00 p.m. starting June 17th all the way to July 29 2013. For more information, and to find out our exact meeting place, please contact me at fitnessbycrystal@gmail or follow up with my blog at www.crystalfitness.net

Yoga main

‎”Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

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Crystal Champagne - Personal Trainer
Crystal combines 10 years of competitive equestrian riding to her certifications as a personal and group trainer to inspire individuals in achieving their fitness objectives. As well, she enjoys working as a strength coach for elite athletic sports teams.

Visit her at : http://crystalfitness.net/

To book an appointment with Crystal Champagne, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it her.

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