You’ve perfected your discipline at Ashtanga, worked up a sweat at Bikram, harnessed your energy at Kundalini and found your Zen at Yin. What could possibly be next? We round up ten lesser-known yoga styles that may surprise even the most seasoned practitioners.
Combining traditional on-the-mat yoga with poses suspended in hammocks, Aerial yoga allows yogis to playfully explore fun and floating movements in space without putting pressure on the joints and spine. The hammocks (or slings) are made of a soft high-density nylon material that can support over 900kg, and are suspended from the ceiling to about hip height. The poses range from seated stretches to hanging upside down and grabbing your thighs, ankles or feet for balance and support.
AFRO FLOW YOGA
Inspired by a fusion of African spirituality, yogic principals and nature, Afro flow combines Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga with African dance movements. Developed by Leslie and Jeff Jones after a transformational journey through Africa and the Caribbean, its main aim is to create joy and vitality through movement and sound. The electrifying dance movements of the African diaspora flow with a meditative yoga sequence of gentle yet powerful stretches for a soulful and energising journey.
A combination of yoga’s most powerful core strengthening, muscle toning and cardio postures, Broga is a strong, energetic and challenging style of yoga that’s geared specifically towards men. It combines functional fitness exercises with active yoga poses to get guys pumped up and feeling better about the fact that they can’t necessarily touch their toes.
Yes, it’s a thing. Gone are the days of bonding with your pooch during walks in the park. It’s time to get the furry friends onto the mat with you for a bit of dog yoga (Doga). Classes are practised in two forms, depending on the instructor. Human yogis can help their dogs into the poses, building trust and creating a bonding experience that improves everyone’s movement and circulation. In other classes, the dogs just mill around while their humans do the poses. A great way of socialising with other dogs and humans!
HIP HOP YOGA
Hip hop yoga emphasises strength, creativity and raw self-expression by combining Vinyasa with the art and culture of hip hop for a fun and energetic flow. The music is loud, the poses are strong, and the experience is both challenging and exhilarating. The beats combine with the breath to move the body, with everything from old school classics to the freshest hits inspiring an exciting flow.
Hotpod yoga offers Vinyasa flow sequences in an inflatable, cocoon-like pod that’s heated to 37 degrees and includes dim purple lighting and chilled tunes. Each pod can accommodate up to 20 people, with space to flow. Classes mix active and passive poses that aim to balance the body, mind and heart in equal measure.
Naked yoga practitioners see shedding their clothes before stepping onto the mat as a way of freeing themselves, both from within and without. The practice champions acceptance of the self and others, encouraging yogis to move past issues of body image, shame and sexual discomfort. Classes follow the structure of any yoga style, and can be women only, men-only or open to both men and women (depending on the studio). Naked yoga aims to redefine how we see yoga, placing emphasis on the artistry of each asana paired with the physicality and grace of the human body.
Also known as ‘The Rocket’, this is the original power yoga as developed by Larry Schultz in San Francisco in the 1980s. It was actually given its name by Bob Weir of iconic rock band The Grateful Dead because ‘It gets you there faster!’ While rooted in Ashtanga tradition, Rocket yoga strips away the structure of the series and opens up a fun and experimental format. It’s dynamic, fast flowing and certainly not for the faint-hearted. Expect to move through a wide range of poses, working up a solid sweat and being physically and mentally challenged at every turn.
Affectionately called slackasana by its fans, Slackline yoga takes place on a slackline – a piece of webbing hung between two trees. For most people, simply standing on a slackline is a major achievement. Slackline yogis push themselves to the limits of balance, activating every stabilising muscle in their bodies for a killer core workout. It’s little wonder slacklining is said to improve everything from focus, breathing and bandhas to confidence and sense of humour.
This yoga style was specially developed to help soothe pain and stiffness with the support of water. Classes explore standing, suspended and floating poses in a heated pool with props. It’s a gentle remedial practice, and participants needn’t be able to swim or have any yoga experience.
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