Discovering Your Yoga Style DISCOVERING WHICH STYLE of Yoga speaks to you is largely a matter of taste. In Sanskrit, the word rasa means essence. When you are describing something’s rasa, you are talking about the qualities it has, the feeling behind those qualities, the flavor. Just as each being has its own essence, so […]
Discovering Your Yoga Style
DISCOVERING WHICH STYLE of Yoga speaks to you is largely a matter of taste. In Sanskrit, the word rasa means essence. When you are describing something’s rasa, you are talking about the qualities it has, the feeling behind those qualities, the flavor. Just as each being has its own essence, so does each style of Yoga. Some styles are infused with a lot of emphasis on the spiritual and meditative aspects of the practice, while others spend great amounts of time refining the physical details of the postures and others have more emphasis on a strong, athletic form of movement.
Yoga means union, which can be seen as uniting the individual with the divine or uniting the physical and spiritual aspects of self. Different styles of Yoga approach this union differently. Some techniques work from the inside out while others from the outside in. Discovering the feeling of bliss that comes from the practice is a matter of finding which style speaks to you. Perhaps in practicing you will be surprised by what you enjoy. You might find that you are attracted to a style that is completely different from your normal way of doing things. This can be a wonderful exploration into balance.
Achieving balance is a daily practice. Some days we need a little more output, some days a little more input, some days call for stillness. I encourage you to learn more about some of the styles of Yoga listed below, and get an idea of the rasa which it carries. Then, go out and try two or three different styles. It has been my experience that different styles attract us during different times of our lives.
Some schools of thought encourage you to stick with one style of Yoga, because it might conflict with the teachings of another. Most of the differences are in the physical technique, and the body can adjust accordingly. Once you find the style, the class, the teacher, the time of day which feels right to you, you will know, because you will want to keep going back. In the meantime, explore your options. Try a few different classes. Maybe you will enjoy a strong Ashtanga practice three days a week, and a candelight meditation once a week. Play, explore, and discover the rasa of your personal practice.