There has been an enormous increase in the number of Yoga classes on offer in Dublin over the past number of years. Classes on offer vary in terms of ‘style’ and vary also in terms of the level of training and experience of the teacher.
How does a prospective student choose between the myriad of ‘styles’ ‘venues’ and ‘teachers’ on offer?
Begin with what you wants to achieve by attending a class. Is it to improve general health and wellbeing, is it to increase in fitness levels, for strength and flexibility. Is it to achieve a reduction in the symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression. is it to help deal with a specific back issue or other health issue.
Review the training background of the teacher. Where did they complete their training? How many years of training have they had? Is the training accredited and are they now accredited to teach? I recommend a minimum of 3 years teacher training.
Having no governing body for Yoga in Ireland, professional Yoga trainings will generally be accredited with the BWY British Wheel of Yoga or EUFNY the European Union of Yoga Federations.
The ‘types’ or ’styles’ of yoga classes on offer include the following (in alphabetical order):
Set sequences. Pathabi Jois
Hot studio, very physical and aerobic. Very little emphasis on breath and students ability to perform difficult postures. Very popular at the moment.
This is a term that refers to the physical side of Yoga, asana. All Yoga classes on offer could be describes as hatha Yoga classes
Strict alignment. BKS Ivengar, brother in law of T Krishnamacharya
Characterised by emphasis on breath, integration of the breath with the movement. Dynamic and static movement. Classes at the Winton Practice. TKV Desikachar. Makes Yoga practice strikingly accessible for people. Innovative in its approach.
Viniyoga is not so much a style as it is a methodology for developing practices for individual conditions and purposes. This is the approach developed by Sri. T. Krishnamacharya, teacher of well-known contemporary masters B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois and Indra Devi, and continued by his son, T.K.V. Desikachar. Key characteristic of the asana practice are the careful integration of the flow of breath with movement of the spine, with sequencing, adaptations and intensity dependent upon the overall context and goals. Function is stressed over form. Practices may also include pranayama, meditation, reflection, study and other classic elements. Personal practices are taught privately. Given the scope of practice, the inherent therapeutic applications and the heritage of the lineage, the training requirements for teacher certification are extensive.