Whether you want to relax, have a workout or get in touch with your spiritual side, there is a yoga class to suit you whatever your body type or tem- perament. Yoga develops strength and bal- ance as well as flexibility. If you are new to yoga, it is a good idea to take a few classes in a slower style of yoga first to get a feel for the poses. Best is to start with HATHA yoga because it is gentle and slow-paced.
IYENGAR yoga is also good because it focus- es on alignment, and poses are taught with an attention to detail. A gentle style that emphasises moving at a pace that suits you is KRIPALU yoga, which is the form of Hatha and also great for beginners. YIN yoga focuses on connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) rather than muscles. It does not focus on warming the muscles or moving quickly; rather it encourages long-held poses that foster relaxation and if you are new to yoga this is also the good idea to start with.
Just bare in mind that regular attendance is needed to really reap the benefits. And a good teacher will not do his or her own prac- tice at the front of the room. They should be roaming around adjusting, correcting and giving alternatives to people who cannot do the full pose or have an injury. Don’t forget that the key to successfully practising yoga is your breath control or pranayama. Always take deep breaths through your nose, filling out your belly.■