How you begin an introductory yoga class is important. It may be the difference between trying yoga once and deciding it's not for you, or having yoga become a lifelong friend. First off, a short primer on the broad sweep of styles in modern yoga.
Flow Yoga - Refers to most yoga these days where you move from pose to pose in a pleasing linked manner. Upside of this form: Our bodies love continuous streaming ways of moving. Downsides: the movement can be very fast, without sufficient time to work with alignment; and the poses may be too advanced and too quick for beginners.
Iyengar Yoga - One of the oldest forms in the U.S., and it's actually difficult to find a pure Iyengar class these days. The practice focuses on using props (blocks, walls, blankets) and is very persnickety about alignment, which is good for beginners!
Hot Yoga - Seattle is a hotbed, so to speak, for this style of yoga. Maybe it's our gray days, and cool air. Hot yoga is taught in a room heated anywhere from 80 degrees to over 100 degrees. If you have lizard blood, have an understanding of optimal postural alignment, and have no major injuries, this may be a realm for you to explore cautiously.
Yin Yoga - The polar (groan!) opposite of hot yoga, yin yoga is a style where poses are held for long periods of time, sometimes up to 10 or 15 minutes. Upside of this form: provides good release to persistently tight tissues. Downsides: this isn't a great form for folks who are already flexible, and who actually need to build more muscle strength, not keep over-stretching their already bendy bodies.
Seattle Yoga Arts - The yoga at our studio contains a little bit of all the ingredients mentioned above, except extreme heat. We keep the room at a comfortable and reasonable temperature for practice. Our introductory series will teach you the nuts and bolts of optimal postural alignment, and you'll practice in a way that flows, but slowly enough that you can keep your bearings and stay in contact with what your body may be trying to tell you. As well, we aim to philosophize the class just enough (not in an icky way) to infuse movement with more meaning and joy.
Call us if you have questions! Check the schedule page for the next Introductory Series.