Your Yoga Goals

Mixed Yogis Having Fun at a Yoga Class

What would you like to achieve?

It’s important to think about your reasons why you would like to do an exercise class, in order to be able to choose the right one for you. Yoga can support people at any stage of their lives, which is why people often find yoga to be an everyday activity for them. Yoga doesn’t only mean exercise, it can help support your lifestyle in many other ways, including healing from a physical or mental injury too. So, for example, when it comes to Yoga For Cancer, we often try and encourage not only the cancer survivors, but their relatives as well to join in.

So before you settle on your style of yoga, have an honest word with yourself and see: What Are Your Yoga Goals? Maybe your simply curious what the hype is all about. Maybe you want a deep physical exercise that moves your muscles and bones in unusual way, like no other sport. You might be curious about the mindfulness aspects of it and what it can bring to your everyday life. Or, maybe you made a bet with your friend and you now have 6 months to touch your toes. And that is okay too.

What Does yoga offer you?

Yoga offers a wide range of things for you and it’s important that you keep on looking to find what works the absolute best for you, your mental and your physical needs and abilities. When you come across a trusted teacher whose style you enjoy and can relate to is key, so that you can keep learning about yourself and your body through your practice.

Looking at the foundations, there are different types of exercises to do depending on which stage you are at. Here are just some of the options:

  1. You are truly curious about yoga and you are at the very beginning of your yoga journey - you may not have even found a class to join just yet!

  2. You are recovering from an operation or injury and looking to strengthen specific areas of your body in a gentle way

  3. You are looking to reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, joint pain, fatigue - whether these are symptoms or side effects of a certain medication

  4. You are a cancer patient and / or a cancer survivor, and looking to implement yoga in your daily life as a complementary therapy tool

  5. You are looking to improve your posture due to sitting next to a computer all day, your flexibility, your core, stability, strength and reconnect your body movements with your breath

Black and White Photos Square - yogini lunge on beach.jpg

Half Lotus in focus with Bobble branding black and white

Types of yoga

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali explains the Eight Limbs of Yoga, where most of today’s yoga practices fall under. To think that practicing asanas (postures) is only one of these limbs, will probably stimulate your thinking around the wholeness yoga can give both body and mind. Indeed, practices range from moral and personal observances to meditation. To ignore those lesser-exposed sides of yoga is to reduce yoga to a mere workout.

In short history, modern day yoga is credited to Krishnamacharya, who brought hatha yoga to the Western side of the world. His students: B.K.S. Iyengar, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi, and TKV Desikachar, all created their own styles with the aim to carry on his teachings and eventually influence the types of classes you might experience at a studio (or even a gym) today. Studios and gyms all over the world offer yoga classes and without doubt, these have been diluted, adopted, changed to the needs of the students. But, traditional and safe classes can still be found in most cities - it simply requires a bit more research.

Read The Guardian’s article on Yoga: A Beginner’s Guide on Different Styles