Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice that germinated in India, where it is practiced as a means to achieve physical and spiritual enlightenment. This 5000-year old discipline encompasses the entire existence of a human being, from the physical, psychical, to emotional, and spiritual well-being. The Great Sage Patanjali defines yoga– the practice to quiet the mind, which means that yoga brings the brain into a state of tranquility allowing a person to live in the present state in connection with the inner divine self. A traditional practice that includes ethical guidelines, yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditation and bestows the human race with much more than a strong and flexible body.
However, when the quest for yoga begins, several individuals find themselves in a confusion which yoga style to choose and why? The truth is that all styles of yoga create a feeling of relaxation, mental clarity, and healthy body. But to reap the most out of your yoga practice and for maximum absorption, it is imperative to select a yoga type that suits you the best.
Here is a list of the four different types of yoga and its benefits:
- Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is one of the most popular and traditional styles of yoga as well as the mother of different yoga forms. Hatha yoga is a practice to unify the opposite that exists within us: the lunar and solar energy, the evil and divine spirit, and the masculine and feminine. This style of yoga focuses on the practice of physical yoga postures and deep understanding of the body mechanism to attain higher levels of energy. Hatha yoga is a practice aimed at creating a body that is not a hurdle in life but acts as a stepping stone in progressing towards the highest possibility in life. The practice of yoga postures, pranayama, meditation, and diet forms a cornerstone of Hatha Yoga practice that changes and enhances the way one thinks, feels, and experiences life. In addition to this, Hatha yoga is highly effective in reducing stress, increasing flexibility, improving the flow of prana, and maintaining an overall well-being. For an in-depth learning and understanding of the traditional yoga forms, yoga teacher training programs in India are highly recommended.
- Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga yoga is another traditional style of yoga propagated by K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India based on Yoga Philosophy of the Great Sage Patanjali. A structured practice involving the performance of pre-defined yoga sequence done at a constant flow. A dynamic, flowing sequence that makes you sweat cleansing your body from all the toxic waste. The Ashtanga yoga consists of six series: primary, secondary, and four advanced series. Each of these comprises of four parts: Sun-Salutation, Main Sequence, Back-Bending Sequence, and a Finishing Sequence. An Ashtangi benefits in a number of ways: increased strength, better heart health, increased awareness, and so much more. If you are looking for a fast-paced yet smooth yoga style then Ashtanga yoga is best suited for you.
- Kundalini Yoga: Kundalini yoga is a blend of three types of yoga– Bhakti Yoga (the yogic practice of devotion), Raja Yoga ( the practice of physical and mental control), and Shakti Yoga (the expression of power and energy). Kundalini Yoga features invigorating yoga postures, dynamic breathing techniques, and mantra chanting that clears the blocked energy channels and awakens the Kundalini energy to uplift the mind and body to new heights.
- Karma Yoga: Karma yoga refers to the practice of selfless actions without the intention of desired results. Karma yoga can be practiced in every aspect of the life: from the most trivial things to the greatest tasks of life. When the deeds are performed with pure and divine intention without being attached to the fruits of one’s deeds, a person experiences union with the self and the divine.
A yoga teacher training In India feeds you with ingrained knowledge about various yoga types and benefits. The authentic wisdom about various yoga styles shall lead you to enlightenment.