A question that probably serves as possibly a barrier to entry from most. Given the considerable rise of popularity of yoga and many different blends and styles of hatha yoga, it can be quite daunting to determine what will be right for each person.
A recent conversation I had went along the lines of: “ yes I would be interested…but not really slow stuff and certainly no chanting.. “ - they clearly have an idea of their intention, although had landed in a couple of classes that weren’t quite right for them, or at least at that moment in time, yoga is after all, a journey.
Many people struggle with trying to find the right yoga class for them. Some can spend years jumping from class to class, type to type, or different yoga teachers before finding the right match. I would suggest making your decision on more than just the location or name of your yoga class. Instead taking the time to sit down with each of the teachers and getting a feel for their technique of teaching.
I think teachers need to take a lead here and be open and honest about their style, I have checked a few websites and some are really good, clear concise about what students will get from their classes, some are not so.
My style is contemporary, focused on the physical benefits through asana and I will try to clarify the more philosophical and astral attributes and how they play into a physical practice. I probably won’t be chanting or getting any crystals and incense out because I would not be very good at weaving these into my approach, there are great teachers out there that can though.
It may be helpful if you can find a teacher that will allow you to sit in on each type of class. This will give you a first-hand view of what would be expected of you during your yoga class. While some may promote the use of props and focus on slow and controlled movements. Others may focus on spirituality, or exercise. All of which are beneficial to many different people in their walks of life. However, power-yoga may not be the best choice if you suffer from chronic back pain. For this reason, you should take care in choosing the right type of yoga.
Of course, before we embark on any physical programme, we need to ensure we are ready, especially if there have been any diagnosed health problems, consult with our GPs. The teacher will ask you about this in any case, your safety is paramount.
Once you have a better idea of the yoga classes available in your area, you will find that there is a common denominator among them - they are focused on bringing oneness to one's life. A unity between body, mind, and soul. This will creep up on you and it is one of the most wonderful things about yoga, it could be the class, or teacher, that best brings this out which determines your search.
Unfortunately, there is no real way to answer the question of "what type of yoga is right for me?" It a moment of inspiration once you have attended the 'right class.'
As with so many things in life, yoga is specialised, and your needs, requirements and expectations will develop in time with more practice, as will your strength, flexibility and mindfulness.
If you are not sure, please don’t let this prevent you from taking up yoga, drop me a line and I will help point you to a teacher and class that would appear to be what you are looking for..