Yoga is more popular than ever. It continues to grow and evolve, and some would say that it has strayed too far from its roots and that seems to make some people cranky. I think there’s a fear that as we see the popularity of new styles of yoga, perhaps what we love about our favorite style of yoga will fade away. There’s a chance that could happen and certainly not everyone lives in an area where there’s a yoga studio on every corner, but I have faith that if we continue to support the classes that we love, they will be sustained.
So, maybe the question isn’t what the best type of yoga is, but what’s the right type of yoga for me. Fortunately, there are more choices than ever.
I like a challenging, sweaty workout…there’s a yoga class for that
I like a slow, meditative class… there’s a yoga class for that
I like to drink beer during or after class…there’s a yoga class for that
I like to do yoga with animals…there’s a yoga class for that
And so on…
I love that there are so many entry points to yoga. Yoga has so many physical and mental benefits—a stronger and more flexible body, more energy, better concentration, just to name a few. Even a yoga class that leaves out [fill in the blank with whatever you believe] it’s still yoga. And aren’t more people doing yoga a good thing?
I’ve taken my share of hot, sweaty yoga classes filled with people decades younger than I am. Sometimes I actually believe that I can sense the stress from the people in the class (and that’s even before we started kicking up into handstand from downward facing dog). While I know it might benefit those hard-driving yogis to take a Yin class or meditate, that may simply not be their preference. So, they end up in yoga class and they think they’re just getting a good work out, but it’s yoga, so of course they’re getting more than that. Even if their minds are racing during savasana, they’re one step closer to meditating, and as an added bonus, they’re not staring at a screen.
Sometimes those “other types of yoga” may seem strange, unfamiliar, or inaccessible. If you’ve always done the same type of yoga, I encourage you to try taking a different class, teacher, yoga style, studio, gym, outdoor setting. You might be surprised by what you like or your preferences might be confirmed. Either way you will have learned something. And it just might bring you closer to finding your yoga.