Types of Yoga

To some people yoga is a philosophy of life. To others, it is a useful tool which can lead them to a healthy body and pure mind. And most people find it to be both of these two things combined in one. There are numerous types of yoga and different ways of practicing it. You need to choose a type of yoga that will best suit your needs and characteristics. Below is the types of yoga that you can try.

1. Ashtanga

Ashtanga is a type of yoga that has very specific sequence of postures in the same exact order. It will help you to gradually rediscover the potential on virtually all levels of consciousness. It focuses on the practices of breathing correctly called Ujjayi or Pranayama, postures or Asanas and a gazing point of Driste. By practicing Ashtanga, you are going to gain full control of your senses and a complete awareness of yourself. Also, this yoga is quite exhaustive so you need to be really determined for you to be able to do this yoga. Also, keep in mind that this is probably one of the most difficult of all yoga types so it is not really suitable for inexperienced yoga students. It is also based on some of the ancient yoga teachings and it became popular in the western culture through the efforts of Pattabhi Jois who was an Indian-born yoga teacher who developed this yoga in the seventies.

2. Anusara

This is one of the most recent types of yoga as it was developed in 1997 by John Friends. The style of this yoga is based on a simple idea that intrinsic goodness is something that can be found in every human being. Through physical practice, Anusara is helping the practitioners to open their hearts and free their minds so that they could embrace the notion of divinity in themselves and others. Through Anusara, the students are experiencing grace and learning about acceptance and sincerity. The postures are not strictly followed and the students are encouraged to explore them and express themselves through postures as much as possible. Although often described as one of the most elegant yoga type, Anusara should not really be taken lightly as it is considered to be relatively difficult.

3. Bikram

Bikram is also known as the hot yoga. This yoga is developed 30 years ago by Bikram Choudhury. The classes are held in rooms that are heated up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. So you need to be ready for an intense sweating if you want to try Bikram. It can probably be described as practicing in a sauna because of the heat. The reason the room is heated is because of Choudhury's idea that a heated room can help in relaxing one's muscles and joints. A typical Bikram class follows a specific sequence of postures just like in Ashtanga. However, the postures in Bikram and Ashtanga are not the same. Bikram sequence consists of 26 postures that are designed to develop, stretch and strengthen your body. The sequences are repeated for several times so make sure that you can bear with the heat in the room. That is why this yoga is only suitable for experienced yoga practitioners who want to face a new challenge.

4. Hatha

Hatha is perfect for beginners who would like to know a simple and easy introduction to the basic level of postures. It is a very basic type of yoga and very easy to learn. It can be seen as the cornerstone of yoga which is the foundation of different yoga styles. This yoga class focuses more on regulated breathing technique, meditation, postures and Kundalini. Together, they are incorporated in a complete system that you can use in order to achieve enlightenment and self-realization. Classes are usually very light when it comes to physical requirements and you will probably not sweat because the class will be more focused on attaining balance, strength and flexibility. After the class is done, you will surely feel more calm and relaxed than before.

5. Kundalini

Kundalini is a very spiritual and enigmatic type of yoga. This practice is based on postures that are constantly moving and invigorating. The idea behind the releasing of one's energy is because of the presence of the spine's base. The energy can be described as a snake sleeping in the base of the spine just waiting to be awaken in order to move throughout the body. Hence, the name Kundalini means snake. By awakening the serpent, you are awakening your own intuition and mental clarity. During a typical class of Kundalini, you are going to have a lot of breathing exercises along with chanting and meditation. Regarding the physical aspect of practice, Kundalini is not nearly as hard as some other types, but those who want to practice it ought to be ready for both physical and mental workout at the same time.

6. Vinyasa

Based on yoga practitioners, Vinyasa focuses in perfect combination of breathing and movement. Since the translation of the work Vinyasa means flow, it is only natural that this type of yoga class will focus on developing the fluidity of movements. It is also called as power yoga because it relies heavily on physical strength. The difference between Vinyasa and Ashtanga lies on the fact that the Vinyasa style doesn't follow the exact sequence of postures every time. Different yoga teachers may use different techniques but in general, all of those different styles are derived from Vinyasa and Ashtanga. Because Vinyasa is very easy to learn, it can be practiced by all people.

Indeed, there are many types of yoga that you can try. Each type of yoga has different styles and goals so you need to find the one that will be best suitable to your needs. It is highly advisable that you enroll in a yoga class for you to learn the yoga properly. You should also be careful because you might get injuries if your movements are not what the yoga teacher is talking about. So try a new yoga style now and be amazed by how much your mind and body will improve.

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