332. A world of different types of yoga

Given we were at a yoga retreat, it should be of no surprise that we got to discover a bunch of different types of yoga (as well as pilates, tai chi and zumba). It was educational, to say the least! Some classes were, in my opinion, better than others, though everyone has their own preferences. I have to say I’m much more a fan of the relaxing/stretching/exercising types than the meditation/yoga-as-a-religion types, but to each his own, right?

Here’s my run down of the different types we learned, and my personal impressions!

Hatha Yoga

This is my favourite, as it is where you stretch out all your sore muscles and then end with what I like to call “nap time” aka shavasana. There’s no better way to relax than lying down after stretching out every single muscle in your body! It wasn’t too strenuous either.

Vinayasa Flow Yoga

This one was more in the workout variety, and had some fairly difficult poses to hold. much more of a challenge!

Yoga Nidra

Also called sleeping yoga, this is more of a meditation type of yoga. It was basically just the nap time part, stretched out over a whole class. Not gonna lie, there was very little to complain about there! It would probably be a wise choice for anyone who has sleeping difficulties to try, as it is a really great way to ease yourself in to a very relaxed, deep sleep. I was not such a fan of the bit where we were meant to chant “ummmm” over and over, but that’s just me. As we were lying there, we were told to focus on some sort of goal or resolution we were really keen on achieving – supposedly it is often used to treat people with addictions e.g. quitting smoking, or eating disorders to stop them overeating. I definitely did wake up feeling quite motivated!

Kundalini Yoga

This was probably my least favourite class. It was all very focussed on spirits and chakras and all that jazz, which is all a bit far down the yoga spectrum for me I think. It was taught by this very angry German frau who was yelling at us to get into all these rather painful positions and do “the breath of fire” which is essentially hyperventilating. She was very intimidating. Then went round and gave us all lingering bra-less hugs at the end which was a bit awkward. Quite the contrast. Maybe I need to ease my way in to that kind of yoga, but as she was yelling at us that we should be feeling the spirits washing through our bodies all I could think was “of course I’m getting a bloody headrush, you are making me hyperventilate upside down! That’s a lack of oxygen to the brain, not a magical yoga spirit!” But you know, wouldn’t want to go ruining it for everyone else by voicing those thoughts outlod. Maybe I’m just not enough of a believer…