During early school years, yoga was actually a pretty dreaded class for me. When you’re young and raring to go, you have no way of knowing that basic lessons in mind and body conditioning will serve you well for the rest of your life. Had I paid more attention, I might just (but probably not) have been one of those awesome people who could do a headstand on command. I know a fair few people who have the discipline and knowledge to go about their yoga practice without guidance; if you’re up to doing this, any park is your playground. But if you find core strength in small numbers, you could join a class that suits your pace. Poorna Yoga, Sivanada Yoga, and Seema Sondhi are super for all levels of experience; you might want to save Bharat Thakur’s Artistic Yoga and Asarante if you’ve got your mind set on challenging yourself. Good luck, get set and say “Ommm.”
Sivananda Yoga Center
This reputed training center also trains and certifies teachers in yoga, so it’s safe to say that they’re the masters of their game. Their centers in Gurgaon run 90 minutes classes at 10 am on weekdays and on weekends; otherwise weekday classes are thoughtfully kept at 60 minutes only. Great if you want to stop and breathe, but only for a while!
Trained from the Sivananda School, Poorna Yoga’s lovely teachers will match their pace of progress to yours, as opposed to the other way around. Which means no more falling back, and no more awkward positions when you try to leapfrog from posture 5 to 9. Their workshops are held at different locations; the only thing constant is change.
Seema Sondhi – The Yoga Studio
Despite all the ancient wisdom, this is one relatively cool way to do yoga. Seema Sondhi creates a judgment-free environment, where people don’t have to feel like sinners or saints. They encourage you to be yourself – so for example, if you’re not naturally flexible enough to touch your toes, find a way around it! Your way is the best way for you – this is feel-good yoga.
Bharat Thakur’s Artistic Yoga
Bharat Thakur’s impatience with drab yoga reduced to only a few asanas on one hand (or leg!) and ‘pop’ yoga on the other made him go forth and develop what he calls Artistic Yoga. It’s active, definitely not boring, and while you’re not looking, helps develop strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination.
Started by a ballet teacher and choreographer, Asarante came to being when an Artist Without Borders scholar came to India to study classical dance. What resulted was a now trademarked approach to body conditioning called Yogadance Therapy, where students are trained to control their bodies through focus and perseverance. A superb class for intermediate to advanced yoga enthusiasts.