Recently, a friend of mine was over at my house, flipping through my (bizarrely organized) book of DVDs, when she came across my section of yoga videos. “How many do you need?” she asked, with an annoyed look on her face. (Needless to say, she is not a yoga buff.) She pointed to all of my various different options, everything from Flow, Hatha, Power yoga and separate meditation DVDs, each for a different kind of practice and a different kind of mood, which I pointedly tried to explain to her. Some days, I like the kicking-my-butt, sweat-inducing effects of a Power session. Some days, when I need to be a little more forgiving to my increasingly degenerating body, I choose a more gentle Hatha class, geared specifically towards those who suffer with chronic pain. But to those who don’t practice yoga, they can’t help but wonder why there are so many to choose from. And all of the selection, my dear yogis, can be daunting.
For those who are new to yoga, picking a practice type can be daunting, and attendance at different types of sessions can seriously intimidate. What if I can’t keep up? What if I’m not familiar with the moves? What if I don’t like it? All of these questions can pop up in our minds, making us nervous and wrecking the relaxation benefits of class. So ultimately, selecting the practice that is right for you and your needs can be tricky. There are various things to read in books and online, all outlining the perfect method, the ideal positions and the criteria for the perfect instructor, which can all be tailored to fit your specific needs, but so much information can be hard to process. The important thing to note is that the best thing about yoga is it’s ability to be easily adapted to the needs of any yogi.
Although I am a big fan of the wide variety of yoga DVDs for home use, I do think that the best way to find the right practice for you is to shop around to various classes, where an instructor can advise you on proper corrections and form, which you can then perfect in your own living room once you find a practice that you like. Many studios offer a variety of different start-up packages that allow clients to purchase a one or two week pass, at a discounted rate, for an unlimited number of classes. This allows you to try out a variety of different yoga styles at a cheaper price, since classes and memberships can often get quite pricey.
So don’t be intimidated by all the selection. Instead, embrace it! There are so many different types of yoga that certainly, one will suit you and your needs.