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Wilmington, NC 28403

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Yoga: Commit to one style or mix it up?

Practicing yoga is good for our minds and bodies. The practice of yoga combines deep breathing, meditation and physical exercise, which improve the health of the body while simultaneously reducing stress and helping to improve mental focus. Although every yoga style can help improve the body and mind to a certain degree, each style has different benefits and methods of accomplishing these goals.

Benefits of Committing to One Style

Deciding to practice only one style of yoga is a good choice because it allows a practitioner to master the style and get the full range of benefits associated with that particular type of yoga.

Specific benefits of practicing one style of yoga include:

  • Satisfaction with each class
  • Mastering the movements
  • Getting the maximum benefit associated with the type of yoga
  • Moving and breathing at a preferred pace
  • Avoiding confusing between classes

By committing to a single style of yoga, each class and each day of practice feels comfortable. The poses, pace and breathing techniques are known variables and cause feelings of serenity.

The downside of practicing one style…Although there are benefits to using only one style of yoga, there can be some disadvantages for certain individuals. These include:

  • Limited growth on a physical level
  • Using the wrong style for personal goals
  • Getting complacent, which may result in accidental injuries

In the beginning of one’s yogic journey, it’s easy to see how practicing one style of yoga will always result in benefits, but there is the potential that one’s personal goals and abilities will change over time. The initial style of yoga being mastered might not always be the best fit for future plans. It is also possible that injuries may occur due to complacency when the classes become too routine.

Advantages of Practicing a Variety of Styles

It can be advantageous for some individuals to engage in several styles of yoga. In general, it is best to wait to incorporate a variety of styles until after identifying which styles are particularly interesting, sufficiently challenging and appropriate for personal fitness and mental health goals.

The benefits of using several yoga styles can include:

  • Getting the maximum benefit to both the mind and body
  • Reaching fitness goals while maintaining meditative focus
  • Learning about different options that are available
  • Maximizing the crossover between styles

Yoga styles won’t always fit nicely into a category. Many of the styles have crossover techniques, poses and style elements. But given that, it is possible that using several styles of yoga can help improve fitness, mental health and spiritual goals.

Depending on the style of yoga, the specific focus of each class will vary. For example, some styles are slow and meditative with a focus on breathing and mental concentration. Other yoga styles focus on the physical aspects of poses and fast movements, which result in better fitness and flexibility. By practicing both styles, it is possible to get the maximum benefit of mental concentration, spirituality and physical fitness.

Disadvantages of practicing more than one style…Although various styles can benefit some individuals, it is not always the best approach for every person. The downsides of using various yoga styles include:

  • Getting confused during classes, particularly when the styles have similarities
  • Risking injuries during fast-paced classes
  • Getting involved in styles that are too advanced for current one’s physical and/or mental condition

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to practice more than one style of yoga at a time. In some cases, it is best to stick to one style of yoga until meeting a specific goal. Styles can always be changed down the road if the original style is no longer suitable for future goals and plans.

Ultimately, it’s a personal decision whether to use one style of yoga or many styles. For beginners, it may be best to commit to try different options and select a specific style until after learning the poses and basic breathing techniques. More advanced practitioners may be able to balance various styles at one time.

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