Yoga for Gym Bunnies
When I wrote out the title of today’s post I giggled to myself as I really feel like I am writing to myself 3 years ago. I’ve recently had a couple of my friends tell me that yoga is boring, it doesn’t work or that they just don’t get it. Naturally I wanted to know how they had come to this conclusion. They all came back with similar responses… We don’t sweat. We don’t ache after. We don’t feel like we’re working. Another similarity between all the girls was that they are very athletic and work out regularly. They just didn’t find a standard beginners yoga class offered at their local gym challenging.
General gym yoga classes are great as they are generally put together in such a way that they cater to all levels and abilities. If you are doing a beginners class, they assume you know nothing and will start off slow – so there is every chance that you may not work up a great sweat doing one of these classes. Having said that, the gym classes are fab for yoga foundation, learning what each pose is called and how to get in and out of it safely.
However, if you are on the hunt for a yoga class which will challenge you a bit more, I recommend finding a yoga studio and trying out one of the following classes:
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Traditional Ashtanga yoga follows the same sequence and series of poses in a precise order. This is considered to be a very physically demanding yoga style and the classes are designed to enable each student to familiarise themselves with each pose or asana and deepen into it a little more every time it is practiced. Ashtanga became more popular during the 20th century and in often referred to as the modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. The more time you spend practising this form of yoga, the more toned and flexible your body will become.
Power Yoga is a Vinyasa (or Ashtanga) style, flow yoga. Power yogis move quickly between poses, but the poses often focus on building strength rather than flexibility. It was Power Yoga that I fell in love with before going to do my training in India as an Ashtanga teacher.
You will definitely work up a sweat. You will definitely feel it in the morning. However, as this practice is fast passed, you will need a basic knowledge of yoga poses before you take a class as you risk being left behind.
This is taking sweating to another level. Bikram Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga and is practised in a room heated to between 35 – 42 degrees C. The beginners classes are made up of 26 postures, last 90 minutes and include two breathing exercises. It was designed as a rejuvenating exercise to strengthen the entire body. One of the beautiful things about practising this style of yoga is that you walk out of the class not only having had a work out but, after attending a few times, your skin literally glows too.
- Photography + Writer: Maxeen Kim Photography