I teach several styles of yoga,
and like to mix them all together in one practice.
I can customize for high energy or low energy, and I might lead a mostly vinyasa class, or a mostly yin class, but one thing is for sure: you will get a self-loving workout physically, mentally, and emotionally.
Vinyasa is probably the most
commonly practiced yoga in the western world.
If you've tried yoga but weren't sure which type it was, it was most likely vinyasa. The term "vinyasa" is used to refer to a few different things - the most obvious of which being a style of yoga, and a type of yoga class.
But the deeper meaning refers to conscious placement. In vinyasa we use the breath to link one pose to the next, moving with intention. We find rhythm and meditation in a sequence of postures by linking the movement to our bodies, our own breathing pattern. While vinyasa yoga is a part of the hatha "branch" of yoga, it differs from what we call hatha because of this continuous flow.
"Vinyasa" is also associated with a specific sequence of poses (also known as Sun Salutation, or Surya Namaskar), but it can be any sequence linked together in this way.
It is often thought to be a fast-paced style of yoga, but it doesn't have to be. In fact, sometimes the greater challenge lies in taking it slow and moving more deliberately. I tend to teach a medium-paced vinyasa class, as I like to emphasize proper alignment and linger in poses to really feel everything they can offer.
Hatha is a bit less active, but with familiar shapes.
Hatha yoga is a sort of foundational yoga practice, from which many other styles were born out of (including vinyasa). In hatha, you'll see a lot of the same postures as in vinyasa, but with a more static approach, eliminating the "flow" between poses but holding each for a little bit longer to emphasis breath, alignment, and concentration. Hatha classes tend to be a bit gentler and slower than vinyasa, and are great for beginners or folks with more limited mobility.
Yin yoga is not as widely known,
but probably my favorite kind of yoga.
Yin is a great compliment to a vinyasa practice, which is also considered yang yoga. Just as the yin yang symbol represents, balance is found by incorporating a little of each in the other.
In a culture where we’re all constantly on the move, yin yoga will challenge you to stay. It will help you sit longer, and more comfortably, in meditation by holding passive stretching postures for upwards of 5 minutes. By sinking into poses that we are used to holding for 10, 20, or maybe 30 seconds, we access deeper layers of fascia, allowing us to find space in the connective tissue around joints. It is not only a delicious physical practice, but it is an opportunity to notice how your body and mind react. There is a strong connection between yin yoga and the fight or flight response, and by pushing through our habits to resist or run, we sink deeper, release control (relaxing muscles, quieting the mind), and learn to breathe through the blocks, the parts where your mind or ego is insisting you can’t do it, where fear arises, where old stories come up. By passing through this “junk” you stretch beyond what you thought possible and find freedom in letting go.
Restorative is even more passive,
but not to be mistaken as a waste of time.
Much like Yin yoga, poses are held for a longer time in Restorative, which not only gives the body time to open up on it's own, but can be a deep mental exercise. Restorative is often mistaken for Yin, but is much more passive as the use of props (blocks, bolsters, blankets, straps) offers a lot of support in each pose. Restorative is not about getting super deep into poses, but being really gentle with the body and introducing some supported opening and a whole lot of mindfulness. It's a little bit like taking a nap and doing yoga at the same time. It's much needed down time for the body and mind.