A Guide of Different Types of Yoga
Yoga has been running through a long way in history and has a profound effect on thousands of people. As much evidence prove the benefits brought by yoga, more and more people cannot leave this centuries-old fitness in their life nowadays. From ordinary people, professional athletes to Hollywood stars, yoga lies in their training list to develop balance and release pressure. By practicing yoga regularly, you will get much more than a healthy body. In the beginning, people practice yoga for health, but to a deeper level, the hidden meaning behind the physical practice of yoga is deepening the understanding of mind-body awareness. Adjustment of the physical body can also help to bring back our clear mind. Yoga is translated as “yoke” or “union” in Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), revealing the integration of body and mind, and telling us how to build a deeper connection with our nature.
What is yoga?
In simple terms, yoga is the integration of our body, mind, and spirit. It is a way to explore and connect with your body that is related to balance improvement, yoga posture, stretching techniques, breathing, meditation, and concentration. That’s the meaning of yoga.
There is some subtle difference between each type of yoga. But in short, yoga breaks the rules of “ no pain, no gain” in the circle of fitness. Yoga didn’t mean to push the limits or harm your body. You can gently get into it by choosing the type that is right for you.
Types of Yoga: Choose The One Fit for You
One thing you need to know is that there is no good type and bad type about yoga. The only thing you need to consider is which type is best for your stage currently. A very detail-conscious person might prefer Bikram or Iyengar. If you are a person with a free mind, vinyasa or aerial yoga might be more interesting for you. Find the one that perfect for you and keep practicing.
If you still hesitate about which one to choose, let’s get through the common types of yoga together and help you to get inspiration.
In the late 1960s, Yogi Bhajan introduced this new style of yoga to the west. In Sanskrit translation, kundalini also means “life force energy”, which is closely relevant to the base of the spine. The design of these yoga sequences aims to release energy, reduce stress and stay optimistic. During exercise, you will cheer up and feel relaxed. People practice this type of yoga to challenge their body and mind through chanting, singing, and meditation. Typically, people wear white clothes to lower negative spirit and create an exciting atmosphere. Normally, the mantra is the first step in a kundalini class, then move to breathe, warming up the body for movement, next, practice the difficult poses, and meditate in the end.
Fit for: Those who like singing, chanting, body, and mental practice.
Vinyasa is also known as “ flow yoga” or “vinyasa flow”, which is the most common style. This type of yoga is ideal for beginners. It is changing from the very strict ashtanga practice thousands of years ago. Vinyasa is considered as the connection of breath and movement. Words such as slow, dynamic, flow are closely relevant to the intensity of the practice. Vinyasa requires our poses to keep pace with our breath continuously. The flow can bring you back to a calm and peaceful state in mind even though you are moving. Vinyasa is both suitable for beginners or experts.
Fit for: Those who prefer more movement and less stillness.
The name of hatha yoga comes from the Sanskrit words for sun and moon. The main purpose of its birth is to balance opposing forces. Our strength and flexibility, physical and mental energy would support this balance.
It is the general term for the physical part of yoga. It is designed for beginners. Hatha yoga is related to “forceful”, but it didn’t mean to add extra force to our body blindly, just need more concentration and regular practice instead.
Fit for: Those who tend to the gentle type of yoga to improve balance.
Ashtanga yoga includes six series of basic poses. You have to learn it in sequence. The essence of this type of yoga is flow-style and physics combined with spirit.
The practitioners just need to focus on their breath when they move to reach their limit. And then they practice the poses at their comfortable rhythm.
Fit for: Those who want regular practice for the spirit.
Yin yoga is a yoga type at a very slow rhythm. The lasting of one pose is from one to five minutes more. It is a mixture of yoga and martial arts. Through this type of yoga, we can have a better practice for our hips, lower back, and thighs. Yin yoga aims to improve the connective tissues rather than our muscle group. Yin yoga helps you to relax and calm down from the high-intensity workout exercise. Holding the pose longer will do good to your body and mind.
Fit for: Those who prefer the low-pace practice
It is named after his founder B.K.S. Iyengar, who spread the alignment-based practice in India. It is a popular trend in the US in the 1970s. Iyengar yoga is famous for its requirement of high-level training and abundant use of props. Various props are needed for the Iyengar yoga class, such as chairs, walls, benches, blocks, and straps.
Iyengar yoga is not so high-intensity as other types, thus it is friendly for all people regardless of ages and levels.
Fit for: Those who like the classical form and gentle styles.
Bikram yoga is a kind of hot yoga designed by Bikram Choudhury. The same as the ashtanga, Bikram yoga also has a series of poses in the same sequences. And you need to obey the strict rule for the practice. You need to practice this type of yoga in a hot environment of 105° Fahrenheit with 40 percent humidity. There is so much sweat when you’re practicing but you will feel more flexible. The very hot environment helps yogis to deepen their posture.
Fit for: Those who like to sweat and want physical practice.
In a word, each type of yoga has its advantages and does well for our health. You can choose one of them or several types as routine practice. You will get something out of your imagination as long as you insist on practicing.