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Natalie

Very first post - intro and a few questions

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Hi Guys! :D  To start, my yoga experience is basically nothing.  I went to a beginners yoga workshop and that was it - I've done various poses integrated in my workouts (pilates and barre)  I would like to become stronger, especially in my core.  I would like to know which style of yoga would be best for building strength along with all the other advantages that yoga has to offer?  

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Welcome! 

You might want to consider ashtanga - usually it is based on a fixed sequence (look up Primary series for an idea), but I know others swear the repetition is what gave them the fastest improvement since it kept working the same muscle groups each time.

Otherwise, just try different styles and see what you like the most. Just remember to focus on engaging your core in all types of yoga and it'll naturally get stronger. Some good advice about core here:

 

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17 hours ago, Natalie said:

... my yoga experience is basically nothing....

 

14 hours ago, yogafire said:

...You might want to consider ashtanga -.

From my experience as a total beginner that started with Ashtanga a little over a year ago, I'd say there are pros and cons to be considered.

Ashtanga definitely will help with core and strength, but to be honest, many other types of classes will provide the same benefit. Ashtanga is a relatively fast routine going from one pose to another, without much of an opportunity for a beginner to learn. Some instructors provide good 'hand holding', others don't. If you're in a class where the instructor doesn't have the time (or inclination) to watch over you, you'll end up doing a lot of learning on your own (or watching the others to learn). 

In an Ashtanga class, the leader may say "chatteranga dandasana, into upward dog" ...or "do your vinyasa", which to a beginner might not make any sense. Each of those poses should be broken down into a five or ten minute lesson to help you understand all the components. In a class, the instructor might not notice whether your hands or arms are in the proper position. While you may have exercise experience from doing barre or pilates, much of yoga is done in positions where you really can't see what you're supposed to do. You might end up doing more harm than good or developing bad habits.

I'd suggest contacting the local studio (or studios) trying to find a beginner class (or private lessons if it's in your budget). This will help you understand the various moves and all the important parts of the pose so you're doing it properly.

Once you're at a level where you understand the pose by hearing the name, then Ashtanga would be a good class to take

brenskip55 likes this

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Good points - each city's yoga trends tend to be different. In San Francisco, the most popular classes are vinyasa and vinyasa flow.  All of those transitions are faster than an Ashtanga focused class I found and held the breaths for longer, so I thought you might be up for it since you already do pilates.  It's confusing though because vinyasa is based on Ashtanga anyway - it's just not a strict series of poses.

Just experiment since each teacher is different, even within the same style.  I do like Hatha more now - it can feel too slow paced for some people but is great for alignment focus. There is also Mysore (follows the Ashtanga series), which is early in the morning, typically a daily practice (might be too much), but it is self-paced with an instructor there to adjust, so some encourage it for beginners.  But, I would call first to ask if you want to go down that route if the instructor will be OK working with a beginner that doesn't know the series already.

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