Are you interested in learning and practicing yoga, and immersing yourself in its divine and innumerable benefits? Do you find yourself confused as to which form of yoga will work the best for you according to your needs and lifestyle? If yes, then you are at the right place, as we help you understand different forms of yoga and their individualistic characteristics to help you choose the form which will allow you to reap the maximum benefits.  When one experiences everything in oneness in their consciousness, then they are in yoga. There are different ways to attain that unity within ourselves. One works with the body and then moves to the breath, then to the mind, then to the inner- self. These are different facets of yoga and it is important to address them in a balanced way. Whether you want to relax, have a workout or get in touch with your spiritual side, there is a yoga class to suit you, irrespective of your body type or temperament. Different types of yoga might be best for different types of people depending on their age, flexibility, and resonance. Following are different types of yoga along with a brief into what sets them apart from the rest and why you should choose them.

 

 

  1. Hatha Yoga-
  • It is best for beginners.
  • It is a gentle form of yoga which works at a slower pace and requires you to hold each pose for a few breaths.
  • It is yoga of activity, which simply includes a practice of physical yoga postures. I.e. all other yoga classes like the Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar and power yoga are essentially Hatha Yoga.
  • It breaks up as Ha (sun) plus Tha (moon), hence it is the yoga of balance.
  • It is a way to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit; a way of disciplining, purifying and preparing the body for meditation and higher levels of energy and possibilities.
  • It includes a practice of Asanas (yoga postures) and Pranayama (breathing exercise), which help bring peace to the mind and body.
  1. Vinyasa Yoga-
  • It is best for people who enjoy intense exercises.
  • Vinyasa is a term used to describe a specific sequence of poses. It is an intensive style of yoga based on rapid flow through Surya Namaskar. It is also referred to as a flow class as it involves continuous flow from one posture to the next.
  • The pace is quick in this type of yoga as it links movement and breath together in a flowing manner, where you don’t linger on for long on each pose, which results in the heart rate to rise.
  • Like Hatha, Vinyasa is also a general term that describes many different styles of yoga. Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Power yoga and Prana flow could all be considered Vinyasa yoga.
  1. Iyengar Yoga-
  • It is best for yogis who want precision in movement, form and body’s alignment. People with injured or stiff bodies should opt for this form of yoga. It is also suitable for beginners.
  • Iyengar Yoga, by Guru B.K.S. Iyengar, is a type of yoga that uses props like belts, yoga blocks, blankets, chairs, and straps to help beginners get into poses with correct alignment, precision, and detail.
  • In this form of yoga, poses are held for a much longer time, than in other forms of yoga.
  1. Ashtanga Yoga-
  • It is best for people seeking perfection their yoga practice.
  • It is a form of yoga by Sri Pattabhi Jois where one is led non- stop through one or more of Ashtanga’s series while being encouraged to breathe as they move from pose to pose. Each series is a set sequence of Asanas which are always in the same order. There are six series in total, increasing difficulty as one moves forward.
  • In each series, one will flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat which makes it fast- paced, vigorous and physically challenging.
  • Even though a typical Ashtanga Yoga class is fast- paced, most studios these days offer Mysore- style classes, which allow students to work at their own pace and to be assessed by senior instructors.
  1. Bikram Yoga-
  • It is best for people who want to sweat it out and detoxify their organs or for anyone who is a beginner as Bikram yoga has a predictable sequence.
  • A Bikram Yoga class ( by Bikram Choudhary) consists of a fixed series of the same, copyrighted twenty- six poses and two breathing techniques, which are carried out in a ninety minutes class in a room heated to one hundred and five degrees Fahrenheit with humidity of forty percent.
  • It is a physically and mentally challenging class and one must come prepared to sweat it out, therefore must hydrate beforehand.
  • It is a form of hot yoga that will flush toxins from organs, manage weight, and allow students to move more deeply into poses.
  1. Hot Yoga-
  • It is for people who love to sweat it out after a workout.
  • It is similar to Bikram Yoga; practiced in a heated room, but it is not restricted to the twenty- six pose sequence of Bikram Yoga.
  • Hot and humid conditions increase one’s capacity to stretch more, so one can go deeper into a pose compared to non- heated class. However one must remember not to overstretch beyond one’s capacity.
  1. Kundalini Yoga-
  • It is best for people seeking internal aspects of yoga like breathing, meditation, and spiritual energy over and above a workout.
  • It is a physically and mentally challenging practice and is different from any other typical yoga class as it incorporates repeated movements/ exercises, breathing techniques, chanting, meditation, and mantras.
  • Each Kundalini exercise, referred to as Kriya, is often repeated and is synchronized with breath.
  • This practice is designed to break through one’s internal barriers and awaken energy at the base of the spine, and bringing them to a higher level of self- awareness.
  1. Yin Yoga-
  • It is for people who are looking to stretch, relax and unwind; for people who want to relax their over- worked joints. It is not recommended to anyone with connective tissue disorder.
  • It is passive yoga style, founded by Taoist Yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Its purpose is to apply moderate stress to connective tissues like tendons, fascia, and ligaments, with an aim to increase circulation and improve elasticity.
  • In this type of yoga, poses are held for long, for about 1-10 minutes each.
  • It is a good way to learn basics of meditation and relax the mind, which can be restorative in nature.
  1. Restorative Yoga-
  • It is well- suited for those struggling with Insomnia, anxiety or for athletes on recovery days. It is also for anyone who wants to slow down, relax and unwind.
  • It is a passive style of yoga, which involves slow- moving practice with longer holds for several minutes which allows one to experience deeper relaxation.
  • It is similar to Yin Yoga, but with more emphasis on relaxing and less emphasis on flexibility.
  • It makes use of a variety of props like bolsters, yoga blocks, chairs, etc to fully support one’s body in each pose, making it easier to completely let go.

In today’s world where stress is a common problem faced by one and all, with increased performance pressure, financial targets coupled with polluted natural resources and environment in the backdrop, susceptibility to various health disorders is at an all- time rise. In such times, it is imperative that we start making time for ourselves to indulge in some kind of physical exercise and Yoga is one answer for our holistic well- being as it focuses on all aspects of our health working on a healthy mind, body, and soul, developing strength, flexibility and balance while reducing anxiety and depression. Try it, you might just find your Zen.

 

Categories: Health