5 steps to find your yoga style

Yoga has become more commonly accepted, but some misconceptions still cause some people to reject it. In this blog I will try to clear up these misconceptions!

People often cite these two reasons for why yoga isn’t their thing:

  1. I am too stiff
  2. I am not the type of person that likes to sit around and do ‘zen things’. I don’t know how to find the peace in my body.

Both of them are misconceptions about yoga. The first one I already thoroughly discussed. The second one is linked to a very important choice in yoga: your teacher and the style of yoga.

Yoga is a collector name for many different approaches to how to connect your mind, body and spirit. In the past decades many different styles have been developed. Some became more popular and others are more low key and unknown. Finding the style that fits you is essential to your enjoyment of yoga.

The common ones you will come across often are Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Iyengar yoga, Asthanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Yin Yoga. If you want to know more about the different styles, there is a perfect description of them on this website.

So how to pick your style, school and teacher? I see 5 steps to find your style:

  1. First think why you want to do yoga, or why you are doing yoga. What is it you want to achieve with it? This will help you to eliminate a few styles.
  2. How do you want to practice? Big group? Smaller group? Private? This will help you find a school and / or teacher.
  3. Ask your friends who practice what style they do, which school and teacher they go to. Let them explain why they like it.
  4. Make a selection of 5 schools and teachers and go there to try out different styles, teacher and schools. Where do you feel most comfortable? Where can you find what you want to reach in yoga?
  5. Start your practice as many times per week or month as you want. Find the right pace to ensure you enjoy your yoga and get the most out of it.

It sounds like a logical process but often people get stuck with one teacher and style because it is taught at your gym or work. I know many people that quit their classes, because they weren’t sure it was what they wanted. My belief is that you just haven’t found your style or teacher yet! Keep on looking, because you will feel it when you have found it.

Practice, discipline and repetition

Image

I believe these three words are the recipe for any success. This also holds true for yoga. During a teacher training you live by these 3 principles. You have a tight schedule because there are only 200 hours to transmit the knowledge you need to be teaching on your own. After the course discipline is the keyword to make a difference: get up early to do your own practice, keep on studying the scriptures, postures and effects it has on you. Practice helps to feel and experience the yoga postures in your own body, which is your main source for teaching yoga to others. You repeat over and over again: mantras, anatomy, 8 limbs of yoga, breathing and of course the asanas. Repetition creates a patterns in your mind and body, which allows you to remember and become better and deepen each time you do it.

These three words have always sounded scary to me, it means work – hard work! Something I try to avoid when I am not sure what the work is leading towards. But now, after I have taken my first steps into teaching yoga, I realise that they are my friends and my mantra. Through practice, discipline and repetition I can built my own practice and grow as a teacher and human being. It will allow me to learn while I am doing, it will help me to keep on studying and growing as a person and it will guide in me into my next steps in life. And best of all, I am able to teach others what these three words mean and can do in their lives!