I have a friend who is an avid power yoga practitioner. “Sweating it out” she says appeals to her desire to stay fit. She’s a dynamo and she likely has found the style of yoga that works for her. There isn’t anything wrong with knowing what you like and going for it but, sometimes, what we like isn’t always what we need. What would she gain if she opened her mind to other types of yoga?
For the past year I have been on a quest to broaden my knowledge and try as many different yoga styles as possible, even the ones with intimidating names. If I wasn’t sure exactly what I was getting into, I asked questions. I found that most people were willing to share their knowledge and help guide me on my yoga journey.
By trying different styles and different teachers, my practice has become stronger and more balanced. Styles I didn’t think I would like, and could barely pronounce, I often found exhilarating. And when I didn’t like a class, it was mostly because it challenged my body (or my mind) in ways that took me out of my comfort zone. If I continued to attend those classes, I almost always realized that this is what I needed at the time.
A balanced yoga practice also has some real physical and cognitive benefits. Many injuries are caused by repetitive motion so switching it up, mixing a challenging practice with a practice that includes breathing, restoration, or meditation, can help lessen this effect. You will also likely notice that your concentration is better and your mind more focused. Who couldn’t benefit from that?
So, ask yourself, “Is my yoga practice balanced?” If not, it just might be time to shake it up.
For new students: check out Yoga Sakti’s $49 introductory month-long membership and try up to 70 different classes/teachers to find what’s right for you.