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 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.
- Vinyasa Yoga
The practice session of Vinyasa yoga is generally flowing, and the workout takes you through asanas that focus on particular body parts using Ujjayi breathing techniques. The yoga form syncs the breath with the movements and takes you from one pose to the next, and requires constant movement. The practice of this yoga style is quick and fluid where you don’t need to hold the pose for long. The style is the offshoot of Ashtanga yoga and is also physically demanding.
- Iyengar Yoga
Founded and popularised by B.K.S. Iyengar, the form is apt for those who want to work on their injuries, joint issues and focus on correcting the alignment of their body. Iyengar yoga session is strenuous, and once you achieve the pose, you need to maintain it for few breaths. The practice involves the usage of yoga props including pillows, blankets, straps, chair, blocks, bolster, etc. to perfect the pose.
- Bikram Yoga
The pose is apt for those who love to sweat it out and want to have a rigorous yoga session. The key feature of the practice is that you need to perform 90 minutes sequence that consists of 26 basic yoga poses and is performed on a 40-degree artificially heated room. The sequel is done twice with two breathing exercises and lets you sweat excessively making your body toxic free.
- Power Yoga
The style was developed in the 1980s and is designed for the fitness enthusiasts that are willing to perform the hardcore workout. With a sequel of strenuous asana that is flowing without any pause, power yoga is an amazing form that provides the body a complete workout. The yoga form is amazing for runners and athletes.
- Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced relaxing activity and is apt for those who are not much into hectic activity. During the Yin Yoga session, you get to hold the poses for a longer time like from 45 seconds to 2 minutes. The sequel also comprises many seated poses, and the sessions also focus on inner peace, spirituality and relaxation. Longer holding time helps muscles to be more elastic and is a great way of slowing down in hustled up life.
- Restorative Yoga
Yoga poses are of many types, and each of them has their own set of benefits. Restorative Yoga is perfect for relaxing and rejuvenating the entire being. The practice of this style helps to stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system that provides deep relaxation to the mind and body. Like Iyengar Yoga, the usage of yoga props plays an essential role in the practice and helps you perform each pose with perfection.
- Jivamukti Yoga
For a deep spiritual experience, Jivamukti Yoga style is an ideal merger of asanas with meditation, pranayama, chanting, mantra and music. The practice is intense yet spiritual that incorporates Vinyasa-style poses and sequences. The session also explores, and emphasizes on poetry, philosophy and music. Jivamukti aims at helping people who are seeking a right path in their lives and develop a philosophical outlook.
We talked about different types of yoga and its benefits are also amazing as well, so take a look at them.
Hatha Yoga: The practice helps to improve focus and concentration, relax the body and mind, enhance strength, flexibility and balance, reduce stress and fatigue and also offers other therapeutic benefits.
Ashtanga Yoga: The session is very demanding and is great for building stamina, improving flexibility, realigning the spine, detoxifying the body and release stress and tension.
Kundalini Yoga: A spiritual-physical kind of yoga practice, Kundalini yoga strengthens the nervous system, teach you to pay attention to the internal sensations and uplift the body and mind.
Karma Yoga: The yoga form helps us in achieving extraordinary things, a system that lets us benefit from a very good integration, divine support and a lot of positive energy.
Vinyasa Yoga: The yoga type is packed with a lot of benefits which includes the elimination of toxins, re-energizing of the body, mental relaxation, releasing blocked energy flow, etc.
Iyengar Yoga: The yoga form proves to be a remedy solution for those who want to reduce weight, enhance fitness, and want to get rid of chronic illness. The practice improves mobility, strength, stability and flexibility.
Bikram Yoga: Bikram Yoga helps to decrease food cravings, reduce weight, enhance oxygen supply, balance the functioning of the body system, remove toxins and build muscles.
Power Yoga: The practice increase flexibility, strengthens the body, promotes stamina, helps in weight loss, boosts immunity, improves circulation and posture as well as stamina and balance.
Yin Yoga: A spiritual form of practice, Yin Yoga brings inner peace, relaxes the being, improves circulation, re-energizes the body, improves mobility, balances internal organs and reduces anxiety.
Restorative Yoga: Restorative yoga is relaxing, beneficial for people recovering from injuries or illness. The practice calms the body, rejuvenates the mind and lowers the heart rate.
Jivamukti Yoga: Increases strength, improves balance, enhances flexibility, detoxifies the body, improves circulation and reduces stress.
Each yoga type is designed to fulfil individual’s needs, choose amongst them as per your personality and intention. To attain the ingrained knowledge of yoga forms, and its benefits delve deeper into the practice with yoga training and acquire authentic yogic wisdom.
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.