What do yoga and ice cream have in common?
Hatha, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Yin, Kundalini, Slow Flow, Svaroopa® Yoga, Hot Yoga, Laughter Yoga, Wine Yoga and even Doga (dog yoga…yes, it’s a real thing!). These days there are so many different types of yoga that deciding on the most suitable one for you can seem more difficult than the impossible choice of selecting the right flavor of ice cream on a hot summer’s day. So, how do you go about working out which one is for you?
The history of yoga is difficult to trace, however, some evidence suggests that it dates all the way back to 2700BC (http://www.mea.gov.in/in-focus-article.htm?25096/Yoga+Its+Origin+History+and+Development). Since its introduction to the West, yoga’s popularity has been on the increase, with a recent Roy Morgan survey indicating that the proportion of Australians that participate in yoga has more than doubled – from 5% up to 11% – in the past decade (http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/7004-yoga-is-the-fastest-growing-sport-or-fitness-activity-in-australia-june-2016-201610131055). At nearly 2 million people, that’s a lot of yogis!
Modern yoga has evolved into the many and varied forms that we see today. Rather than discuss which types constitute ‘real’ or “legitimate” yoga, which is a common debate, why not look at the many and varied choices for the modern yogi as a positive? Perhaps we should consider that we are lucky to be spoilt for choice; with a vast range of yoga options to choose from, there is something for everyone! For example, if you’re after an energising practice that will get your heart rate up, then the flowing Vinyasa may be for you. Maybe you’ve had a hectic week and you want the opportunity to slow down and connect deeply with a more meditative practice, in which case Yin may do the trick. If you feel like moving a little but also embracing more static poses, then Hatha might be your thing. And if you are looking to release deep tensions from your body and mind, then heading to a Svaroopa® Yoga class may serve you best.
Allow your curiosity to guide you and experiment with different styles of yoga. Before choosing a class, check in with what will serve you best, on that given day, at this stage in your life, with your current physical state, your mental load, and levels of stress and energy. There are elements in each type of yoga that will suit different people, which is a beautiful thing.
So, whether you come to your mat to manage an injury, de-stress, work up a sweat, turn yourself into a pretzel or advance on your spiritual path, it is almost certain that the magic of yoga will draw you in. Whether it’s the deep, sound sleep that you have after a class; the gains in your physical fitness, strength, and balance; the improved interactions with others or that delicious feeling of peace and contentment at the end of Shavasana. Before you know it, you will be seeking a deeper connection and the lure to come to your mat will draw you back again and again.
While Doga hasn’t made it to Blue Water just yet, you will find Hatha Levels 1 and 2, Vinyasa, Slow Flow, Svaroopa® Yoga and Yin Yoga on offer for you to try. And as for the ice cream, for me, it’s got to be coconut, every single (hot Summer) day of the week!
Written by Kerryn Godfrey and Blair Phillips