With the growing interest in this side of the globe by the methods of yoga and to a lesser extent by the yogic spiritual tradition, there is a growing variety of schools and styles outside India. Some are classic, usually, spiritual and faithful to tradition while others are more contemporary. Within the latter, there is everything, some more physical and deeper ones. But if its essential principles are followed, as the openness, non-judgment, non-violence, while not the most authentic styles, yoga will have great benefits in body and mind.
The history of yoga is thousands of years and although it is a definite philosophical tradition, it has also been permeable to other spiritual traditions, branches, adaptations and interpretations. The different styles or schools of yoga, which have been the result of these processes, have particular techniques specific to the positions, approaches, teachers and gurus themselves to honor the philosophical content stand out. Today, there are marked differences between styles of yoga.
The type of yoga we approach is crucial to connect with tradition and make a big difference in terms of experience since not all yoga practices are the same. Moreover, even within the same tradition, there are two equal classes, because each teacher has a particular style, hence, there is importance of trying different teachers and spaces for varied experiences. But the fact that it is important, it does not mean it is decisive. If you did not like a class, try another with another teacher. If you definitely did not like the style, look elsewhere, or try a new school. The differences between them can be abysmal.
When you start, always go for a qualified entry-level, introductory or beginner class teacher. If you have known who practices yoga, ask advice on where to go and what style to start with. Or just discover at nearby yoga centers and let go by intuition. I encourage you to try different varieties until you find the one that best fits your physical needs, your way of being, the purpose for which you want to start doing yoga, or a particular stage of your life in which you are interested favoring some aspects and objectives.
The good news is that there are so many styles of physical yoga and also many forms of yoga that there is much to explore, as not all are physical practices, it is also meditation, central practice of yoga, breathing exercises, relaxation in addition to forms of yoga such as volunteer work and devotional yoga.
For now, let’s focus on the asanas (postures), the central practice of physical yoga is hatha yoga. There are times when we prefer a more mystical and devotional practice, one in which a demanding or other softer and meditative physical work done. I personally prefer classical hatha yoga, but I think while yoga does not lose its essence and beauty, there is a type of yoga that is better than another. Usually they bring great benefits. The different forms of yoga methods have improved many lives and health status.
Please, read the other part of this article here.
Tips to Choose a Suitable Style of Yoga – Part 2
Each of us has some kind of preferred yoga, but it is a very personal choice and depends on how you look, but always remember that yoga has an expansion component which is to be open to different possibilities. However, keep your eyes open to those distorted versions of practices that they say ‘yoga’ but they are not yoga. These false forms of yoga have nothing in common with the principles and practices and can be harmful mentally and physically, for example, competition, frivolity or ambition. Even within traditional schools, there may be misunderstandings.
It may happen when you go to different places trying different types of yoga before finding the most suitable type of yoga for you, one with which you feel most comfortable and identified. Or you try any style for a period and then another or try two different styles at the same time.
That should not be problematic, because in principle yoga, no matter what, it has the same root and does not conflict between its different manifestations. I, for example, practiced hatha yoga in India, then kundalini, Satyananda, Anusara and Vinyasa, before staying with the tradition that has become my school and in my practice, Sivananda, which in fact is traditional hatha yoga. There are strict traditions that disagree with this and recommend you always to stay with the same tradition, but I believe that yoga should be open, tolerant and that all roads lead to the union of mind, body and spirit, as long as a practice respects the principles of yoga.
In a combined style of yoga, you can practice more variety, and we find it is always evolving because every day is different. We also find that it deepens the physical, mental and spiritual work which require perseverance and commitment. There are also times when we are attuned to a tradition that fills us enough and we do not have to continue to explore, at least for a while.
Not only is it important to find out what type of yoga you prefer, it is also a key to find a good teacher. A good yoga teacher should be someone qualified with whom you feel inspired and he/she gives you confidence and have good empathy. You may prefer rigorous and demanding or loving and compassionate teachers. The important thing is that you feel comfortable and motivated to do your practice with love and grow internally, for yoga should be friendly and humanly warm the space.
Schools more faithful to the tradition yoga, whether new or old, practice yoga as a lifestyle. Yoga is a philosophy and a holistic science that, besides practices, include a way of seeing the world and act in it with openness and awareness. Living yoga may mean incorporating it in life with its ethics and practices and especially adopt it as a growth path towards being a free, full and compassionate being.
For best yoga teachers, you should go for yoga teacher training Rishikesh Uttarakhand and start practicing a suitable style of yoga with excellence.