While yoga has been around for millennia, its popularity in different cultures has never been stronger than today. Interested in taking it up? Yorkshire-based Ebru Evrim shows you where to get started
The central principle of yoga lies in focussing on the combined inner forces of mind, body and spirit, with several different styles that you can practise to hone your skill. Before launching headlong into having a go, it’s worth exploring some of the options to decide which yoga style will suit you. These are some of the most popular:
The word hatha means force and this style of yoga, dating back to the first century, features physical techniques known as asanas to channel the vital life force or energy.
In practical terms you might expect a hatha yoga class to involve all aspects of the body. Pranayama breathing exercises teach measured breath control through precise movement into specific positions, to enhance your balance, the alignment of your spine, flexibility and strength.
If you practise hatha yoga regularly you will notice improvement in your range of movement and relief from aches and pains as you ease out your muscles and stretch deep into your tissues in a gradual controlled way.
Yin and yang yoga
A very slow-paced style of yoga that involves less exertion than Hatha, Yin follows principles of Chinese medicine. Involving meditation and inner silence, each asanas position is held still for much longer – up to ten minutes.
Yin concentrates pressure on the connective tissues – tendons and ligaments – to improve circulation in the joints and increase flexibility. Blocks, bricks or bolsters are generally used to help support your posture during each exercise. A guided session will teach you how to relax, unwind and focus on being present in the moment.
Yang yoga by contrast is more dynamic and flowing with more active movement to increase blood flow with rhythm and repetition. The two styles Yin and Yang complement each other well when practised together alternately in a session.
The physical aspect of this form of yoga makes it appealing to those who are keen to improve or maintain their fitness as it also serves as a form of physical exercise and discipline. However, it is not about pushing yourself too hard or too far as that would go against the very philosophy of yoga to protect and nurture your whole being. It features a flowing sequence of set poses that include standing, seated, lying and inversions to build strength and flexibility in the body and the mind.
Making meditation, yoga and Pilates accessible across the world, Ebru Evrim is an entrepreneurial woman at the forefront of spreading the magic of spiritual wellness. She has opened her second Yorkshire studio this summer in Harrogate, has her own brand of Activewear fashion, runs luxury retreat holidays at home and abroad, and has an enviable Instagram following worldwide at realebruevrim (Photos by Heidi Marfitt)