Yoga Guide – What is your style? 8 Yoga Practice techniques to try on Koh Phangan
Koh phangan’s yoga scene has exploded over the last few year and is a world known location for Yoga Centres. Hatha, kundalini, Vinyasa… Enough choice to get you confused!
Want to try but don’t know where to start?
Well, Phangan Explorer is here to help you decipher this yogic language and so you know what you are getting yourself in for. Check our mind, body and soul page for classes and programs.
What is Yoga?
Defined as –
‘Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India’.
Why should I do it?
Not just being a good stretch and workout for your body, there are many other pluses for getting on that mat and attempting advanced poses that put you in awkward and funny positions.
- Increased Flexibility
- Increased Strength
- Improved Balance
- Increased Stamina
- Improved Body Alignment (reduces joint pain)
Mental Benefits of Yoga:
- Stress Reduction
- Body Awareness
- Better Sleep
- Improve self-confidence
There are so many on Koh Phangan, you are spoilt for choice! The great thing about going to a yoga class is they have everything you need already there! Mats, blocks, and a qualified teacher who can come around and correct your alignment to make sure that you are doing the posture correctly to prevent injury.
Types of Yoga
Hatha Yoga – The Classic
One of the most common types. Hatha is a slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. Good for beginners as it is considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures.
Yin Yoga – Poses held for a long time
Want something less vigorous? Yin Yoga may be for you!
Specific poses are held over the course of several minutes, with the idea of stretching the body’s connective tissue, particularly around the joints. Yin Yoga is a practice intended to build the body to be able to sit in long meditation sessions and to act as a counterpoint to movement-oriented vigorous yang styles of yoga.
However be prepared to grin through a little pain, when holding the stretched for an extended amount of time.
Vinyasa Yoga – Work up a Sweat
Vinyasa tends to be a more vigorous style of yoga incorporating series of poses called sun salutations, in which each movement is matched to the breath. Vinyasa is also called flow, in reference to the continuous sequence from one posture to the next.
Bikram Yoga – Feel the Heat!
You will definitely sweat in this yoga! With the temperatures reaching 105°F (40.6°C), with a humidity of 40%.
Bikram yoga is meant to flush toxins, manage weight and allow students to move more deeply into poses. So through the grueling 90 minutes, flowing through the 26 postures and 2 breathing techniques, your body will thank you after.
Ashtanga Yoga – Fast-paced and physically challenging
Each series is comprised of a set of poses (asanas) that are always performed in the same order. The sequences are fast-paced and physically demanding.
It involves synchronizing breath with these progressive and continuous postures, which produces internal heat while detoxifying the body.
Iyengar Yoga – All ability, gentle-paced yoga focusing on alignment
The focus of this yoga is to focus on the correct musculoskeletal alignment, when the asanas (poses) are held for much longer than in other schools of yoga .
In a typical iyengar class will use props, such as; blocks, belts, bolsters, chairs and blankets, which are used to accommodate injuries, tightness or structural imbalances, as well as teach the student how to move into a posture properly. Iyengar allows for full relaxation as you perform stretches.
Due to the use of props and gentle pace, it is suitable for many abilities and people with previous injuries.
Kundalini Yoga – Want to try something a little different?
Kundalini Yoga practice is designed to awaken the energy at the base of the spine in order to draw it upward through each of the seven chakras.
It consists of repeated movements or exercises, dynamic breathing techniques, chanting, meditation and mantras, which are often repeated and is synchronized with the breath.
You will feel energized after this session.
Restorative Yoga – Gentle with equipment support
Very gentle on the body, suitable for people with previous injuries due to the use of props to support the body as it relaxes into poses over the course of several minutes.
Restorative yoga focuses on staying in each pose long enough to encourage passive stretching. Examples of the type of poses are; seated forward bends, gentle supine backbends, and twists which are adapted to be restorative with the addition of props like blankets and bolsters.