My Three Yogas

19/3/2013

In typical scanner fashion, I’m not content to stick with just one type of yoga, so have found myself venturing in to the studios of quite a number of different yoga classes over the years.

At the moment I’m doing three, all of which I find complement one another magnificently. And each type of yoga I do brings me quite different benefits.

Camel pose

Hatha Yoga

This is the yoga that most people are familiar with – asanas (yoga positions) like downward dog, sun salutations and the like make up most Hatha classes. Hatha generally consists of meditation and sequences of asanas which aim to align your body, mind and spirit. Hatha asanas also help to open the many channels of the body, to get your energy flowing freely through. Hatha is a powerful holistic yoga practice, encouraging attention to breathing, which helps to steady the mind and be more ‘in the now’ than what we often are during our daily lives.

I find that Hatha helps to build my muscle strength, flexibility, balance and focus. After a hatha yoga class I feel like I’ve been massaged from the inside out, and my whole body buzzes with energy. Don’t get me wrong, there are some times during a class when my body just does not want to yield, I find it hard to deepen my stretches and it just hurts so much. When this happens I just take it easy on myself and try to use it as a lesson in surrendering. Just being with the pain and acknowledging it and enduring it without beating myself up about not being flexible enough. But however I feel during a class – I always feel amazing after finishing.

The Australian School of Meditation and Yoga in West End is where I do most of my Hatha. The crew there are fantastic, and the classes are super cheap. If you buy a six class pass, it turns out to be $10 per class – hello, bargain.

The newly refurbished ASMY West End studio has stunning wooden floors and is zinging with zen energy and is also massive, so head on over and check it out.

Kundalini Yoga

Its reputation as the most powerful and transformational yoga is not unfounded. If you’re ready for some profound changes to your world – you may want to take a look at my ol’ buddy, Kundalini yoga.

Kundalini uses dynamic yoga postures that are quite different from Hatha, energetic breathing techniques, mantras and meditation to help shift and work with our spiritual energy. Kundalini energy is said to reside in coils within your base chakra (base of your spine), and the kriyas (yoga move sequences), meditations and pranayama (breath work) are all designed to get that energy shifting and moving up through your chakras and (along your spine) out through the crown of your head and in to the ether.

I regularly practice aspects of Kundalini yoga at home and the effects are amazing. The Kundalini ‘Ego Eradicator’ meditation exercise often makes up part of my morning routine. Hot tip – although it can be a challenge at first, this one meditation is one of the best ways to centre in and create a super smooth day for yourself.

 

I go to Kundalini classes at Spirit Rising Yoga when I need to do Kundalini in a group setting. I highly recommend Spirit Rising’s introductory Kundalini six week course. They provide you with an awesome set of notes from each class, describing the kriyas, meditations and pranayama, as well as notes on the Kundalini philosophy and mantras – all so you can incorporate it in to your daily life easily.

The external is always a reflection of what is going on internally for us, and if you want to see some rapid change in your external environment, get your Kundalini on, stat. It’s truly amazing what kind of magic comes in to your life when you begin this practice.

Tigress Yoga

Sorry guys, this one’s a girls only class. Tigress yoga was created as a sacred feminine form of yoga, as apparently most yoga forms taught today come from masculine origins and do not necessarily address the healing and renewal of the feminine parts of us. Tigress truly evokes and awakens the feminine within you, so if you’re a lady wanting to tap more in to that side of yourself, I highly recommend this practice.

Tigress has a few familiar moves to Kundalini and Hatha, with a significant dash of what I now know is Tantra. But it is certainly an entirely different yoga to any I’ve ever experienced. This class puts you in to self-love mode rapidly. Appreciation for my precious mind, body and soul is amped up to the stratosphere after each class. It’s also magnificent for heightening creativity, too.

All of the crap you are holding on to just falls away and leaves you with beautiful YOU. Tigress helps so much with the releasing of long-held and stagnant tension, you’re encouraged to be your complete, true and essential self – full and no holds barred acceptance of anything that comes up is the order of the day at every Tigress class.

At first it’s a bit confronting, but you quickly get used to the fact that a Tigress session sounds a lot like a bacchanalian orgy or Lamaze class. Neither of which I’ve been to, mind. Yet. But one can surmise, no?

Tigress has brought a true feminine sensuality and vitality to my yoga practice, and I’ve been able to incorporate a lot of Tigress yoga moves in to my at-home practice.

It’s quite hard to find a class as they’re not available everywhere and happen in 6 week blocks every couple of months. Check out the Tigress Yoga website for more information.

Not there yet with Hot Yoga

I haven’t warmed to hot yoga yet (geddit?). I know. It’s super popular and so hot right now (oh STOP IT) but I haven’t gotten in to it thus far. I’m not saying that I’ll never do it again, but the one time I tried it I spent most of the class in my own private hell, sweating profusely on to my mat, slip sliding my way through my asanas. Doing downward facing dog one handed while wiping the stinging sweat from my eyes with the other was just a bit too much for me. The door crack kept quietly taunting me with its cool fresh air. I wanted to run, shove my mouth under the door and start sucking down on fresh air like a crazy person.

Such thoughts leave little room for getting my OM on.

So for now, Hatha, Kundalini and Tigress are in my yoga repertoire and I’m loving them all sick.

To close out I want to leave you with this short hilarious video that leaves me in stitches. For all my yogi and yogini friends out there – I guarantee you’ll see yourself in this. I know I did:

Sh*t Yogis Say

Do you do yoga? Any particular types that you fancy? I’d love to know what they are and why you love them. And if you have any tips on how I might enjoy hot yoga more, please let me know!

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