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Which yoga?

  • Aug 24, 2016

This is one of our most frequently asked questions by people new to the studio: I've never done yoga before, which class will be best for me? What is the difference between the types of yoga? 

Every yoga website or blog you find these days tries to explain the differences, and indeed we give short descriptions on our classes page. Despite this, at Maitri Studio we believe yoga is yoga. At its heart, the practice of yoga encompasses the fundamentals laid out in Patanjali's yoga sutras. It is a method for stilling the mind and becoming at one with ourselves and with the universe. The various elements of yoga such as asana practice, meditation and breath work are tools in your kit to help with life.

The styles of yoga may give you an idea of the particular interest or focus of the teacher, how dynamic the class is, and tell you a bit about where, how and for how long they have trained. It also may not! We understand that you also look for more in a teacher - you might want a certain teaching style, or like a particular sense of humour. All of us are more than happy to have you try a class, and we realise that not every teacher is for every student. None of us will be offended if you find your natural home with another teacher. 

Most classes are labelled as 'general' i.e. open to all levels from beginners onwards.

As Claire (studio director) is an Iyengar teacher, the most common class type is Iyengar yoga and so these are labelled as beginners, general, improvers and intermediate to help you progress. 

Other teachers do also offer specific 'beginners' classes if that's something you'd like.

If you have a specific injury or illness, definitely speak to the teacher first to check their experience and whether they feel it is appropriate for you to join their class. Claire is undertaking the Iyengar remedial yoga training currently.

Maitri Studio aims to be a base for teachers from the Iyengar system in Belfast, as we are fully equipped with the props we use to help students explore the poses. But we welcome teachers from all backgrounds provided they can prove their qualifications, have a personal practice and take a proactive approach to their continued development. 

It is worth remembering that Iyengar himself said "I have no right to brand my practices or teachings as Iyengar yoga. The only thing I am doing is to bring out the in-depth, the hidden qualities of yoga to the awareness of you all. What I do is pure, authentic traditional yoga. It is wrong to differentiate traditional yoga...there is no distinction between one yoga and another." 

And TKV Desikachar, who died last week: "The success of yoga does not lie in the ability to perform postures but in how it positively changes the way we live our life and our relationships".

Contact Us

Maitri Studio Limited
4 The Mount, Belfast, BT5 4NA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9099 2428

Company number: NI635546