While exploring the different exercise options over the years I decided to try my luck at Yoga. This seemed like a daunting task at first since there seem to be many different movements, philosophies, and choices.
However, after speaking with a friend of mine who also happens to be a chiropractor in Seattle, I was able to narrow down my choices. Here is what I learned.
Vinyasa yoga seems to be the most popular type of yoga in North America. When you see a yoga studio there is an excellent chance they will be participating in this 60-90 minutes of structured movement.
You will become familiar with positions such as downward dog, sun salutations, and warrior 1, 2, 3. I found the positions to be warm-up to be challenging enough, and by the time we were 40 minutes in I was ready to stop. The good thing is after learning the movements, I quickly became stronger and more flexible after just a few classes.
The popularity of the routine makes Vinyasa yoga appealing as you can enter almost any class and fit right in.
If anyone has ever told you about the yoga class they do in extremely hot temperatures they are probably talking about Bikram yoga. While Bikram is a brand name of yoga, which involves franchise fees and a strict protocol of heat and movement, you can find many alternatives that are not as intense, and they shouldn’t be calling themselves Bikram.
It can be a little confusing since the name has become synonymous with the hot yoga culture, but I can assure you not many hot yoga facilities live up to the excruciating heat and exercise.
Choose Bikram yoga at your own risk.
Remember when Goldilocks found the porridge too hot, too cold, and the one that was just right? For my taste, the porridge that was just right was plain old hot yoga.
Done in a facility that was clean with excellent ventilation, not to mention antimicrobial mats, the instructor led us through slow methodical movements designed for internal healing. As we proceeded I never felt that I was going to pass out. Part of that may have had to do with the different sectors of heat in the room, versus Bikram which was a constant temperature throughout.
As I became proficient in the class I noticed the exercises became more difficult, but at a pace I could handle. There was rarely a time I felt I had to push myself, and after two weeks I noticed that many of my normal aches and pains had eased. My Seattle chiropractor had mentioned this could help with those issues, but seeing truly is believing.
My yoga adventures have lessened, but am so happy to have found one that fits my lifestyle and pace. For those who want something more strenuous and challenging Bikram is ideal, followed by Vinyasa yoga. If you want to have a gradual experience please try hot yoga, you will be glad you did.