Want to start practicing yoga but don’t know where to begin? Take Pankhuri Shukla’s handy guide on figuring out which style of yoga would suit you best
How would you describe yourself?
(a) Calm and composed
(b) An overachiever
(e) Laid back
What is your purpose behind doing yoga?
(a) I want to reach a state of higher consciousness for peace of mind and inner awareness
(b) I want to feel energised
(c) I need some healing for my body
(d) I want to involve myself in long-period meditation
(e) IDK, it seems cool?
How much yoga time can you squeeze in a week? (Although doing yoga everyday would be the best option!)
(a) A couple of times a week maybe, can’t say
(b) 6 days a week. Need a day to serve that hangover
(c) An hour every alternate day
(d) Ample! An hour or even more daily!
What type of yoga do you have in mind?
(a) I want to go for something old school
(b) I want something that is socially acceptable
(c) I’m looking to clear myself of stress, insomnia, asthma and other similar ailments
(d) I want to go for diverse but related exercises
(e) I don’t exactly have anything in mind
What would you be comfortable doing?
(a) Something more inward and silence oriented, not athletic
(b) A combination of physical movements,
breathing work and meditation
(c) Attaching myself to blankets, pillows
and more. I love props!
(d) Holding poses for long periods with
ample of stretching
(e) Err… sleeping!
Looks like you’re going old school, my friend. Ananda Yoga would suit you best. It is a traditional form of yoga that aims at self-awareness and a higher consciousness of mind. Peaceful surroundings along with a composed temperament are essential for a prolific yoga session. Recommended YouTube channel: anandayoga
You are probably looking for something that makes you feel alive whilst making you the talk of the town. Power Yoga is totally for you. While it’s an object of North American society’s growing fascination, its roots are very much Indian. It is normally practiced in a heated room of approximately 40.6 degree Celsius. Recommended YouTube channel: Bryan n Rob
If you’ve fallen prey to the ubiquitous stress, insomnia and other such ailments, then Restorative Yoga is certainly something you could explore. Being a therapeutic yoga form, it will require a substantial amount of dedication on your part. After all, no pain no gain! It generally makes use of a lot of easily available props like blankets, pillows, bolsters, blocks, etc. Practicing under supervision is recommended. Recommended YouTube channel: Ekhart Yoga TV
Since you like some stretching and meditation, Yin Yoga is for you. Yin Yoga is the stereotypical yoga you see on TV with a lot of slow body movements and stretches. It stems from the Chinese philosophy of Yin-Yang – contrary forces in nature are also complimentary in nature. The asanas apply stress on connective tissues of the body and aim at improving flexibility. Recommended YouTube channel: Bernie Clark
Hate to break it to you, but yoga isn’t exactly your forte. You are probably going through this just for the heck of it. Find another way to exercise and remain calm. An activity you enjoy would help you much more than an hour of forced yoga.
ASANAS AND BREATHING EXERCISES FOR THE BEGINNER
MOUNTAIN POSE (TADASANA)
The foundation of all yoga poses. You’re essentially standing in the ‘Attention!’ position. Helps correct your posture, maintain balance and develop a calm focus.
TREE POSE (VRIKSASANA)
Stand in the mountain pose, shift all your weight to your left leg, place your right feet on the inner thigh of your left leg. Join your hands in a Namaste position and stand still for a few minutes. Repeat with your right leg.
EQUAL BREATHING (SAMA VRITTI)
Inhale for a count of three and exhale for a count of three. Repeat this cycle over and over again. Eventually increase your duration to five or six seconds and so on.
ALTERNATIVE NOSTRIL BREATHING (NADI SHODHANA)
This breathing exercise is supposed to bring calm and balance between the left and right sides of your brain. Sit with legs crossed, place your right thumb on your right nostril and inhale through the left nostril. Place your middle finger on your left nostril and exhale through the right nostril. Repeat using your left hand and then switch back.
All you have to do is find your ‘happy place’ – somewhere you are most comfortable. It could be a voice guiding you or an imaginary visual in your mind with some slow Beatles song playing in the background. Focus on the image and inhale-exhale.
Volume 4 Issue 3