Types of Yoga And Knowing What Works for You

Before joining a yoga class, you need to have the proper knowledge of Yoga in order to determine what specific type will work best for you.

The Importance of Knowing What Yoga Is Ideal For You

Types of YogaA lot of people plunge into Yoga without spending time to understand what makes one different from the other.

This is important mainly because not all Yoga practices are suitable for every individual.

It is highly recommended that you consult a yoga expert in order to help determine which specific types of yoga to pursue and whether or not it will help you achieve your fitness and health goals.

The ultimate goal of practicing Yoga is to make one happy, healthy, and confident, so when you are planning to start on practicing yoga, you should pay attention to choosing the types of yoga that will and can best benefit you.

To fully maximize and enjoy every benefit of Yoga, consistency and regularity are the keys. Therefore, when choosing what types of Yoga practice to pursue, it should be something that an individual will find highly engaging and interesting, and not boring. This will help you to effectively remove all obstacles and stay committed, as well as help you gain better health, enhanced emotional balance, and achieve a more fulfilled life.

Types of Yoga Practice

There are so many different types of Yoga but we are going to focus on some of the most popular ones. Most beginners wouldn’t know that there are different types of Yoga being taught and practiced today. It is easy to confuse one type of yoga with another because they basically use the same yoga poses, although they considerably differ on the emphasis. Know which type of yoga fits you best by learning more about them here.

Anusara Yoga

This form of Yoga, founded by John Friend in 1997, combines the celebration of the heart with the strict principles of alignment. Poses of this form like backbends can be challenging but can help promote the connection with the divine soul by the practice of heart opening.

The principle that it adheres to is the alignment of the body with a positive outlook derived from Tantra. The principle basically says that all beings have goodness in them. So expect that Anusara classes to be light, poses are taught with ease and often props are incorporated with the poses.

Ananda Yoga

Like Anusara Yoga, Ananda Yoga also focuses on proper body alignment. Poses of this form of Yoga help to control breathing, relax the whole system of the body so that one can meditate properly. Ananda Yoga postures carry the energy up to the brain which will help the body to work properly.

This kind of yoga energizes the brain in preparation for meditation. The primary focus is the proper alignment and safety of the body complemented with correct breathing in order to attain constant relaxation even when doing challenging yoga poses.  It practices Asana adaptation wherein the yoga practitioner performs poses depending on his or her needs and abilities rather than trying to force themselves to ideal positions.

Ashtanga Yoga

This traditional form of Yoga first introduced to the west by K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India. It consists six series of poses among. The first and second series are of approximately equal difficulty with hard poses. The third series is quite harder but fourth, fifth and sixth have some easy poses. This type of Yoga provides a physical workout as well as mental workout.

As a physical workout, it improves blood circulation, stamina, flexibility and as a mental workout, it calms the mind and also increases focus and concentration. With its continuous series of postures, it is best suited for athletes and not for the beginners.

Ashtanga means eight limbs in Sanskrit. The yoga poses in this class is physically challenging because it involves synchronized breathing and posture. The poses are done in a more rapid movement and intense manner. This kind of yoga will improve your stamina, flexibility and of course, strength.

Bikram Yoga

Asana YogaBikram Yoga is the only Yoga style that practiced in a heated environment. This Yoga form, founded by a gold medal Olympic lifter Bikram Choudhury in 1963, can be practiced by the beginners. It consists of 26 postures, including all the components of fitness and has to be practiced in 105 degree temperature in order to best promote flexibility and weight loss.

Practicing Yoga in a hot environment will allow tight muscles to loosen up while doing the series of 26 poses. It also induces profuse sweating which is said to be a result of the detoxification process.  You can say that this is the only type of yoga that uses a heated room for practice. As a basic form of yoga, Bikram Yoga is widely popular in the US and is ideal for beginners as it is relatively easy.

Kundalini Yoga

There are seven energy systems in every human body, positioned from the base of the spine to the top of head, which together make up the charka and ‘Root’ is one of them referred by ‘Kundalini’, surrounds the area of the lower spine. Kundalini Yoga practice includes mental workout and breathing exercises and the Kundalini postures are designed to help to awaken the energy of the lower spine by moving it upward.

Hatha Yoga

The name of this Yoga style is derived from words ‘ha’ and ‘tha’, which means ‘the sun’ and ‘the moon’. Hatha Yoga classes teach people the principles and postures at a slower pace and also some breathing techniques, which are important for every yogi. This form of yoga is light, slow and peaceful. ‘Meditating’ and ‘Renewing body’s energy for a better health’ are the two major goals of Hatha Yoga.

Hatha is the very foundation for all different types of yoga. In fact, asana, pranayama, meditation and kundalini are the techniques that are practiced in Hatha yoga. This kind of yoga starts with a calm and meditative mood and progresses into various poses

Iyengar Yoga

This style of Yoga was developed by the Yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar about 60 years ago, which is known to increase balance, flexibility, and physical strength. When practicing this type of Yoga, one can use blankets, straps, cushions for support .By using these types of equipment even an elderly, sick, disabled person will be able to practice the postures. This yoga practice is highly recommended for people dealing with minor injuries in order to speed up recovery since Iyengar Yoga follows a slower pace and can be practiced with support.

Karma Yoga

By practicing this type of Yoga, one can give up the ego in order to best serve God and humanity. Karma refers to ‘action’, which pertains to all the activities from one’s birth to death. It shows the path of right and true thing. The core concept of this yoga is to serve God through serving humanity.

Restorative Yoga

After spending a busy and grueling day at work, if one wants to relax both physically and mentally, Restorative Yoga is highly recommended as it is focuses on relaxation. One can spend a long periods of time lying on blocks, yoga bolsters or on blankets and allow every single part of the body to achieve a state of relaxation in a Restorative Yoga class. It makes one’s body sound and ready for the next day’s activities.

In this type of yoga, you  can use props such as yoga bolsters, chairs, blocks and blankets to allow muscles to relax while you hold positions for prolonged periods.

Vinyasa Yoga

This is another fast paced type of yoga where the emphasis is placed on synchronized breathing and movement.  The poses start with Sun salutations and then progresses to more intense stretching. Each poses are balanced and countered with another pose.

Power Yoga

This kind of yoga is known as the American version of the widely popular Ashtanga yoga. It is basically derived from Ashtanga but with this type of yoga, the poses are taken a step further. The poses mostly resemble calisthenics such as pushups, handstands, side bends and toe touches, which are designed to induce sweat production as well as muscle development. It is an intense workout because practitioners are not allowed to pause in between the different yoga poses as one would normally do with traditional yoga.

Which Yoga Is Ideal For You?

There is really no rule that says you have to stick to one type of yoga,  in fact,  it is recommended that you try all types of yoga to know which kind suits you best. Talking to other yoga practitioner and listening to their experiences will help, too.

Remember the essence of doing yoga is to unify your PHYSICAL, MENTAL and EMOTIONAL being and make you grow fully aware of your own consciousness. A great relationship with your yogi will also help you attain your goals. If you want to know more about the Physiological Benefits Of Yoga and the Psychological Benefits of Yoga, you will understand that Yoga is not just a fitness regimen but a comprehensive health and wellness solution for many.



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