Yoga is an ancient Hindu discipline that has been practiced for thousands of years and evolved into several accessible modern forms. This widespread mind-body practice has many potential health benefits.
Studies have found that yoga can help lower blood pressure and ease low back pain. It’s also been shown to improve energy and reduce pain in people with arthritis. Yoga can also improve strength and flexibility.
6 Types of Yoga to Improve Your Life
Below read the types of yoga and decide which one is right for you?
Style: gentle. Hatha is another word for yoga, but it will often be a very soft, easy-going practice if it’s not more precisely defined. Typically, hatha yoga is not vigorous or sweaty. These yoga classes are among the least challenging.
Style: intense. In Ashtanga yoga, students practice the same sequence of 41 vigorous postures or asanas, individually and at their own pace. A teacher is present to demonstrate or assist as needed.
The primary series begins with a simple sun salutation and ends with a headstand and lotus. Beginners usually start with classes led by a teacher, and it can take up to three months to master the positions. Ashtanga yoga is for students who want a challenging and disciplined practice.
Style: sweaty. Also known as “hot yoga,” Bikram is among the most polarizing of the yogas. You either love practicing in a heated 105-degree room on a sweat-drenched yoga mat, or you hate it.
A series of 26 postures devised by Bikram Choudhury, this form of yoga includes several challenging standing balance poses. Unlike other yoga practices, there are no inversions such as headstands.
Proponents say the heat allows for a more fantastic range of motion and a better workout. But it’s critical to stay hydrated during Bikram yoga. This practice is not for anyone with chronic health issues like multiple sclerosis or heart conditions.
Style: freestyle. Vinyasa is the most common and popular yoga. It involves a flow sequence of postures and breaths designed by an individual teacher. Generally, a good vinyasa class will begin with a few sun salutations to warm up, followed by the teacher’s choreographed sequence, which could be gentle or vigorous.
Some vinyasa yoga classes incorporate chanting and meditation. Types differ significantly depending on the teacher, so new students may want to try out a few different instructors to find the style they like best.
Style: precision. Iyengar is among the least sweaty and the most precisely detailed of all yoga practices. As opposed to vinyasa, there is no flow from pose to pose. Emphasis is put on the exact positioning of each posture, which is held for several minutes or longer.
For example, students may be asked to imagine holding eggs under their armpits without breaking them in a simple standing pose. Iyengar yoga often uses bolsters, straps, blocks, and blankets to help students perform the postures correctly.
This yoga practice is ideal for those seeking to master posture positioning and alignment.
Style: Type A. Power yoga is a general term used for challenging, fitness-based yoga adapted from Ashtanga and vinyasa yoga but free of particular posture sequencing.
Teachers choreograph their flow sequence, which is generally vigorous and might include other fitness exercises and standard poses. Power yoga is the minor spiritual type of yoga, typically with no chanting or meditation.
As with vinyasa yoga, it’s advisable to read teacher bios or try a few different teachers to find your best fit.
How to get started with yoga?
Below are eight tips to help guide you to the best yoga teacher and practice.
- Find a beginner-level class and take it several times; it may take a few sessions to decide if the practice is for you.
- Read teachers’ bios on a studio’s website to gauge their sensibility and choose one that feels right.
- Teachers should be certified by the National Association of Yoga Teachers at either a 200-hour or 500-hour level.
- Tell the teacher of any injuries or health conditions so that they can provide modifications.
- Take it easy to begin with. Intense overstretching may lead to injury and discomfort and prevent you from returning.
- Don’t be shy. Even in the middle of class, ask questions if you aren’t clear on the posture. Most teachers will come over and help.
- Listen to your gut. Find another if you don’t like a teacher or feel the teacher is reckless. All yoga teachers are not created equal.
- Studios provide yoga mats, but you may want to have your own if you practice yoga regularly.
I hope you got a lot of benefits from these types of yoga.