There are so many styles of yoga out there these days that it can be confusing for newbies. Asthtanga, kundalini, vinyasa, hatha, yada yada. These words make sense to the experienced yogi. But it seems like a different language to someone who has never done yoga before, which it is! People try yoga for a variety of reasons and from a wide range of backgrounds. While there is no way to know exactly what the right option is for everyone, we always recommend slow flow yoga. It’s not too hard for beginners yet not too easy for people who want a physical challenge. Read on to hear why think slow flow yoga is the ultimate yoga style.
Learn the Basics in Slow Flow Yoga
There are foundational points to understand for everyone beginning a yoga practice. First, yoga is all about the breath. Throughout the day and night we breathe. It’s involuntary and happens all by itself. Yogic breathing is through the nose and voluntary, meaning the breath is under our conscious control. The rhythm is guided by the attention of the practitioner. Once we are able to consciously create a steady breath, we can add movement to that rhythm.
Yoga is a series of yoga postures connected to the breath. There are key alignment points that will maximize the flow of energy through the body. Understanding how to align ourselves prevents injuries, increases flexibility, improves body awareness and develops functional strength.
Our slow flow yoga classes are dedicated to teaching students how to breathe and do the poses in a safe and optimal way. If you jump right into vinyasa or buddhi flow, you will miss out on creating a solid foundation. Even if you’re extremely athletic and fit, begin with at least 3-5 slow flow classes. This way when you take a more physically challenging class you will be familiar with the important basics that aren’t always emphasized in other yoga styles.
Experience a Deep State of Relaxation
From a physiological perspective, it is yoga’s effect on our autonomic nervous system that puts our body into a healing state. The conscious breathing combined with movement switch us out of operating from our sympathetic and activates the parasympathetic nervous system. In other words, yoga calms us down and puts us into “rest and digest” mode. Many things in the body happen when the relaxation response takes over. Our heart rate slows down, blood nourishes our organs and the endocrine system decides to release the fun chemicals instead of the ones that stress us out. All of this brings about a feeling of deep relaxation.
It can be said that all styles of yoga has this effect on us, and this is mostly true. Restorative yoga is practiced on the ground supported by props with the body at rest. There is no exertion whatsoever. While this is relaxing to some, it’s a boring nightmare to others. Vinyasa yoga is often incredibly physically challenging. It will leave you covered in sweat and completely spent. Again, this sounds like the perfect way to burn off the crazy for some, while others are like “get me the hell out of here, this is not yoga!” Slow flow is the happy medium. It might be a little hard for you, it might be a little easy. However you are going to exert yourself enough to get to that “aaaaaaaahhhh” place while not being so difficult that you’re frustrated and discouraged.
The Sky is the Limit with Slow Flow Yoga
After you practice slow flow yoga consistently for a few weeks or months, you’ll be very comfortable with the basic postures and breathing techniques. We like to emphasize that there is no hierarchy in yoga. It’s not about “graduating” from slow flow and moving on to “harder” or “more advanced” classes. At Buddhi Yoga in La Jolla we have students that have been doing slow flow classes for decades. They are some of the most consistent students we have. Slow flow builds a solid foundation for a lifelong yoga practice. If you become interested in other styles of yoga, you will be adequately prepared to try something new. If that feeling of curiosity strikes, yourBuddhi has different options for you to meander through the vastness of all that yoga has to offer. Email us when you have questions about anything and we can point you in the right direction.