Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

Which type of yoga is for you? No ratings yet.

Choosing the right yoga practice takes a bit of trial and error. This Aerinlé guide is here to help!

Choosing the right yoga practice takes a bit of trial and error. This Aerinlé guide is here to help!

In the recent years, yoga has become one of the most popular workout choices for everyone from busy PMETs to professional sportspeople who wish to improve their form. While the physical benefits  are plentiful – such as enhanced flexibility and strength – the practice also improves mental well-being and alleviates mild depression.

While yoga may seem daunting to the inexperienced because of some seemingly complicated poses, these usually take years of practice to achieve. Even novices or those with old injuries will find it an all-inclusive exercise with tremendous benefits for both mind and body.

To help you decide which class you should sign up for, here’s a quick guide. Remember, whichever form you choose, the benefits are clear and wide-ranging. These include toned muscles, better posture, less stress and a healthier heart.

1) Hatha Yoga

Great for: New practitioners

What is it?

The goal of Hatha yoga is to develop flexibility and balance. In a Hatha class, breathing with every movement is greatly emphasised, so practitioners often feel relaxed after every session. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nursing Research found that just one 90-minute  class significantly reduced participants’ feelings of stress. Studios often offer Hatha classes at varying levels – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced – so those who are new can learn the basics before progressing to more challenging poses.

Where to practice?

Real Yoga, island-wide locations, including 176 Orchard Road, The Centrepoint, #06-06/07, Singapore 238843 

Indigo Flow Yoga Space, 470A Upper Serangoon Crescent, Singapore 531470 

2) Vinyasa Yoga

Great for: Weight loss

What is it?

This is a fairly fast-paced practice, also known as power yoga. Vinyasa requires practitioners to move continuously throughout the class. The most well-known sequence is the sun salutation, a series of lunging, bending and stretching poses. Advanced vinyasa classes could involve shoulder and head stands.

Where to practice?

Art of Yoga, 121 Upper East Coast Road, #02-01,
Singapore 455245 

Hom Yoga, 181 Orchard Road, #06-12/13, Singapore 238896 

3) Iyengar Yoga

Great for: Those with neck or back problems

What is it?

Developed by B. K. S. Iyengar in the 1930s, this restorative type of yoga emphasises proper alignment of the body to strengthen muscles and support joints. Props such as blocks and straps are used to get the poses right. In a class, practitioners will do standing, seated and twisting poses, as well as inversions and backbends.

Where to practice?

Iyengar Yoga Singapore, 1 Goldhill Plaza (Podium Block) #02 – 31 Singapore 308899 

Oasis Yoga, 10 Selegie Road, #01-50, Selegie House, Singapore 180010 

4) Bikram Yoga

Great for: Building flexibility

What is it?

This very popular style puts practitioners in a heated room. The heat and humidity is purported to loosen muscles and increase the ability to stretch. Each Bikram class follows a standard set of 26 poses done twice through. These are complemented with two series of breathing exercises. Due to the relatively intense nature of the practice, Bikram style is unsuitable for pregnant women and people suffering from hypertension or high blood pressure.

Where to practice?

BYCH Hot Yoga, 123 Penang Road, #04-12/13, Regency House, Singapore 238465 

Bikram Yoga Harbourfront Centre, Maritime Square, #03-13/14, Harbourfront Centre, Singapore 099253 

5) Ashtanga Yoga

Great for: Seasoned practitioners or the extremely fit 

What is it?

Touted as the modern-day form of classical Indian yoga, Ashtanga is perhaps the most challenging style. It consists of a series of 70 poses, each held for five breaths and punctuated by sun salutations to keep the heart pumping. Ashtanga style requires strength and endurance, so those without prior experience may want to try other forms first (Vinyasa is a derivative of Ashtanga style).

Where to practice?

The Yoga Shala, 11 Yan Kit Road, Singapore 088266 

Ohmsantih Yoga, 50A Bussorah Street, Singapore 199466

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