Want to try yoga but the confusing styles tie you in knots? Urban works out your options, categorised according to personality type
For whom: You work in a stressful job and have a leadership position. You thrive on challenges and get antsy when you have too much spare time.
What: This style of yoga consists of a sequence of poses where you move from one position to another in rhythm with your breathing. There are six series of movements varying in difficulty.
Why: Its flowing movements provide a good work-out so you can expend excess energy.
A set sequence of movements means you can continuously challenge yourself and see results each time you go for class, says Pure Yoga instructor Michelle Ricaille.
Benefits: It helps build strength and control which keeps you from getting tired easily, says Dr Cormac O’Muircheartaigh, medical director and sports physician for the Singapore Sports Council. The more continuously you are able to do this sequence without taking breaks, the more of a cardiovascular workout this becomes.
Where: $40 per 75 to90 minute session at Pure Yoga, 18-00 Ngee Ann City Tower A and 04-00 Chevron House
For whom: A busy bee by nature, you like getting your work done fast.
One of your biggest satisfactions in life is to achieve your goals.
Often the life of the party, you are sometimes guilty of having one drink too many.
What: A set series of 26 poses done in a heated room of about 40 deg C.
Why: You will get great satisfaction from improving your postures each time. Plus, you will test your discipline and focus by getting through the 90-minute session in a hot room, says Yvette Tee, a yoga instructor at Spaboutique. Practitioners enjoy this style because the heat encourages sweating, making them feel lighter and cleansed afterwards – a good way to detox after a night out.
Benefits: The heat warms up your muscles and joints, which will help you get into deeper poses to improve your flexibility, says DrO’Muircheartaigh. However, do keep well hydrated to replace liquids lost through sweat, he adds. Working out in a heated room will also train your body to become more efficient at exercising in a hot, humid environment.
Where: $33 per 60 to 90 minute class at H.om Yoga, 02-01, 3 Canton Street
For whom: An adventure- seeker, you thrive on the new and exciting. Routine bores you. You cannot sit still, preferring to be spontaneous and unpredictable.
What: A blend of yoga and martial-arts fitness techniques. It consists of a selection of yoga classes that focus on flow, strength and toning. In a body-balancing class, many poses will be done on tip-toes; in a warrior class, postures and breathing techniques practised by ancient Indian warriors are used.
Why: With about 10 different Kryoga styles to choose from, you will not be bored. The dynamic sessions with plenty of movement guarantee that you will definitely work up a sweat, says Tee.
Benefits: The intensity of the exercises provides a good aerobic workout and builds strength and endurance, says Joan Liew, a body-builder and personal trainer who co-owns Fitness Factory. The challenging poses build mind-muscle coordination, a bonus for klutzes, she adds.
Where: $30 per 90 minute class at Spaboutique, 6 Nassim Road
For whom: A free spirit, you enjoy going with the flow and seeing where life takes you. You enjoy the creative arts such as music, dance and drama and have a passion for travel. Nothing really fazes you, even if the best laid plans go awry.
What: A flow-based style of yoga where you move smoothly from one pose to another. There is no fixed sequence to follow and the poses depend on your instructor.
Why: This style is more dance-like and artistic, says Ricaille. Like Ashtanga, you move through the poses in rhythm to your breath, but the poses vary from class to class, giving some unpredictability.
Benefits: Vinyasa yoga builds up your strength and agility as the focus is on moving in and out of various poses quickly, says DrO’Muircheartaigh. You will also get a good cardiovascular workout and improve muscle tone, adds Liew.
Where: $38 per 60 minute session at True Yoga, Level 4 Pacific Plaza and Level 27 Ocean Towers
For whom: You are a stickler for keeping your living space and workdesk pristine. You gravitate towards jobs like engineering, accountancy and research where a premium is placed on precision. You have a fixed daily routine and get bothered if plans get disrupted or changed.
What: The goal is for the individual to attain the perfect pose through practice. Unlike Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga where the practitioner moves through a series of poses rapidly, here the poses are slowly adjusted until an ideal one is achieved. Sometimes, props such as blankets, blocks and straps are used to help achieve proper alignment.
Why: Precision and technique are key to this style, which makes it appealing to the scientific-minded, says Ricaille. Plus, using props helps you get a feel of the pose, so you know what you are working towards.
Benefits: Better alignment means that you are able to support your body better, have a better posture and suffer from fewer aches and pains, says Liew. Holding and maintaining your poses are also good ways to train the body’s core muscles, including the abdominals, pelvic and hip muscles.
Where: $32.10 per 60 minute class at Como Shambhala Urban Escape, 06-05 The Forum
For whom: Think surfer dude, the sort who enjoys hanging out and hanging loose. Whether it is taking time to smell the roses or having an extended lunch break, you are happy to watch the world go by.
What: Unlike the more active yoga styles such as Vinyasa, Yin yoga is about stretching and staying in a pose for an extended period of between three and five minutes.
Why: Such a practice requires patience, which you have bucketloads of. You will walk out of this deep stretching session feeling relaxed and limber.
Benefits: Yin yoga works on your flexibility, says Liew. Over time, your range of motion is increased and this helps to reduce muscle soreness. With improved flexibility, there is less likelihood of strain and tightness, she says.
Where: $40 per 75 minute class, at Pure Yoga
This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.