Skip to main content

One yoga class is not like another

You’ve wanted to do yoga for years, and you finally sit down to “google” your topic and find a class. And yet the choices are daunting in number. Which type of class might be best for you? The following is a brief low-down on some of your local choices to help you find the right match.

It is always a good idea to look for a basic class to start with. Such a class might be labeled “hatha,” which is a term designating the physical postures of yoga. You may want to look for gentle yoga, or a level one class. In these classes you will learn the poses and how to become aligned in them so that you don’t strain your muscles or joints. You’ll get an opportunity to learn basics and to use props in poses that are a bit out of reach. When you feel ready, you can find a class that introduces more difficult poses or a more vigorous pace.

Integral yoga can be an excellent style to start with. It is gentle, places emphasis on the breath, and honors your current physical situation. This form of yoga is influenced by Sri Swami Satchidananda and is designed to integrate various aspects of this ancient tradition to address the body, mind, and spirit.

Iyengar yoga is a traditional approach that can vary somewhat in style depending on the teacher. It is a good approach for learning structure and alignment in poses, and studios that teach this style will often have beginner and advanced classes. B.K.S. Iyengar is an Indian teacher who has had a great influence on yoga in the United States.

Ashtanga yoga is a traditional approach developed in India by Krishnamacharaya and later by Pattabhi Jois. It focuses on vinyasa sequences, and an individual progresses through the sequences at her own pace. It is a vigorous approach.

Anusara yoga is a modern style of hatha yoga developed by John Friend. It focuses on principles of alignment as well as the spirituality of yoga.

Viniyoga is a form of yoga that focuses on learning yoga in an individualized way. It can be gentle and therapeutic. It was developed by Gary Kraftsow and was influenced by T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar.

Bikram Yoga and CorePower Yoga are more recent developments in the yoga world. Both may take place in heated rooms so that muscles stretch more easily and toxins are sweated out. Both are vigorous; CorePower generally focuses on vinyasa and balancing poses.

Therapeutic yoga and yoga for seniors courses may be offered in studios or through hospitals and wellness centers. They are adapted for people who have limited mobility and can help you regain strength and flexibility.

Sports yoga is often a less traditional form of yoga taught in gyms, and classes may blend yoga postures with other workout forms. It is vigorous.

Fort Collins has a plethora of studios and teachers as well as periodic workshops on topics related to yoga, spirituality, and personal growth. For more information, see the following websites, look in your local recreation paper, or read this Examiner site.

A sample list of local studios and teachers in Fort Collins

Tree Top Studio, variety of classes,

Old Town Yoga Studio, variety of classes,

Yoga Center of Fort Collins, Iyengar and hatha, www.cwright

Fort Collins Pulse, variety of classes,

Miramont Lifestyle Fitness, variety of classes,

CorePower Yoga, Bikram and CorePower,

Breathe Yoga of Fort Collins, Bikram,