The short answer is yes – yoga is for everyone. And the variety of yoga retreats and yoga holidays available in the UK alone is increasing daily. It seems that people are looking to take time out to do something that will relieve some of the stresses of modern life. And, the word is out that yoga might do just that.
Different styles of yoga
Many prospective yoga students are daunted by the range of styles. There are energetic hot yoga classes which sweat out toxins and tension. Or restorative classes where you are propped up with bolsters, blankets and cushions to begin the process of letting go.
Some styles, including Ashtanga and Sivananda, follow the teachings of a guru and have a set sequence of postures and their students. These can be very powerful as the movements become a sort of mindful meditation. I have personally enjoyed two Ashtanga retreats but would say that both a level of the physical fitness and a knowledge of the postures made that possible.
Other styles you might come across when researching classes or retreats are Vinyasa Flow (where the postures flow, almost like a dance) or Iyengar, which has an emphasis on correct alignment. Retreats often include an evening Yin class with deep postures. Then there is Hatha, which simply means posture. Hatha classes are usually slower moving class with plenty of explanations and modifications.
Making your choice
My experience is that all yoga teachers are welcoming and help students work at their own level. But I have seen students put off by a style of class where the postures are physically too demanding. And others who felt that the class was not as challenging as they would like.
If you are a sporty type, you may well be able to participate in a stronger style of yoga with little experience. Though it might not be as beneficial to you as a class that helps you to slow down and become more aware. On the other hand, if you have aches and pains, or are not particularly fit, then you will most likely feel happier in a slower moving class. Then the teacher can help you find the posture variation that works for you.
Best for beginners
In the Yogandspice programme some retreats are particularly suitable for beginners. In particular our Whitby yoga holidays introduce you to yoga. Our Yoga and walking breaks also introduce the yoga postures in a way that is accessible to all – starting with traditional Hatha classes. Of course experienced yogis can enjoy these retreats too. As a they will know, there’s a lot more to yoga than correct alignment in the postures. But that is for a different blog……..