One of the biggest hurdles to starting yoga is figuring out what kind you want to do. It's confusing because there are quite a wide variety of options available. Although almost all of them are based on the same physical postures, each has a particular unique emphasis. It depends totally on the style of yoga you choose to see improvements in many areas of your health. By practicing regularly you can:
- Flexibility is increased
- Muscle tone and strength increases too
- You get a better sleep
Increase your energy levels
- Improves athletic performance
- Reduce injuries
- Detoxifies your organs
- Improves anxiety and depression
- Helps in posture improvement
- Helps with chronic pain
- Release endorphins that improve your mood
- Improves your circulatory and cardio health and a lot more.
Now that you know some of the benefits of doing yoga, scroll down the list it goes from intense, flow-style yoga to the more relaxing passive one, finishing with therapeutic yoga. Read on to explore some of the most popular types of yoga, and discover which one might be the best fit for you.
Types of Yog:
Ashtanga means “eight limbs” and encompasses a yogic lifestyle. Most people identify Ashtanga as traditional Indian yoga. Like Vinyasa yoga, the Ashtanga yoga asanas (postures) synchronize breath with movement as you move through a series of postures. Ashtanga is a system of yoga that was brought to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. If you attend an Ashtanga class at a studio you will be led nonstop through one or more of the Ashtanga series, while being encouraged to breathe as you move from pose to pose. Each series is a set sequence of asanas, always in the same order. It is typically fast-paced, vigorous and physically challenging. These are the eight limbs that describe Ashtanga yoga;
- Yama (Principles)
- Niyama (Personal Disciplines)
- Asana (Yogic Postures)
- Pranayama (Yogic Breathing)
- Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses)
- Dharana (Concentration on Object)
- Dhyan (Meditation)
- Samadhi (Salvation)
Bikram yoga also is known as “Hot Yoga” was pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, whose name became synonymous with yoga classes taught in a room heated to 95 to 100 degrees. The heat allows for the loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating, which is thought to be cleansing. The Bikram method is a set series of 26 poses but not all hot classes make use of this series. The room is bright and the students face mirrors to check proper posture and alignment. There is no music during class.
General yoga is something that comes under Hatha yoga. It is an old system that includes the practice of asanas and breathing exercises, which help bring peace to the mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.
In today’s modern world the term is used so widely that it becomes difficult to know what an actual hatha class looks like. In most cases, however, it will be relatively gentle, slow and great for beginners or students who prefer a more relaxed style where they hold poses longer.
Iyengar yoga is named after B.K.S. Iyengar, a famous yogi from India. It was popularized in the West about the same time as Ashtanga yoga (the Eight Limbs of Yoga). This style of practice is all about bringing the body into its best possible alignment, often using props such as yoga blankets, blocks, and straps to assist students as necessary. Iyengar practice usually emphasizes holding poses over long periods of time instead of moving quickly from one pose to the next (as in a flow class). Iyengar has been very important in the development of modern yoga asana.
David Life and Sharon Gannon created Jivamukti yoga in 1984, in New York City. and since then have studied with a number of teachers, including Swami Nirmalananda and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Each class begins with a standardized warm-up sequence unique to Jivamukti and often teachers will incorporate weekly themes, chanting, meditation, and spiritual readings.
Kundalini incorporates repeated movements or exercises, dynamic breathing techniques, chanting, meditation, and mantras. Each specific Kundalini exercise, referred to as a kriya, is a movement that is often repeated and is synchronized with the breath. The practice is designed to awaken the energy at the base of the spine in order to draw it upward through each of the seven chakras.
Power yoga is a more active approach to the traditional Hatha yoga poses. The Ashtanga yoga poses are performed more quickly and with added core exercises and upper body work.
The sequences are not the same every time, and there is often upbeat music. Vinyasa yoga can also be Power yoga, depending on the gym or studio that is hosting the class.
The first Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center was founded in 1959 by Swami Vishnu-devananda, a disciple of Swami Sivananda. There are now close to 80 locations worldwide, including several ashrams. Sivananda yoga is based on five principles, including the practices of asana, pranayama, and meditation. The mastery of twelve carefully selected poses is at the core of this practice.
Vinyasa yoga is popular and is taught in most studios and gyms. “Vinyasa” means linking breath with movement. The postures are usually done in a flowing sequence, or "Vinyasa flow." The fluid movements can be memorized and done as a moving meditation, almost like a dance.
The popularity of this style of yoga comes from the sensual movements, pleasant music, usually (but not always) practiced in a dark room, or sometimes by candlelight and with the eyes closed.
It was founded and first taught in the U.S. in the late 1970s by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Yin-style is now begin taught across North America and in Europe, by more prominent instructors, Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style in which poses are held for five minutes or longer. Even though it is passive, yin yoga can be quite challenging due to the long holds, particularly if your body is not used to it. The purpose is to apply moderate stress to the connective tissue - with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility