Styles of Yoga on SeekRetreat
With a roster full of top-notch global teachers and to-die-for exotic locations around the world, you have options when it comes to choosing a yoga retreat on Seek Retreat.
Seek Retreat’s Katherine Peach does an excellent job breaking down some of the company’s most sought after retreats in her article, Choosing a Yoga Retreat that is Right for You, but what about the style of yoga you’ll be practicing, most likely twice a day? You might want to know a little something about that.
Lucky for you we’ve also broken down some of the most common yoga styles you’ll find on retreats throughout our online marketplace.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga
A quick glance through the featured retreats offered in the upcoming year and you’ll notice the word “vinyasa” is used to describe many of the teachers’ class style. The term vinyasa simply means “breathing/movement system” where each movement is accompanied by one breath to create one system of breathing and moving, or one vinyasa. The result is a graceful flowing sequence of movements in and out of postures done to the rhythm of your breath. The practice itself tends to be more dynamic, producing a strong internal heat, causing you to sweat more than other styles of yoga and leaving you feeling muscularly fatigued but simultaneously energized from the strong focus on the breath and the movement of blood through the body.
That being said, there are many variations on vinyasa flow yoga depending on the teacher. For example, if you choose to join Vytas in Costa Rica this February expect a vigorous, physically demanding practice better than most workouts; join Maile Sivert on her Mindful Vinyasa Retreat in Bali this spring, and, well, you’ll be practicing a more moderate vinyasa flow with a focus on aligning the postures. Either approach, you’re going to do a decent number of Sun Salutations; how briskly you do them or how long you hold each posture is up to the teacher.
Take the time to not only read the retreat’s description but also the teacher’s bio, even visit his or her website, you’ll begin to get a feel for the type of vinyasa flow class they teach.
Iyengar and Alignment-Based Yoga
Iyengar yoga is the practice of precision, paying close attention to the anatomical details and alignment of each posture. Rather than moving quickly from one pose to the next, postures are built methodically with steadfast concentration and held for longer periods of time, and props are often used to modify the poses. Marked by discipline, the method is designed to safely and systematically cultivate strength, flexibility and stability along with mind-body awareness, and is particularly therapeutic for individuals with specific limitations and conditions.
Many of Seek Retreat’s teachers have studied within the Iyengar yoga system and/or another style of yoga that places heavy emphasis on the correct structural alignment of the poses. The key word to look for is alignment-based. Whenever you come across that descriptive, whether the teacher employs the vinyasa technique or a more static approach to the yoga poses, you can expect to receive more detailed instructions and individual feedback from the instructor. Alignment-based practices also lend themselves to a workshop type setting, especially on longer retreats.
Kundalini Yoga and Chakra Exploration
Kundalini yoga is a spiritual practice aimed at expanding consciousness, igniting passion and increasing physical vitality by accessing kundalini-shakti and integrating prana throughout the body. The method is multidimensional, using rhythm, movement, breath and sound to effectively stimulate and shift your energy. Alternating between active exercises (known as kriyas) and mini-periods of relaxation, you’ll be guided to pay close attention to any internal sensations you’re experiencing — releasing stored emotional and psychological blocks and allowing creative energy to flow.
Aside from Kundalini yoga, Seek Retreat has a handful of retreats geared toward harnessing prana, shifting energy and moving through blocks, including the upcoming Magic Breath Retreat in Panama and Costa Rica. Robin Clements’ Healing Wave Retreat in Costa Rica this March is an exploration of the seven main energy centers of the body through powerful breathing sessions, ancient chanting rituals, Chakra Vinyasa Flow and Yoga Trance Dance, involving spontaneous movement as you awaken and allow prana to move through you. And be on the look out for offerings from Seek Retreat’s featured instructor, Kia Miller who teaches her own unique blend of Kundalini yoga and vinyasa flow called Radiant Body Yoga.
Meagan McCrary (500 E-RYT) is an L.A.-based yoga teacher with a sense of humor. Her classes are physically challenging and fun, educational & inspiring. She has immersed herself in the modern yoga world, attending different studios and classes, researching yoga traditions and systems, and interviewing some of the nation’s leading yoga teachers in their respective styles. Relying not only on her skills as a writer, but also her knowledge and experiences as a yoga student and teacher, Meagan has organized an encyclopedia of the most prominent styles of yoga in North America. Pick Your Yoga Practice: Exploring and Understanding Different Styles of Yoga was published by New World Library December 15, 2013.
Connect with Meagan:
Meagan McCrary Yoga | Facebook