Yoga is growing all over the world


Some are yogis, others are passionate yogis, this lady is the latter of the two. She teaches and loves to introduce beginners into the fascinating world of yoga. With her long experience she knows a great deal about it, and is a true inspiration. If you have never tried, maybe this is the right time to do so.

Name: Dena Dodd Perry

Age: 51

Occupation: Author and certified yoga instructor

Family: Family of five

Lives: Chicago, Illinois, USA

You are a yoga teacher and talk about many different kinds of yoga. Would you say that everyone could practice and find a type that fits them?

There are many different styles of yoga. I have specialized in traditional vinyasa, hot power, hatha, restorative, yoga with back care, and chair yoga. I teach corporate yoga on a weekly basis. Skimming the class schedule at your gym for a good yoga class can be a real exercise in confusion. How can you tell the difference between anusara and ashtanga? Or hot yoga and hatha?

Here are the different styles taught today. Anusara is a relative newcomer. It seeks to use the physical practice of yoga to help students open their hearts, experience grace, and let their inner goodness shine through. Classes are rigorous for the body and the mind.

Then there's ashtanga which is based on ancient yoga teachings, but it was popularized and brought to the west in the 1970s. It's a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures and is similar to vinyasa yoga, as each style links every movement to a breath. The difference is that it always performs the exact same poses in the exact same order. This is a sweaty, physically demanding practice.

About 30 years ago, bikram yoga was developed and the classes are held in artificially heated rooms.

Hatha yoga is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. Nearly every type of yoga class taught in the west is hatha yoga. When a class is marketed as hatha, it generally means that you will get a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures. You probably won't work up a sweat, but you should end up leaving class feeling longer, looser, and more relaxed.

Hot yoga is largely the same thing as bikram. The room will be heated and you will sweat buckets.

Iyengar is a very meticulous style of yoga, with utmost attention paid to finding the proper alignment in a pose. In order to help each student find the proper alignment, an iyengar studio will stock a wide array of props: blocks, blankets, straps, chairs and bolsters are all common. There isn't a lot of jumping around in these classes, so you won't get your heart rate up, but you'll be amazed to discover how physically and mentally challenging it is to stay put

Restorative yoga is a delicious way to relax and soothe frayed nerves. Also described as yin yoga, restorative classes use bolsters, blankets, and blocks to prop students into passive poses so the body can experience the benefits of a pose without having to exert any effort. A good restorative class is more rejuvenating than a nap.

Vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. The teachers sequence their classes to smoothly transition from pose to pose, with the intention of linking breath to movement, and often play music to keep things lively. The intensity of the practice is similar to sshtanga, but no two vinyasa classes are the same. If you hate routine and love to test your physical limits, this may be just your ticket.

It seems as though yoga has grown all over the world. Searching the internet, one can find yogis everywhere. Would you say it is here to stay, and what is the general attitude in North America?

Yoga has grown all over the world. When it was introduced to the United States at the world's fair, an Indian aristocrat mentioned how yoga is the journey of truth. Many cultures can relate to the journey of truth. People tend to remain open yoga because there is a non-judgmental structure to the practice, meaning they are eight limbs of yoga, and each practice is connected to the breath, and it's non-religious so everyone can participate. We all need to breathe better and correctly.

Still many look at yoga as something strange. There are even parents that would not let their kids do it when schools have wanted to use it to help the pupils relax and be calmer. How come there is still so much suspicion about this?

I'm not really sure why parents are suspicious. Perhaps some connects it with religion, which is a misunderstanding. Yoga has been around for more than 3 000 years. I would suggest that the schools use the latest Harvard studies that have proven that yoga can have a profound improvement on one's quality-of-life through enhancing strength as well as flexibility with the lower blood pressure levels.

So, if you are over 50 and would like to begin, what type would you suggest?

I am 51 years old as of next week. You are never too old to practice yoga. What type you choose is up to you and what makes you feel well. There are many yogis out there at every age level. Just Google it. Smile.

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