Santa Cruz Yoga Classes
While I offer classes to every one regardless of skill level or familiarity with Yoga, the truth of the matter is that there is no single type of Yoga practice that works for every one. There’s no such thing as a universal yoga practice suited for every one, which is actually a good thing – it means that there is a type of yoga custom tailored to different individuals of different capabilities. This ensures optimal effectiveness and a greater chance of success for people who want to adopt yoga for self-improvement purposes. Bear in mind that one type of yoga being a perfect fit for you does not necessarily mean that you shouldn’t try out all of the other types. It is perfectly fine (and encouraged!) to practice several different types if they can all benefit you in their own little ways. In order to increase your knowledge, you can refer to the list below:
This is a frequent source of confusion for some practitioners, because the Sanskrit term “hatha” can be used to refer to any yoga that deals in physical postures, but for the purpose of the classes I offer, Hatha Yoga tackles all the basics and generally starts with practitioners holding yoga poses for a few breaths. This is good for novices because of its slow pace and is generally considered as a gentle type of yoga.
This type of yoga is more suited to yogis who enjoy not just the physical aspect of yoga, but also the nit-picky details about the poses. In this class, you will be using various props such as yoga blocks, straps, ropes, or blankets in order to ensure precision in your body’s alignment. I will also be sharing a lot of information in this class, so it’s well suited to the inquisitive, studious yogis. Bear in mind that while this type can be practiced by people of all ages, those with existing injuries should consult their doctor first.
Bikram is perfect for people who want to perspire – it is made up of a couple of dozen poses and 2 breathing exercises, which are all done while in a room that is slightly humid. While not really physically punishing (especially compared to what people do on the gym), it is designed to achieve the same overall effect – make your body sweat a lot. So make sure that you hydrate a lot before taking this class, and to avoid pushing yourself. If it starts to get too uncomfortable, you are encouraged to rest and hydrate. One other thing about Bikram is that it has a predictable sequence of poses, so it’s great for people who prefer routines. There is also something called Hot Yoga, which is a separate type but is very closely related to Bikram, in the sense that it is done in a heated room, but the main difference is that there are no restrictions with the types of poses. It is more suited for people who enjoy Bikram’s goal of making you sweat, but want to push their capacity further.
Vinyasa Yoga’s goal is to improve cardiovascular health, and it does this through a dynamic routine that links breathing and movement together gracefully. Sometimes we will use music in order to assist practitioners with the movements, as the beats can help improve the sequencing of the poses. This type of yoga is enjoyed by runners and athletes since it provides a similar feeling to what they are used to.
If you enjoy yoga’s orderliness and routines, but still crave challenge and a good workout, then Ashtanga may be the right type for you. This type of yoga consists of 6 sets of tightly sequenced poses, which involve breathing and flowing consistently in order to build up your internal heat. The main type of Ashtanga will have me calling out poses, but there is also a subset called Mysore that allows you to perform the routines without supervision (though I will still be around to help you if you need assistance or guidance.)
Kundalini yoga is one of the more popular types, mainly because celebrities like Russell Brand and Gabrielle Bernstein have brought it to the fore of mainstream consciousness (and have basically evangelized the practice) but the truth is that Kundalini does stand out from other types of yoga. It is one of the more challenging practices in terms of mental and physical exercises, but it is also the most extensive one: it involves kriyas (which are basically repetitive physical and breathing exercises), singing, chanting, and even meditating. Its main purpose is to tap into the internal energies residing within an individual in order to reach a higher level of self-awareness. If it isn’t obvious from the description yet, Kundalini yoga is essentially more suited for deeply committed practitioners. It’s not so much the physical challenges – because it doesn’t really do anything that is so strenuous as to harm a person – but it goes beyond physical improvement and tackles a person’s spiritual needs. This is ideal for people who seek more than physical fitness out of yoga, particularly those who want spiritual and emotional benefits.
This type of Yoga is the best for people who want to take it slow. In Yin Yoga, the poses are usually held for a few minutes and are more meditative in nature. The main benefits of this practice is that it improves elasticity and flexibility, and the poses can be restorative in nature. It is the most suitable for people who need to stretch and relax, but not advised for people who are very flexible and those who have a connective tissue disorder. If you are not sure about this, you should consult your physician first.
Last but not the least is the restorative yoga. Some of the more active practitioners feel like this type of yoga isn’t doing much, but that would be missing the point of the practice. This is more mellow and slow moving with longer holds, because it promotes deep relaxation. This is one of the most accessible types of yoga and is generally good for everyone especially hose who suffer from insomnia and anxiety.