Choosing Your Yoga Style

Choosing your yoga style

Choosing your yoga style

What is your yoga style? Twenty-five years ago in the U.S., yoga was an activity that most of us had rarely heard of, let alone practiced. We were familiar with the term yoga, but it conjured up images of something exotic and inaccessible. 

Today we have yoga in senior communities, fitness centers, gyms, and farms with baby goats (adorable!), and right in our living rooms—courtesy of DVDs, online streaming, and YouTube.

Ocala Yoga Classes 

Even in our relatively small community of Ocala, we now have access to several yoga studios. We can attend Yin, Hatha, Vinyasa, and Hot Yoga in Ocala, as well as the coveted Yoga Nidra classes. As Ocalans, there is a yoga center designed to fulfill your authentic needs. 

Which Ocala yoga class is right for me? 

With all these choices, it does confuse the beginner yoga student (or even those of us who’ve been on sabbatical): Which yoga class is right for me?

To further confuse the question, much of the yoga we practice today looks very different than in its original form. As my teacher, Yogi Amrit Desai, says:

“Yoga has become very popular in the West, but what has become popular in the West is not Yoga.” 

In other words, yoga’s widespread availability has diluted its original essence. And the degree to which this can be argued has been the topic of many heated discussions, articles, books, and podcasts. Let’s not get too distracted.

How To Choose Your Yoga Class in Three Steps

1. Uncover your why.

What has sparked your interest in yoga? To choose the type of class that’s right for you, it’s first necessary to uncover your why. If you’re a beginner, what’s appealing to you now might look very different in a few years. And for those of us who have been rolling out our mats steadily over the last decade or two, what inspires us now has evolved with our practice and likely looks very different today. 

Full disclosure: my original “why” was yoga butt! I was on my mat only as long as necessary to complete my “workout”; savasana was a pose I barely acknowledged before I was off my mat and in the shower. 

Whatever your “why” is (flexibility, gaining balance, standing on your head, slowing down your thoughts, lowering your blood pressure, etc.), yoga helps with everything! If you are a beginner, your reason for practicing is your jumping-off point. You may start with vinyasa and end up loving yin. The important thing is to begin! 

2. Practice your purpose.

Voicing my original motivation for practicing yoga is somewhat embarrassing, but it’s real. I had the good fortune to encounter teachers who were smart enough to give me what I wanted and experienced enough to provide me with what I needed. I got my workout in, but I also started gaining exposure to the deeper aspects of authentic yoga. And the more I practiced, the more stillness, calm, and joy became part of my life. It was a transformation that showed up in my relationships with others and, even more profoundly, with myself. Understanding, practicing, and experiencing the essence of yoga is the boon of my lifetime, and it all started with that first class.

3. Realize your potential.

When I do a bit of self-reflection, I don’t think I’ve ever regretted going to a yoga class. Granted, I have enjoyed some more than others, but it’s always been worthwhile. Based on my experience, the more yoga classes we access, the better off we are as a society. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Yogi, look at your potential and why, reignite your passion, get back on your mat, or try a new class. You can’t go wrong.