There are many different types of yoga, and it is imperative to choose a form that is best suit for each individual’s level of fitness, goals, and medical condition.Some of the most popular forms are listed below which you will eventually love once being practiced overtime. I must say that choosing a style of yoga is a personal decision.
Ashtanga Yoga is the original power yoga that literally means “eight-limbs” is is a highly structured vinyasa-style class developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and T. Krishnamacharya. It is a dynamic, flowing style that associates the movement of the body with the breath which is central to the practice. A systematic sequence of predetermined flowing postures linked together with the breath. The method emphasizes the importance of everyday practice of a set series of movements. Ashtanga Yoga is considered a vigorous, physically demanding, orderly practice and is more suited to individuals who want a dynamic and rigorous yoga practice. It is highly encourage that Ashtangis are asked to practice daily, instead of whenever is convenient.
It is the most beginner-friendly style of yoga and has become one of the most popular types of yoga. Hatha means ‘force’ and is traditionally defined as ‘the yoga of force’, or ‘the means of attaining a state of yoga through force’. The practice aims to unite the active and receptive qualities represented by each celestial being.
Practitioners of Hatha yoga use physical alignment and breathing control to achieve an equilibrium between the active body and its universe. The resulting harmony manifests itself as physical strength, physiological health and emotional well-being. Hatha yoga builds flexibility and strength while minimizing the chance of injury. This well-rounded style balances and opens the body. You will learn to still the mind and be present in the moment.
Kundalini yoga is a very spiritual type of yoga. In kundalini yoga enlightenment occurs when energy located at the base of the spine is brought to the crown of the head. This occurs through rapid, repetitive movements, breathing and chanting. The image of the kundalini serpent is used to represent this source of raw energy. The “serpent power” is cultivated through different types of yoga and meditations that wrap an aura of secret and esoterism around this natural phenomenon.
The term kundalini is used to refer to the vital force or energy that we all hold within us. Often called the “sleeping goddess” or “serpent power”, it is represented as a serpent coiled around the first chakra or root chakra at the base of the spine.
The intention behind this practice is to awaken the energy at the base of your spine and pull it upward through your body, increasing sensory awareness. An intense practice, Kundalini yoga awakens the “coiled” primal life force residing at the base of the spine.
Iyengar Yoga developed by B.K.S. Iyengar who was a direct disciple of T. Krishnamacharya. It is the practice of precision for physical alignment of the body within particular postures
Iyengar yoga is a disciplined system with carefully planned and timed sequences. Props like blocks and belts are used to ensure students can practice the postures with correct alignment and safely develop the yoga practice over time.
Iyengar yoga includes more than 200 asanas and 14 types of pranayama. Iyengar builds strength, flexibility and body awareness through longer holds of asanas with the focus always on alignment. It is considered more accessible than more dynamic forms of yoga for beginners who are not used to such physical exertion.
The idea is that as the yoga develops balance in the body, balance in the mind will also follow. This practice is thought to promote physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
It is a form of yoga popularized by Bikram Choudhury that involves repeating the same 26 poses in set cycles over a 90-minute class. Less people know that it is a combination of Hatha yoga and other yoga techniques.
In most classes, rooms are heated, often up to a sweltering 105 degrees Fahrenheit or 41 degrees Celsius and kept at fairly high humidity usually about 40 percent. Exercising in a heated room is better for stretching as it will prevent your body from getting an injury. Many people who tried Bikram yoga noticed that deep stretching helped them improve their flexibility.
Yin Yoga is a meditative approach with a physical focus practice and a yoga for the joints not the muscles. It targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice.
Yin Yoga postures are more passive postures, mainly on the floor and postures are held passively for several minutes in order to access a safe and positive stress on the deep layers of connective tissue in the body. It is unique in that you are asked to relax in the posture, soften the muscle and move closer to the bone.
It offers a much deeper access to the body. It is not uncommon to see postures held for three to five minutes, even 20 minutes at a time. The time spent in these postures is much like time spent in meditation. Yin yoga is often used in programs that deal with addictions, eating disorders, anxiety and deep pain or trauma.
The Sanskrit word Vinyasa comes from a prefix vi, which means variation, and a suffix, nyasa, which means ‘within prescribed parameters.
Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga characterized by stringing postures together so that you move from one to another, seamlessly, using breath. Commonly referred to as “flow” yoga as it is a type of yoga that aims to attain balance in the mind and body. It aligns a deliberate sequence of poses with the breath to achieve a continuous flow. Inhalation is usually connected to upward, open movements, while exhalation is often tied to downward movements or twists.
Vinyasa recognizes the temporary nature of things and a breath initiated practice, that connects every action of our life with the intention of moving towards what is most important to us.
Many are asking why Vinyasa? This is because the practice of linking breath and movement to flow through postures invites us into an expression that is sometimes missing in other forms of the practice. It the experience of being alive, connected and free. It reminds us that everything is connected and interdependent.
In Conclusion, what ever type of yoga you choose is a personal decision. Multiple factors need to be considered but the bottom line is, find a the best type of yoga that suits yourself and gives you a better and healthy life.