This is our assignment for the Aspire and Inspire sparkteam: June 21 is International Yoga Day. Have you ever tried yoga? Which type of yoga do you prefer if you are yogini (a female master yoga practitioner)?
I started practicing yoga approximately six years ago, but I definitely would not consider myself a yogini.
I have learned that there are many forms of yoga and that each form may be different when led by a different instructor. I fell in love with the first instructor I had, Summer, and she has come and gone over the years as she is younger and went back to college and even to Israel for more training.
At the beginning I practiced Hatha Yoga. It is my understanding that any yoga practice that includes specific movements and series of postures (asanas) is a form of hatha yoga. Then Summer starting leading us in what is known as Kundalini Yoga. Kundalini techniques involve stretching, breathing , strength and meditation.
What I like about Kundalini Yoga is that it is a yoga of awareness. It teaches me to listen to my body and do what works for me. It has taught me to challenge myself. You might not think 3 minutes is very long, but when you are doing a particular exercise for three minutes it seems very long, but I learned that I can persevere and get through the entire time.
Happily my favorite instructor, Summer, is back in town and has her own Mindful Movement studio and teaches a variety of movement classes. I am currently taking a level one yoga class because of the ongoing pain I have had for the past three years. This class is a combination of Kundalini and Hatha yoga. The first part of the class involves a lot of warm up using Kundaline type moves. Then we move into the Hatha form. In this class we do a lot less of the up and down movements you find in a regular Hatha class.
Summer also teaches levels 2 and 3 yoga classes. My current plan is to stay in Level 1 through the summer and then check out the level 2 to see how my pain level is.
If you haven’t tried yoga, I really encourage you to give it a try. It is really a mind/body connection that has many benefits including boosting your immunity, improving your ability to deal with stress, and increasing your muscle strength and tone.
If you have tried yoga and didn’t like it, I encourage you to try it with a different instructor. They even have chair yoga so it really is accessible to almost anyone.
“Yoga is the fountain of youth. You're only as young as your spine is flexible.”