Originally yoga was taught one on one, the teacher would instruct the student in what type of practice was right for their constitution to help bring balance to the mind and body allowing them to have more focus in their spiritual endeavors. It is said that some of those students then started offering there specific practice to everyone, thus the “styles” of yoga being named after the teacher.
With the growth in popularity of group classes it is important to know the affects they have on our bodies, and how they affect our health. Your yoga practice will affect you in a deeper way depending on which class you go to.
Generalized yoga classes for each dosha:
- Vata (Air and Ether) would be best to take a restorative, hatha, or slow flow class, but would be suited to a faster calss if they were able to keep their focus inside and stay with the breath, and remain grounded. Hydration is also a big key. (Contrary to belief, Vatas would be more suited to a warm class room versus a hot one which is really to do to the dehydration factor.)
- Pitta (Fire and Water)would be better of going to a restorative, hatha or medium paced vinyasa and non-heated class. The affects of these classes would help cool the mind and intensity of pitta. (If you must do otherwise make sure you are hydrated, and aren’t skipping a meal to go to the class.
- Kapha (Water and Earth)would be best off to attend an invigorating vinyasa class to bring about movement of the lymph (with that said really any class other than restorative would be enough movement.) Heated classes are good as well to invoke sweating out toxins and excess fluid which is common for Kaphas. If you can’t resist your restorative class try walking/biking to class or parking farther away.
(Note: Hatha yoga taught and done properly is good for all three Doshas.)
As I said this is very generalized. You can get more specific when it comes to what you want to get out of the class. When Vatas are out of balance, taking a yoga class that has the same routine every class can help with structure, something Vatas sometimes lack. When Pitta is out of balance you can go to heart opening focused classes or workshops, or set a personal intention to stay focused in their heart during class. Kapha’s can have issues with letting go and getting stuck in their routine, and could benefit from any class that is not a part of their routine, just to change it up. So have fun and see what works for you. And remember any yoga class where you listen to your body is going to be way better than no yoga at all.
What yoga class makes you feel great? Let me know in the comments below.