The 5 best types of yoga for stress
At then end of an already stressful day, the trend is to go and thrash ourselves at the gym. As if life isn’t stressful enough! We are told by the fitness media and lifestyle bloggers that high intensity exercise is what we should all be doing for maximum results. Wile this may well be true for many people, for someone already just about coping with the levels of stress in their lives, a high intensity exercise regime could be the last thing they need and may even contribute to adrenal fatigue or burnout.
High intensity training certain does have its place but if you train like this every time you go to the gym, you are certainly adding to your stress. In addition, you’re more likely to eventually get either injured, or bored due to the lack of variety.
In traditional Chinese culture the Yin-Yang symbol represents the concept of opposing forces: light and dark, hot and cold, masculine and feminine, and exercise is no different. Yang energy is described as “expressed energy” or heat. Yang exercise is intense, challenging, hot and sweaty. Typical Yang workouts are running, weight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT). Yin exercise is more calming and restorative, Yin training recharges and replenishes your deep energy reserves. Yin is the wax of the candle, while Yang is the flame. Neither approach is wrong, but own their own they can be limiting, and in a world more dominated by Yang than Yin we could certainly all do wit a bit more Yin in our lives.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years and extends way beyond being just a form of physical exercise, it’s a culture, a philosophy and a way of being. This is why, in our opinion, it is the perfect counterpoint to offset the the stresses of everyday life and is an essential accompaniment to high intensity training.
At CLASS we have chosen the following forms of Yoga to represent our Yin offering: Hatha, Gentle, Yin, Restorative and Early Morning Flow. These forms of yoga are all subtly different, while their “Flow” variations contain more fluid patterns of movement, linked together to form beautiful movement flows. Watch the video below to find out more about the different forms of yoga on offer at CLASS:
Our Hatha Yoga classes will help you to balance your body and mind through a series physical postures and breathing techniques. “Ha” represents the esoteric sun and “tha” the moon, and Hatha Yoga is about joining, or balancing, these two energies. Hatha yoga tends to be slower with longer poses than the more energetic Vinyasa or Ashtanga forms of Yoga practiced elsewhere.
Our Gentle Yoga sessions take a careful and gentle approach and are open to all levels. These classes tend to be at the end of the day to help you de-stress and re-establish calm as you go into the evening.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time. For beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes, or even longer for more advanced practitioners.
Restorative yoga is a practice that is all about slowing down and opening your body through passive stretching. During the long holds of restorative yoga your muscles are allowed to relax deeply. It’s a unique feeling because props, rather than your muscles, are used to support your body.
Early Morning Flow
Our Early Morning Flow Yoga class is a slightly more dynamic session with plenty of movement to get you going in the morning. Our studios face east so this class takes full advantage of the natural light as the sun rises throughout the class.
In summary, the general levels of stress we face today are far greater than we are designed to cope with. While there are many benefits to be gained from high intensity exercise, it may not be appropriate for everyone and we could all certainly do with introducing a bit more Yin to offset the Yang in our modern lives.
If you’ve enjoyed this article check out The 5 common problems with exercise classes…and solutions