Which Yoga Style Is Right For Me?

By Michael James Wong
Jan 01, 2017
Which Yoga Style Is Right For Me?
These days yoga classes are like walking down the granola isle at whole foods, there are countless different brands and styles all packaged up differently and it’s hard to figure out which one is actually for you! So I’m here to help, consider me your granola guru as I breakdown and demystify the details between disciplines and styles of yoga in London.
 
There are many ways to breakdown the details, but for the case of this article, I’m going to keep it very topline and discuss the commonly practiced and popular styles, and where to go obviously!
 
When you’re looking at a yoga schedule often the most common forms of yoga you’ll see are these (in no particular order),
 
Vinyasa

The most common form of class in London studios, this is a dynamic practice that joins the breath and body in motion. Sometimes fast, sometimes slow, but often on the warm and sweaty side, vinyasa flow is an active practice that invites all yogis to move, breathe and let go. These classes are perfect for yogis who are looking for a strong practice that gets them moving.
 
There are many versions or iterations of vinyasa flow that you may also hear out there in the streets; power yoga, dynamic yoga, rocket yoga, jivamukti, Flow Yoga & many more. Don’t worry too much about the name, all these styles have similarities and elements of vinyasa flow just with different focuses, speeds and dialogues. If you like vinyasa, try them all and see what fits you.

Try these classes:
Julie Montagu at Triyoga
Emily-Clare Hill at The Life Centre Islington
Lolo Lam at Indaba
 
Or come to my class!
Sunday 2:30-4:00p at The Life Centre Islington
 
Hatha Yoga

A slow and gentle practice that simply allows the body to move in an easy way from posture to posture. Perfect for new practitioners, people rehabilitating from injuries or older yogis. This style is a great practice to wake up to or a gentle way to ease into the evening.

Try these classes:
Ann Piddock at Tripspace
 
Iyengar Yoga

This style is strong and steady. One of the most respected and traditional styles of practice, Iyengar teaches the importance of alignment in the body. This is not a fast class, there is no flowing motions or fancy handstands. This is a steady and practical grounding of the poses. In this style of practice, you’ll often find yourself holding poses for 10-20 breaths. This practice is fantastic for exploring the details and subtleties of the poses.

Try these classes:
Alaric Newcombe at Triyoga
Claudia Dossema at Indaba
Simon Turner at The Life Centre
 
Yin Yoga

This type of yoga is for everyone. Yin yoga is slow, deep and calming and an amazingly restorative practice that we can all use more of. This style is a perfect balance for people who live highly active lifestyles whether it’s physical, social or professional. This practice asks us to slow down, calm down and chill out. More often than not, Yin starts on the floor and doesn’t get up, so it’s a great way to ease the body after long workouts, heavy nights out or a busy week at the office.

Try these classes:
Norman Blair at The Life Centre
Emma Peel at Yogarise
Micki Ramondt at Frame
 
Bikram Yoga

Widely regarded as the most popular style in the western world, Bikram yoga is hot and sweaty. Set at a standard 40 degrees, this sweaty style is made up of 26 poses set in a routine that is consistent every time you step on the mat. If you’re looking for fast physical change or are really into sweaty pursuits, then this is a style for you.
 
There are many studios that also provide Hot yoga which are influenced by Bikram Yoga, these classes don’t follow a set sequence or the Bikram dialogue, but the heat, strength and sweatiness is still there!

Try these studios:
Hortense Suleyman at Fierce Grace
Anina Malin at Hot Yoga Society
 
 
Whatever class you try, you’ll never go wrong, but you may have to try a few till you find the one that really fits you. Or even better, mix it up! Every day is different and every day we can practice something different. It’s all yoga, so it’s all good.
 
As always drop me a line to chat about anything, come find me at a class and follow the fun online:
 
Michaeljameswong.com
@michaeljameswong
 
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