The right yoga for you

By CAROLYN ASPENSON For more than 5,000 years, yoga enthusiasts have believed yoga is the way to join the soul, body and mind through breathing, posing and focused concentration. Yoga comes in many forms, and determining which one is right for you depends upon your specific wellness goals. Finding the right match is important, so try the various styles at different studios before committing. As with any exercise program, discuss what’s best for you with your doctor before participating. The most common forms of yoga practiced in the United States are listed below.
  • Hatha: Best for beginners because it focuses on slow and smooth movement, holding poses and breathing. If you’re looking to stretch and lightly work muscles and decrease stress, Hatha yoga is a good start. Hatha is a great place to learn standard yoga poses.
  • Iyengar: Another excellent choice for beginners with posing similar to Hatha but focuses more on body alignment and balance and incorporates props such as blocks, straps and other weighted items.
  • Kundalini: A more advanced form incorporating rapid movement through poses with an emphasis on breathing, chanting and meditation. This form of yoga is hard both physically and mentally, so if multitasking isn’t your thing, this might not be for you.
  • Ashtanga: A form of power yoga with quick movement through poses focusing on strength and endurance. If meditating isn’t your thing and you want a tough workout similar to weight lifting, give this form a try.
  • Bikram: Yoga focused on detoxing the body through sweat in rooms heated to about 107 degrees. The heat loosens muscles, and some say the sweat helps to remove symptoms of some diseases and chronic pain. The heat can cause problems with dehydration and certain medical issues, so discuss this with your doctor before trying.
  • Restorative Yoga: Relaxation is the focus of this yoga. A great class for a busy business executive or stressed out stay-at-home mom.
  • Vinyasa: Focused flowing from one pose to the next, this form is good for those who know the poses and want to create a better mind-body connection.
  • Anusara: A more verbally interactive approach to yoga with an emphasis on poses to open the heart area. Multiple backbends are a part of this form.
  • Prenatal: Focuses on breathing and connecting to the core area of the body with slower, more focused movement.

City of Milton’s new yoga program

Milton residents now have the opportunity to try yoga through classes offered at the Bethwell Community Center on Hopewell Road. Kim Saunders, director of the city’s yoga program, has brought together a group of talented teachers, with classes ranging from cardio-based fitness yoga and yoga sculpt with weights, to a slower-paced, deep-stretch class. Kids’ classes are taught by Grounded Kids Yoga co-founder Amy Haysman.
As both a yoga teacher and psychotherapist, Saunders creates a mind-body experience for her students so they have the sense that tension has been “wrung-out” as they leave class feeling accomplished and peaceful. A sampling of classes are listed below. For the full schedule, visit
  • Hour of Power: Dive into the deep end of building strength and stamina in this class. This power hour will help you build strength while maintaining flexibility and a conscious breath.
  • Lift Yoga Flow: The class begins with a focus on the breath and eases into dynamic movement and postures. Encourages proper alignment of the body and brings balance, strength, and calm to the practitioner.
  • Weekend Wind-Down: A class structured to help you unwind after a long week. Class will start with dynamic movement, incorporate poses to build strength and finish with restorative poses and rest.
  • Grounded Kids Yoga: Yoga enhances self esteem, self-discipline, imagination and empathy and builds strength, flexibility and coordination for children.
Carolyn has been a fitness and nutrition enthusiast for over 15 years. She holds certifications from nationally recognized organizations in both fitness and nutrition. Email her at


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