New to YOGA! Couple questions…

posted 3 years ago in Wellness
Post # 2
Member
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

bikram is 26 poses done in sequence a few times around in a room that is ~40*C with 40% humidity.  Bikram is always 90 min.  

Bikram was invented by a guy named bikram choudhury who is currently notorious for forcing yoga teachers to suck him off or have sex with him if they want to be certified–you could only teach bikram yoga if he OKed it so..

Not surprisingly, “hot yoga” (as opposed to bikram) has gained popularity.  I do hot yoga and love it.  Typically hot yoga studios aren’t so extreme on the temp or humidity.  They warm the room a bit and do vinyasa or hatha; which are two of the most basic/common types of yoga.

vinyasa is much more about flow.  You can think of it as a bit of a cardio workout.  They tend to, like bikram, do a series of poses (but its not the same poses every time–it’s whatever the instructor comes up with for that class that day) and usually repeats them a few times so that you can do them quickly after the first time.

hatha is more about strength.  You tend to hold your poses for a lot longer and move a lot more slowly.  You can think of it as a bit of a strength workout.  It’s uncommon that it’s the same sequence over and over, but it happens.. mostly its just doing a sequence on one side of your body than the next, and the challenge is actually to NOT speed up despite knowing what’s coming next hah.

the sports bra tank top thing is just a style that some ppl like.  I dunno I’d check out lululemon, lucy, lole and athleta to see what people wear to yoga.  Those sites cater nearly 100% to yoga clothes.  There are plenty of other yoga brands too, those are just the ones i know best.

Enjoy! 🙂

Oh and if you hate the heat just find another studio–plenty arent heated.

Post # 3
Member
587 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

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amanda1988 :  Wow! You covered it all, especially v necessary info on bikram.

If you get the opportunity to take a Yin yoga class, I highly recommend it! My friend and I call it “lollygagging yoga” because you basically lay around in different poses the whole class. Not much of a workout, but it REALLY helps your posture, if you have hip/back issues, or sit at a desk for work. 

Soybu, Prana, and Zella are other brands that make good Yoga gear. You can also find a decent selection at TJ Maxx. I find it’s best to wear a form fitting top to class because you don’t want a loose tshirt sliding over your nose and mouth area while you’re in downward dog! 

Post # 4
Member
2461 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

Bikram is the same set of 26 postures (asanas) every class. Some people like the opportunity to build their practice in a condensend format and super hot/humid environment. Personally, I’m not a fan of the carpeted floor, or the repetitive nature of the classes (I get bored easily), or the issues with the founder. I tried it once and haven’t gone back. 

Vinyasa or flow yoga is meant to connect breath to movement; the flow is specific to the indivudual teacher. Each instructor will have their own style, perferred asanas, speed, flow, etc. It’s usually different every class and often set to music that complements the class type/feel/intent. Vinyasa classes can be heated or not, again, depending on the instructor and class type. 

With regard to clothing, you don’t need anything specialized. Just a pair of athletic leggings with good stretch (not cotton), a sports bra and tank top (or a bra/tank combo). The biggest investment is the mat. If you find that you like it and want to continue your practice, I HIGHLY recommend investing in a high-quality mat. I prefer the Manduka mat and I have 3 of them. One heavy-duty one for home practice or inversion classes (the extra padding is helpful), one for normal use (my favorite because it’s still thick/dense enough to cushion my joints but not super heavy to cart around), and one for travel (lightweight). My original mat (the heavy-duty one) will be 5 years old in May and it still looks brand new. And I use it 1-2x per week. 

Good luck and namaste! 

Post # 5
Member
2461 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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orangeblossomhoney :  Aaah! I did yin at home last night to help stretch out my tight hips, hammies, and quads and I freaking LOVE it (sinking into low lunge was aaahhhmazing). I do it about 2x per month (30-45 minutes each session) and it really helps to reset my body. 

Post # 6
Member
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

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Miss-Mauverick :  agree mat is definitely way more worth a $100 investment than some cute leggings!!

Manduka is my fave too. Lululemon apparently also makes a great mat.

Post # 7
Member
64 posts
Worker bee

Agree with PP’s on the importance of a good mat. I also like to lay down a yoga towel (a regular beach towel works too) over my mat during a sweaty hot yoga class, i find I don’t slip around as much!

 

Post # 8
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2461 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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ducoop87 :  Yes on the towel for hot yoga. My hands are always slipping and the full-size towels that cover the entire mat are great for really hot classes; for the warm classes I just use the 10×24 hand towel. Those can be found for around $12 at stores like TJ Maxx. Just about any towel will work but thin is better to help prevent slippage/bunching. 

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amanda1988 :  Yep! The mat is sooooo much more important than the clothes. In case anyone thinks I’m a hoarder of mats, the middle-weight one was a gift from my co-workers 2 years ago, and the lightweight one is actually my husband’s mat but he rarely uses it. I do have a few cheap mats from Target, Amazon, et all, that I will use under my manduka if I do yoga outside on the deck or patio so I don’t tear my nice mat. Oh gosh, I totally sound like a yoga-mat hoarder. embarassed

Post # 9
Member
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

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Miss-Mauverick :  own it.  😛

I only have 2 mats.. a shitty gaiam one from when I started and didn’t know any better and a midweight manduka.  Sometimes the dog gets scared of wood floors (I just.. I don’t know) so I use the gaiam one as a runner for her lol.

I actually don’t mind inversions on carpet/midweight madding so an heavyweight mat wouldn’t make sense for me. But also maybe that’s why I’m shit at most of them 

Post # 10
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4928 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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ButternutPoppy :  Apologizing ahead of time for the threadjack ☺

 

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amanda1988 :  
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Miss-Mauverick :  you ladies seem like you know what your doing so I’m asking for some help.

My mum is interested in doing yoga. Her birthday is coming up abd I want to get her a voucher to a yoga studio. I will  be doing the classes together with her. 

A lot of places seem to offer a 6 to 8 week berginners course. That’s a lot of weeks and lessons to commit to if we don’t like it. Do you have to do a beginners course or can you just join a random class?? 

My mum is in her late 60s and the last class she did was when Jane Fonda did aerobics videos. What type of yoga will be a nice lead in to it for her?

Post # 11
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1421 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2005 - A Castle

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cmsgirl :  Not either of the people you tagged, but none of the places I’ve ever been to required a beginners course. I just went to the basics class as many times as I wanted until I felt ready to go up to the power vinyasa class and/or buy a package of classes. My mom is early 60s and goes to the basics class a fair amount without issue. 

Post # 12
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2461 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

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cmsgirl :  I think it depends on your fittness level. The longer intro courses are really there to help get you into the habit of doing yoga and giving you room to progress at your own pace.  I’d check out a couple of studios online and see what kind of introduction or beginner’s classes they offer (not as a package, just daily classes). Look for level 1 classes, intro classes, beginner classes, or chair yoga classes. Chair yoga is great for individuals with balance issues or hip/back/leg injuries as it decreases the risk of falling.

A lot of studios offer 1 week of unlimited classes either for free, or for a small amount ($20 or some such) for new students. I’d recommed that route so you can try out different classes, times, instructors, etc. Check their online schedule first and make sure they offer a variety of classes. I did that a few times till I found the 3-4 local studios I like. Good luck! 

Post # 13
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4928 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

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dracarys :  
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Miss-Mauverick :   thank you so much.

You’ve both pointed me in the right direction. I’ve found a studio that doesn’t require you to do a beginners 8 week course. They offer gentle vinyasa and yin yoga classes which cater to beginners. I think they will be perfect for my mum and I. 

Post # 14
Member
9388 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2016

 

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cmsgirl :  a series class is good if you know you’ll go. The class will be smaller and other students will all be at the same place you are. 

That said, if you’re generally in good shape a beginners class or two is probably fine. I’d go to Hatha at first, once you’re done with beginners stuff, since it’s slower and as a result focuses more on form.  Once you have form down for most basic poses then the yoga-world is your oyster.

Also: if you hate a class, it is probably the teacher and not the style of yoga. It seems obvious but like I definitely decided “oh I hate yin yoga” before agreeing to try it with another instructor and liking it.  Same with vinyasa.

Post # 15
Member
205 posts
Helper bee

PPs have covered clothes (leggings and sports bra/tank top will do the trick), but commenting that the #1 most important thing to enhance what you get out of your classes will be your mat.  If you do heated yoga, it’s important to get one that won’t slip when you get a bit sweaty.  I LOVE the lululemon 5mm mat for this purpose.  The warmer the room gets, the grippier the mat gets.  And it’s perfectly cushy for seated/lying poses.  Best $70 you will spend to improve your yoga practice.  If you don’t get that one, make sure to ask/read reviews about grippiness during heated classes if you intend to keep doing heated yoga.

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