Each time you look up tips on losing weight, getting fit and combating stress on the internet, one word almost always shows up: yoga.
A lot of people think that yoga is all about being flexible and doing and holding all sorts of poses. In a way, they are right. Yoga, however, is more than sitting on the floor, following everything that the yogi does and uttering the monosyllabic “om” each and every time. Yoga is actually a philosophy — a way to maintain balance between the soul and body through meditation, breathing and exercise. After all, yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to bond the spirit and physical body.
While yoga is a very powerful meditative activity that helps calm the mind and combat stress, so many people are into it in order to get fit and lose excess pounds. Yoga offers more that mental tranquility. It’s also something that provides an assortment of physiological benefits, ranging from lower blood pressure to feeling more energetic.
Did you know that there are different types of yoga these days? If you’re interested in taking up a yoga class, it’s a good idea to know some of the most common types of yoga. Knowing what they are enables you to know each one’s own set of benefits so that you may opt for the right yoga type for you. Here they are:
In the United States, this type of yoga is the most practiced one. It consists of various poses and breathing exercises as you attempt to clear your mind of everything. Because it’s so familiar and very gentle, Hatha yoga is suitable for beginners. Going for this is recommendable if you wish to step foot in the world of yoga for the first time.
This particular type of yoga will surely make you lose unwanted pounds. That’s because Bikram yoga is made up of various postural and breathing exercises conducted inside a room heated up to 105 degrees. With the session lasting for 90 minutes because all the 26 poses are done twice, it’s for certain you will sweat a lot and in time obtain your dream figure.
You will encounter and use blocks, incline boards, straps, harnesses and others each time you undergo a session of Iyengar yoga. It’s for this reason why many dub it as “furniture yoga”. The use of various props helps you attain and maintain the various positions with utmost precision. Iyengar yoga is great for all ages and fitness levels.
This type of yoga involves a lot of constant moving and seemingly fun poses. That’s because it is intended to awaken your kundalini — dormant energy sitting like a coiled snake at the base of your spine. During a Kundalini yoga session, you can expect to do all sorts of poses together with various chants, breathing techniques and meditative activities.
Just like what it’s called suggests, restorative yoga aims to make you feel brand new. It focuses on making you relaxed by doing only a handful of very simple poses throughout the session which lasts for about 20 minutes only. There are props involved such as bolsters and blankets, as well as very relaxing eye pillows filled with lavender.
You may find this type of yoga derived from Hatha yoga as something fun because you will be prompted to express yourself through various poses that you like rather than standard ones. This doesn’t come as a surprise because Anusara yoga is primarily meant to make everyone more sincere and accepting of themselves.
If you’re always in the mood for challenge, Ashtanga yoga may be the one you’re looking for. This yoga type consists of only 6 poses. However, each one of them can be very strenuous and you have to do one after the other sequentially and rapidly. Ashtanga is one of the oldest forms of yoga — and perhaps one of the most challenging too.
Also referred to as “power yoga”, Vinyasa is perfect for those who are looking for a yoga session that looks a lot like having an aerobics class. It’s an active and athletic yoga form that gets your heart pumping and your body sweating. There are numerous poses involved, and the choices and sequences greatly depend on the teacher.
With every session slow and long, this type of yoga will surely sharpen your patience. Poses you have to do during Yin yoga sessions can be very relaxing, allowing gravity to do much of the work. It doesn’t come as a surprise because every pose is designed to lengthen connective tissues as well as to complement other forms of yoga.