In our latest Health in Belgium Yoga teacher, therapist and astrologer Sarbani Sen warns against jumping on to the first yoga mat you see and instead take time to choose the style best suited to you
Yogis are taking over Europe and the US. Urban areas and holiday resorts are filled with people walking around with a yoga mat. Especially since the Covid pandemic, people all over the world have shown a growing interest for this Ancient Science. And that is great! The health care system can benefit enormously from an early preventive work on the body. Yet as everyone wants to have their share of this growing industry, it is important to consider these few questions before you engage on the “voie royale”, the Yogic Path of Life.
Choose your style
There are so many styles of yoga today. There are slower versions and faster versions, devotional or secular, active or rather passive styles of yoga.
The base of it all. This class will give you the basics for learning a good posture. It is usually quite slow and can focus on one part of the body for an entire class. Hatha Yoga is perfect for beginners.
Vinyasa or Flow Yoga
A modern version of Hatha. Developed for westerners, it includes a flow that will transition you from one posture to the other in a harmonious, almost dancing way. People who find it difficult to concentrate will particularly enjoy this class.
A very slow deep core Yoga. Focused on deep stretch and flexibility of the body, it will help you improve other yoga versions. It is also a stand-alone class if you need a deep muscle stretch.
A challenging version of Hatha. It includes very sophisticated postures that are not possible for beginners. There are beginner classes, but it will take time before you get into the rhythm.
One of my favourites, this is performed in a heated room that will allow you to loosen the muscles right away and allow a deeper practice, usually with a flow, longer holding postures, or a mix of both.
This is the revolutionary version of yoga. I call it spiritual fitness as it mixes the spiritual and core aspects of yoga. It includes breathing exercises, singing meditations and some very simple asanas (exercises). This is a very interesting yoga technique if you want to introduce a new fun practice into your everyday life, overcome bad habits or feel a call to reach the new level of your life, as it works on the subconscious mind.
Choose your studio: Online versus in person
Since Covid, online classes have increased, allowing students to join from all around the world. Online classes are adjustable to your needs: timing, teacher, language and style, no matter where you live. If you are in Brussels, London or Mexico you can still take a class with a teacher you liked on YouTube. Of course, many people get bored of watching screens after office hours, but they have their benefits.
If you choose a specific studio, however, make sure it is not too far from your house and offers the style you want. Key to integrating yoga in your daily life is consistency. So simplify your life. You might even want to consider a corporate class. Today, many companies as well as the European Commission and other international organisations offer in-house classes. Finally, you need to practice at least twice or three times a week if you want to reap yoga’s benefits.
Choose your teacher: Guruism, the spiritual ego trap
Thirdly, yoga teachers are neither angels, nor saints or even priests. Some of them were fitness trainers or dancers. They do not live according to the yoga sutras, nor are they free from toxic behaviours or spiritual ego tripping. They have many different personalities. It is important to stay clear headed and make sure to choose one that suits you. See how you feel after the class. Have your energy levels increased or gone down? Remain mindful and never put your life in the hands of someone just because it says yoga on the front door.
For more information
To find out more about the Online Kundalini Yoga Programs please look at www.savitri-yoga.com and schedule a free consultation to find out if this is a good fit for you. Maybe you are just one click away to find exactly what you were looking for? Meanwhile, the next ‘21 Day Yoga Challenge’, where you do yoga exercises for 21 days in a row, starts on 6 June.
Sarbani Sen is an Indo-German scholar and teacher. She grew up in Europe and India, amidst renowned yogis, gurus and tantrics which gave her the foundations to a deep understanding of Vedic science. Originally a sociologist, she is today an astrologer, a holistic therapist, a coach, a speaker, and teaches Kundalini yoga online and around the world.