September is National Yoga month, a perfect time to try that workout everyone keeps talking about.
What type of yoga should I try?
There are as many types of yoga as there are colors of yoga mats. Here's a very basic guide to yoga styles:
- Hatha - This is an all-levels gentle yoga practice that includes twists, stretching, and strengthening.
- Vinyasa - Yoga that is connected to breath (inhale as you go up, exhale as you go down, etc) and has a fluidity between postures. Vinyasa is more cardiovascularly challenging than Hatha.
- Ashtanga - Similar to Vinyasa, but follows a specific series of postures that are to be completed in a particular order. This is typically a challenging class depending on the studio and teacher.
- Bikram (Hot Yoga) - Named for the yogi who trademarked his personal style, this class moves through 26 postures in a specific sequence and is performed in a room heated to 105º at 40% humidity. If the class style is called “Hot Yoga,” the teacher probably doesn’t have Bikram’s blessing to teach his trademarked style, but it will be very similar to what is described above.
- Find Your Yoga Style - A yoga teacher in North Carolina made a very handy flow chart to help you find the yoga style that is right for you.
But yoga is expensive!
Yes, but so is physical therapy, medicine, health insurance, hip replacements, psychiatrists… you get the idea. However, with some sleuthing and planning you can have a regular yoga practice that doesn’t break the bank.
- Groupon and LivingSocial occasionally have coupons to yoga studios for 50-70% off.
- Gyms and YMCAs offer yoga classes as a part of their membership
- Many studios offer introductory class packages at great discounts. Once you find a studio you like, you’ll find that their monthly pass is well worth the price tag.
Louisville has a wonderful yoga community eager to bring the practice to everyone regardless of financial status. Louisville Yoga CoOp keeps a calendar of free and donation based yoga around the city. Their Facebook page is constantly updated with upcoming community classes.
Yoga East on Frankfort Avenue recently converted to a donation based yoga studio. Some of the best and most passionate teachers volunteer there. The studio offers a wide variety of classes for beginners and advanced students.
Many local studios offer at least one or two donation-based classes as well, check their calendar or follow their facebook pages to stay informed.
Free Yoga this Monday morning
Kick off National Yoga Month from 8-9 Monday morning with a free yoga class at the waterfront as a part of the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown Hike, Bike and Paddle. The class will be on the Great Lawn.
Out of town this weekend? Next Saturday, Yoga East on Frankfort Ave will have free yoga all day as a part of their grand opening celebration. For more information and a class listing, click here.
Image courtesy Louisville Yoga CoOp Facebook page, with permission.