What style of yoga do you teach? What style of yoga do you practice? I often get asked these questions. When I say that I teach ‘Akhanda’ style of yoga, if I get a perplexed look or a ‘what?’ I will explain briefly that it draws from Hatha and Akhanda is the name my teacher (Yogi Vishvketu) has given to this particular style of holistic teachings.
While Hatha may be considered a broad term, Akhanda means complete, whole and unbroken and goes beyond the physical inclusion of asanas. This style of yoga is adaptable from a gentle beginner’s class to an intense flow for more advanced yoga students; it includes kundalini and hatha-raja (honey bee sound). Please check out this page for more detailed descriptions.
As for what style I practice, well that depends. At home I would say Akhanda mostly but sometimes I incorporate other elements into my practice often influenced by what I’m learning at the time, be it Chi Gong or creative dance or restorative yoga – it depends on my mood and every day is different. When venturing out for a group class I like to try new things while also gravitating back to what I like. I tend to prefer classes that have a little physical challenge yet allow enough time and space to connect mind and body, especially by having adequate time for meditation at the end. The teacher makes a difference as well. Sometimes the style offered may not be all I was looking for but the energy and enthusiasm of the teacher will have me going back for more.
When I hear a person explaining why the style they practice is the best, I think to myself perhaps it’s the best for them, not necessarily for everyone.
For those new to yoga and wondering where to start I suggest to first ask yourself what are you looking for then do your research. You may be interested in yoga mainly to get in shape or to help manage an illness or to deal with stress or for connecting with yourself through meditation or… the reasons are many. Then try out a few classes in your area, get to know different teachers until you feel drawn to a particular class style or teacher that feels right for you. If going to a studio drop in rates tend to be more expensive, perhaps refrain from signing up for a bulk package of classes until you know you are in the right place.
Whether you are new to yoga or not, you might find this article from the Yoga Journal quite helpful to give you an overview of what’s out there. Some of the styles are new to me and I’m sure there are many more that exist.
Want to learn more? Try this Akhanda class at home with my teacher and me!