There are a plethora of yoga styles, and each one is a little different. Whether you’re a beginner or you’re an advanced yogi, it’s important to find the right class for you.
The best way to figure out which style of yoga is right for you is to try a few different types. Some are more intense than others, and some have specific sequences and movements.
Some are more focused on the breath than the physical postures, and other styles focus on slow, gentle stretching. Whatever you choose, make sure you feel comfortable with your instructor and don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed, says Claire Grieve, certified yoga teacher and stretch therapist.
For example, if you’re having trouble with your balance or mobility, ask for a class taught by a teacher who is trained to work with those issues.
It’s also a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. It’s especially important if you have an existing health condition, such as arthritis, or if you have a medical history of pain or injury.
In addition to building flexibility, yoga helps strengthen muscles and improves coordination, explains Jeter. Strong muscles can support the body’s weight, improve digestion and maintain joint health. It can also help prevent osteoporosis, she adds. And, research suggests that practicing yoga may speed reaction time. By using your mind instead of your muscles, yoga can also help you relax.