What's Your Secret Yoga Personality? Health & Fitness

The Evening Standard (London, England), November 25, 2003 | Go to article overview

What's Your Secret Yoga Personality? Health & Fitness


Byline: ANASTASIA STEPHENS

NO LONGER do people simply go to a yoga class.

Across London, centres are offering classes ranging from Bikram - yoga in a steam room - to ashtanga or power yoga. There are even bizarre hybrids such as yogaboxing. So what classes are on offer and which will suit your yoga personality best?

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga strives to achieve union of body and mind - "ha" meaning sun and "tha" meaning moon. Hatha can be dynamic or gentle and there is emphasis on correct breathing to achieve a calm state of mind.

Main benefits: according to Rowan Carol, yoga teacher at Lotus Lifestyle in Chelsea Harbour, hatha is good for newcomers as it emphasises correct technique from the start. A good steppingstone to more vigorous forms of yoga, such as ashtanga.

Yoga personality? For people who are stressed and uptight or who want to achieve greater flexibility, self-awareness, alignment and focus.

Power yoga

Ashtanga or power yoga is a fairly physically demanding form of the discipline which follows a set of movements known as the " primary series".

It is fast-moving and energetic.

Main benefits: good for a dynamic workout that's full of stretching and movement.

Yoga personality? For "doers" looking for a sense of achievement; people who are already fit; experienced yogis.

Yogaboxing

Yogaboxing is an active discipline offering the relaxation benefits of yoga, combined with the physical and spiritual aspects of boxing, aerobics and t'ai chi.

Main benefits: improves cardiovascular fitness, reaction times and endurance as well as wellbeing.

Yoga personality? For dynamic sporty types; people looking for an all-round stressbusting and spiritual workout.

Tantric yoga

Tantra refers to techniques that use the body and senses as a vehicle to awaken consciousness. Tantric yoga involves exercises, meditation and visualisation to open the kundalini, an energy centre at the base of the spine, and use it to achieve a higher mental state. …

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