I tried Bikram yoga first. I liked how I felt after, but hated every second of it during the practice. I knew that exploring other styles was an imperative part of my investigation into the overwhelming world of yoga. Next was Ashtanga yoga. I gave it a go, really tried to fall in love. I fell in like, but we were not meant to be life partners. And then, I walked into my first vinyasa yoga class. Oh my.
Vinyasa yoga is my true love
Every single thing about vinyasa yoga spoke seductive, loving truths. I had a seasoned, dynamic, and creative teacher. That really helps, obviously. She wove a technicolor tapestry of flows that seamlessly connected. Feeling that sense of yoga being a dance with intelligent sequencing and enchanting music that made my breath feel as if it were singing along. The excitement I felt floating out of that class was a thrill I still carry to this day. And I know it will never go away.
Because the lure of variety beckons, I’ll stray from vinyasa yoga, but I always come back
Shiny and new is enticing. Watching an advanced Ashtanga practitioner will take your breath away. When seemingly impossible feats of the body are performed inches away from you, it’s intoxicating to believe that perhaps one day you too could attempt and achieve such intricately executed postures. I used to joke that I’d feel like I was ‘pretty rad’ at yoga once I could nap with my legs behind my head. Yeah, that’s not happening ever. And since we are always changing, my goals for asana have changed in what I find to be exciting and offer value. Ashtanga offers a set sequence but also includes degrees of variety once you get past the primary series and move on to second and third series where you might just maybe land with your leg comfortably behind your head.
Actually, Ashtanga is a form of vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga simply means one posture linked to another via breath. It’s a very loose, general definition that allows for so much interpretation and deviation. Definitely my kinda of yoga.
I’ve even tried Goat Yoga
I’m simply saying I’m an open-minded kind of woman. I’ll give almost anything a go. Goat yoga wasn’t baaaad (I’m so sorry). No, novelty is nice and being with baby animals of any kind (possibly even baby alligators) is sweet and will pull at your heartstrings. There wasn’t a ton of actual vinyasa yoga going on, but no big, we had fun.
I’ve also practiced Hatha, Vin Yoga, Kundalini, Barkan Method, Baptist Yoga, Iyengar, and Jivamukti. You’ll discover some merits and benefits from any established school of yoga. It all depends on what your priorities are. The biggest reason vinyasa yoga is so special to me is its lack of rigidity and focus on variety and creativity.
The trend has been towards hot vinyasa flow classes, which means the temperature will be anywhere from 80-105 degrees. Typically, the name of the class will indicate if it’s a heated vinyasa flow class. If not, most likely you’ll be enjoying the class at room temperature.
It really boils down to personality
Before finding vinyasa yoga, I had to focus on the gifts each different practice offers. And I still do even though my daily practice is vinyasa flow. Try every style there is. Hell, you might even make up your own one day. Depending on your needs, goals, vibe, and disposition, more likely than not a specific style will speak louder and more clearly to you than any other. You can’t know without trying as many schools as possible. Experiment with as open of a mind and heart as you can bring to the practice and let your style emerge with a gentle but very obvious announcement heralding its arrival as the one for you.