I have practised yoga on and off for many years and know that it isn’t always easy to find the right class, let alone the right teacher, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for; choose a class that’s too relaxing (restorative or kripalu) and you might, as I have, find yourself dozing off (though that might be the perfect class for those who are just starting out, or have trouble sleeping); pick one that’s too physically demanding and you could find that your body simply isn’t up to it, and be put off by the experience.
Different types of Yoga
I’ve learned that the practice that I like best is the one that I need at the time, hence moving from Hatha (slow and gentle) and Iyengar (lots of poses and use of cushions and blocks) to Kundalini (core work) and Bikram (lots of poses in a hot environment) and back again, with a bit of candle-and-chill-out yoga thrown in for good measure. My most recent sessions have been Iyengar and I’ve found that the focus on alignment is an excellent remedy for a sometimes creaky back.
The conclusion I have come to is that there is a yoga practice for everyone and Find Your Yogi is a great way of finding it, as we do all the hard (or should that be ‘relaxing’) research in order to help you find the class and/or teacher that is right for you, whatever stage you’re at: nervous beginner who’d like to be less stiff in the mornings through to athletes who want to push themselves even further – such as World Champion freedriver, Sara Campbell, who practices Kundalini yoga to improve her breath and focus.
Where to practice yoga
The ability to focus is an essential part of the practice. While I lived in South Africa I was lucky enough to be able do my Sun Salutations looking out over a beautiful sea under sunny skies. When I came back to rainy old London my classes took place in a windowless room in Bethnal Green. Having focus meant that my environment didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the practice – too much (putting on a windcheater after class slightly dampened the experience).
The best thing about yoga is that anyone can do it. As Simon Low (Triyoga) says ‘if you can breathe, you can practise yoga’.