The overarching discipline of yoga is as flexible as some of its most devout participants. Based on an ancient spiritual practice, the proliferation of different styles and variations within the system reflects the differing goal of practitioners. Whether fast or slow, spiritually oriented or athletically motivated, yoga is an excellent way of cultivating a healthy body and contributing to a healthy mind.
Instructor and private trainer Jess Alenov has taught numerous yoga forms and classes over her career. She teaches a yoga sculpt course among others at the Riverfront Athletic Club, but she has also lent her insight on some of the differences in yoga courses within the club’s catalogue.
Yoga sculpt is a faster moving yoga using hand weights. “You’re not only building your strength and your stability, you’re also getting periodic times when you’re in active stretches or static stretches,” Alenov says. Classes like this tend to appeal to an athletically-oriented mindset—such as runners or weightlifters—who are looking to gain from the benefit of stretching but also crave a bit more intensity.
“Riverfront also has a flow yoga,” Alenov notes. “That would be more about connecting breath to movement.”
Power yoga denotes a stronger intensity. Alenov says. “It’s more of a heavy workout ... you’re going to be challenged, you’re going to be sweating.”
In the Pilates with yoga fusion class, Pilates is accentuated by yoga poses. Alenov says, “It’d be one of those classes where you wouldn’t necessarily have to have any experience in yoga because it’d be a slower moving class.”
Try this at home:
Sun Salutation Series~
- Standing Mountain Pose: Place your feet hip-width apart, press your palms together with your thumbs on your sternum.
- Upward Salute: Inhaling, sweep your arms to the side and up, arching your back.
- Standing Forward Fold: Exhaling, fold forward at the hip so your hands are at your feet and your nose is at your knees.
- Half Standing Forward Fold: Inhaling, lift your torso halfway while keeping your back straight.
- Four-Limbed Staff Pose: Exhaling, lower yourself into a plank pose with your hands under your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your elbows tucked, lower yourself until your arms are at a ninety-degree angle.
- Upward-Facing Dog Pose: Inhaling, straighten your arms and bring your torso forward and your shoulders back so you’re facing upwards.
- Downward-Facing Dog Pose: Exhaling, lift your hips and bring the soles of your feet down to the floor.
Then back up through poses four to one until you’re back at the Standing Mountain Pose.
Riverfront Athletic Club
109 2nd St. Hudson, Wis.