Find Your Yoga Style: From Restorative To Ashtanga, Kundalini And Bikram There’s One For You

By Andrea | October 16 2013 | 22 Comments

My right knee doesn’t like skiing. The snowy slopes are the reason that my joint is held together with shiny metal screws and cartilage that was grown in a petri dish. It’s like something Mary Fitzgerald would have created if Make And Do was set in Frankenstein’s laboratory.

It means that I now like extreme sports only when completed in very controlled environments. But luckily there are a plethora of sports classes to join that don’t involve signing insurance waivers and lots of exercise DVDs that don’t reference the word shred. Pilates and yoga are two of my favourite evening workouts. You can join in at your local gym or break out your floor mat at home with a DVD.

yoga class

There are lots of different kinds of yoga. Choosing the best fit for you can be as confusing trying to understand as the rules of Deal or No Deal. A general yoga class will cover the basics. But there are several disciplines and they all give different results.

Some people love the heat of Bikram while others, like Madonna, enjoy the physically demanding poses of Ashtanga.

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My favourite types are Kundalini and Restorative.

Kundalini has echoes of pilates with lots of focus on the core and the area around your lower spine. It can build up to a pretty intense class but it’s balanced with lots of emphasis on breath.

It’s also called the yoga of consciousness because it aims to make us aware of how our nervous system is coping. It’s a great way to combat the effects of stress, ‘tis my weekly rebalancing act.

And Jennifer Aniston is a fan. Who can argue with those abs?

yoga, jennifer aniston

I sometimes refer to my Restorative yoga class as my blanket yoga class. It’s a very light form of exercise, more of a relaxation. The warm-up can be  a series of sun salutations or some gentle vinyasa yoga (gentle flowing movements from one held pose to the next).

It uses lots of props like my aforementioned snuggly blanket, pillows, bolsters and blocks. These help your body to rest and completely relax. Restorative yoga is great for clearing the mind and will really help if you have difficulties sleeping.

yoga, pilates

With so many different types, everyone is bound to find one that they enjoy. So grab your yoga mat and get ready to stretch!

Are you a yoga fanatic or is your new gym gear encouraging you to join a class? Or do you just fancy giving the snuggly blanket yoga a go? To the comments with you. Namaste!

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22 Replies to "Find Your Yoga Style: From Restorative To Ashtanga, Kundalini And Bikram There’s One For You"

  • Áine says:

    Timely!I want to take up yoga and i think i’m going to brave a Bikram class a friend of mine has been raving about this weekend. Nervous and that but I have asthma and problems with my right knee and the high impact sports are a no go for me as well as holding zero interest.

    I’ve not heard of the forms you’re talking about, I guess I’d only ever heard of Bikram and Astanga ….i live I learn!

    • Andrea says:

      Welcome back Áine! Another bandy right knee, we should open a club. First rule of Bandy Club, you do not talk about…..
      Well done you jumping into the Bikram, sure if you don’t like it you can make it a one time only event. But I think you’ll enjoy it. Let us know how you get on xx

      • Áine says:

        Thanks Andrea :) good to be back although definitely I need a new holiday!

        I think yoga will be more *me* than spinning. I shall give a big long report if i survive the weekend class! My friend swears by it but my sister didn’t like it too much but I’m nothing if not curious about it all.

  • sparklina says:

    Samadhi yoga centre in Temple Bar is the absolute business! They have loooads of different types of yoga there and the teachers are lovely, not too gym instructor ish but not too hippy dippy (obviously varies from person to person.)
    If you want to check out videos on youtube I love Yogatic, Eckhart yoga it’s a Dutch woman Esther Eckhart, who lives in Ireland and has all these yoga videos. I find the instructions really clear and her voice is so soothing! plus they have everything from 3 minute shoulder stretches to 45 minute routines. Maybe it’s not ideal if you’re an absolute beginner but it’s helpful to get in some practice

    • Andrea says:

      Thanks Sparklina! I’m with you, I like a bit of breathing and meditation but I like to avoid hemp and dancing in the woods and what not.

    • karen says:

      Thanks for putting in about Esther Ekhart – just checked out her site and it’s great! Has a tutorial on Yin yoga for beginners and I’ve been trying to find a yin class for ages.

  • Gossipgal says:

    Morning all. I’m a Pilates girl. Had to give it up since starting work as I cant find a class to suit my hours. Really miss it

    • Áine says:

      Loved pilates but can’t find a decent teacher that i like at a time that suits :(

      Happy to give Yoga a chance to see if i like that though

  • Scarie says:

    I’ve started hatha yoga which is restorative I think and I love it. It an be challenging but definitely relaxing!!

  • Anita says:

    Hi guys, tried hot yoga last year thanks to a groupon voucher for the studios in Dundrum & I got it again recently. They have it up again heres the link for anyone wanting to try it, €29 for 10 classes and you have 30 days to use them

    I find it really good, you feel real stretched out afterwards and I never knew my knees could sweat!

  • Pink Elephant Blog (Alex) says:

    I love yoga, there is something addictive about it! I never stuck to a fitness routine before but this I just can’t get enough of! I even sometimes do it at home (I’m a bit shocked at myself!! ;)). My favourites are Kundalini and Ashtanga. Tried bikram yoga but it gave me massive headaches so I’m sticking to the normal temperatures ;)

  • Adeline says:

    I love, love Ashtanga for its emphasis on breathing and how you always follow the same order for the postures. Self-practice is tricky to get into, but now I love doing my own thing in my living room and how peaceful and rested I feel at the end. I teach Ashtanga though, so I’ll admit to being a bit biased! :) (for those who’ve never tried it, don’t worry no one will throw you into those crazy Madonna poses in a normal class!)

    I did a few Kundalini classes and really loved it too. Very different but pretty amazing stuff.

    Aaaah I love yoga, I need more money and time in the day to go to more and more classes!

    • Andrea says:

      I find self-practice difficult – I just put more effort into a guided class and I like that there is a bunch of people together, even if we don’t talk at all!

      • Adeline says:

        Honestly, I think the mental discipline of self-practice is the most challenging part – way more than strength or flexibility. I usually tell my beginners that even the famous teachers struggle with it; they’ll openly tell you they do NOT get up a 6am wanting to do 2h of yoga!

        I stuck to 5 or so sun salutations every morning when I started, and after two weeks of it I could get my hands to the floor and my lower back pain was gone, so self-practice has a lot of positive aspects. I struggle as hell for the same reasons you do though, and def go to classes so I can see my yoga friends. We’re known for giggling throughout the class and occasionally groping each other during relaxation (oops).. :D

  • Lorraine says:

    I am also a big yoga fan. I’ve a bad knee, shoulder and back so I’m in the gang! I have been going to hot therapeutic vinyasa yoga for a few years now, and I find it very good for both relaxation and loosening out the dodgy joints!

  • SugarAndSpice says:

    Timely post! Under a horrible amount of stress at the moment and need something to chill out! :)

  • scarlett88 says:

    I love yoga – I like a workout so I was naturally drawn to ashtanga – did it for a few years and always loved it. Never tried kudalini- might give it an oul try though! My new fav is antigravity yoga – have you tried it? It’s yoga with a hammock – you feel a like cirque de soleil performer swinging through the air which is good fun & the stretches feel much deeper – you really feel the toning in your core, arms and bum(strangely I know!)! I always go into class feeling stressed after work and leave smiling…I find yoga generally is a bit of a natural happy pill!

  • hamsterfox says:

    Thanks for the You Tube reference, I’ve been meaning to break out my mat at home!

  • Littlesis says:

    I love a bit of pilates, I find it brilliant for tiring you out. I’m a runner too and the stretching does my tight calves wonders. I tried Pilates/Barre class the other evening which is a mix of pilates and ballet, I am still feeling the good achey legs feeling today. I go to QI rooms on South WIlliam St, Jett (the owner) is amazing, understands bodies more than anyone I’ve ever met, she does detoxes, acupuncture and massage too. Couldn’t recommend her classes enough.

  • The Incredible Mulq says:

    i have been practicing for about a year and a half now, i’m completely obsessed with yoga! i personally prefer a good challenging Vinyasa Flow class. i had always been put off yoga by the idea that it was something yummy mummies do before they “do lunch” but i find the yoga hub in Ranelagh to be really friendly and unassuming. two thumbs up from me!
    Also the are a rake of instagram yoga accounts out there to follow to give you a bit of inspiration to get up and do a bit of home practice!

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