It’s hard to know when I transformed into a complete yogi. I started practicing yoga back in 2008, and back then it was mainly hot yoga that I would use as an additional workout to my training. Now, fast-forward 8 years and I’m practicing yoga everyday, whether in a studio or in the comfort of my own home.
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India in which the body, breath and mind are seen as a union. Yoga has grown to become a regular pastime in North America – from athletes, to movie stars to everyday folks. You can now find great knowledgeable teachers in almost every city, or online, making it easily accessible to practice. Yoga is originally a spiritual practice, but we’ve seen it expand to a more physical power over the years. I’ve even gotten myself caught up in my “yoga workouts” as opposed to my “yoga practices”.
There are so many types of yoga offered, geared towards different personalities, goals or personal needs.
- Hatha yoga focuses on slow, gentle movements. It is a basic and classical approach to yoga postures.
- Vinyasa Flow is a yoga class that will keep you moving and flowing from one posture to the next. They usually start with sun salutations and from there the teacher can be creative. No 2 classes are alike.
- Kundalini focuses on the energy of the “Root Chakra” which surrounds the area of your lower spine. This class involves a lot of core work and has the potential to be quite intense. The purpose of a Kundalini yoga class is to release the Kundalini energy in the body.
- Ashtanga yoga is physically demanding power yoga. There are 6 pose sequences that are practiced as a primary series, secondary series or third series. Each is practiced as progress is made.
- Yin yoga treats the connective tissue and fascia covering the body, that might not be exercised much in a more active style of yoga
- Restorative yoga is when you hold restorative poses for a long period of time, which helps connect the mind and body. You’ll often use props, such as blankets or bolsters during this class to help drop you into a deep relaxation.
There are also fun classes like Acro Yoga and Jivamukti, both of which I haven’t tried yet but I look forward to trying in the future!
When I started doing yoga I noticed that my body began to stretch and elongate more easily and general aches and pains began to disappear. I am a fan of hot yoga, which adds another level of deep stretching. I go to Moksha Yoga in Montreal to practice my yoga every week. I generally prefer the power flow classes, which are innovative and cardiovascular. The continuous flow gets my body into a comfortable rhythm and I can focus on my breath and awareness. I do switch it up from time to time, depending on how I feel emotionally and physically. A good yin class which includes long and deep holds to restore joints and muscles is always a good idea and key to my recovery process.
As I’m often on the road, I have had to find alternative ways to care for my body and fit it in my daily yoga practice. Kaitlyn Weaver and I have started a tradition of going to yoga classes in the cities that we visit. Although our schedule doesn’t always allow for it, we try our best.
I was also lucky enough that one year ago I discovered yogaglo.com. It is an online yoga studio featuring dozens of teachers and thousands of classes available for streaming. It has become my saving grace not only when I’m travelling but at home as well. Yogaglo is very well organized and it is a great learning tool for anyone new to yoga or for yoga masters. With classes designed for specific needs, such as travel, AM yoga, PM yoga, core strength, seasonal yoga, meditation, yoga for energy, yoga for hip openers, you name it, they have a classes designed for it! Classes range from 5 minutes to 120 minutes, depending on your needs and schedule.