Why do we have a section called “discern”?

Renee Prymus

We use discernment in our lives all the time: which food to eat, which route to take to work, which movies to watch, which church to attend. Using discernment about the yoga you practice is part of the process.

If you were to move to my city and ask for a church suggestion, I would first ask you a number of questions: Are you looking for a particular denomination? Do you like big churches or small churches? Who are some of the pastors that you enjoy listening to? What kind of music? etc.

When friends ask me for yoga recommendations, I ask similar questions: what do you want from yoga?

  • If you want exercise and want to sweat, you’ll want to look for a Power Yoga or Bikram Yoga class.
  • If you want to work up to tricky poses, try an Ashtanga class.
  • If you’re working on your posture or alignment, try an Iyengar or Anusara class.
  • If you’re new to yoga, going to yoga to complement physical therapy, or you want to increase your range of motion, try a gentle yoga class (often called Level 1).
  • If you are exhausted and looking for renewal, try a restorative class.
  • If you want a worship experience, try a Christian style class (see our "Find a Teacher" or "Finding a Yoga Class" pages).

For Christian practitioners, I also ask what other elements you might be comfortable with. Many classes involve using both English and Sanskrit names for poses, some classes involve chanting or a focus on energy. Just like your schoolteachers had variety in their styles and content, so too do yoga teachers have variety in teaching styles and elements.

The articles listed in the Discern section are designed to help you think about different elements or worldviews that you might encounter in yoga classes.