Which style of Yoga are you? There are several important activities we must carry out to live healthily. They include eating clean and healthy food as well as exercising. However, most people do not take the time to meditate whilst working on their balance or mobility. Balance and flexibility (mobility) training is vital to staying fit. We tend to lose balance and flexibility as we grow older. Mobility improvement can aid in decreasing injuries whilst helping our strength and posture. Yoga is one of the best means for enhancing your balance, core strength and mobility. Various types of Yoga have blossomed since Yoga found a place in the Western world. Different styles of Yoga will work better for some people more than others. Here are 8 different types of Yoga explained.
8. Restorative (Yin)
Paulie Zink, who was a teacher of Taoist Yoga and expert in martial arts, created the Yin Yoga. This is a style of Yoga that is slow paced with poses being kept for longer time frames of about 3-5 minutes for every pose. This is believed to increase flexibility and enhance circulation due to the level of stress the time frame puts on the connective tissue.
It is advised to carry out this Yoga style in hot rooms of about 80F to 90F. The heat leads to expansion of muscles and elasticity that is required when you are maintaining a posture for 3 to 5 minutes. The mind and patience is also challenged when you keep a posture for some time. If you want more relaxation and a stretch that is deeper, than this restorative Yoga would be perfect for you.
Kundalini is similar to the Chakra Yoga. It aims on core work and pranayama (breathing). This style of Yoga helps in enhancing consciousness and the awareness and the mind. A different technique of breathing is used for every pose as it is believed to make the posture more intense.
This style of Yoga is also more meditative and spiritual than other types of Yoga. It encourages mudras (hand gestures), meditation, chanting and breathing. This Yoga style is also demanding physically, despite the fact that you sit more than in other Yoga styles. You get mental and physical challenges from this style of Yoga that encompasses meditative and spiritual elements.
The Jivamukti Yoga style is not just about practicing movements, it is a lifestyle practice as created by David Life and Sharon Gannon. It is an ethical, spiritual and physical practice that encourages veganism, environmentalism and rights of animals. The Jivamukti has 5 tenets that are central to it. They include: meditation (dhyana), music (nada), non-harming (Ahimsa), devotion (bhakti) and scripture (Shastra).
A normal jivamukti class begins with awareness of breathing, chanting, intention or life lesson. It then proceeds to different flowing sequences of vinyasa and concludes with meditation and relaxation. If you desire a Yoga style that offers physical, meditative and spiritual benefits, then you should consider Jivamukti.
5. Power (Ashtanga)
The Ashtanga Yoga was created by K Pattabhi Jois. It is a new Indian classical Yoga style. Similar to vinyasa, it is linked to breathing and movement. There are however predefined movements for the Ashtanga. It starts off with the beginning phase, followed by 1 of 6 series being carried out. The routine includes the bending of the back and inversion to finish off. Ashtanga involves some progressive elements. You would have to start with the elementary series if you are an amateur. You can later move to a harder series as you progress in the practice. Mastering all the postures could take a very long time. The major focus is however to keep your internal focus as opposed to progressing to levels that are tougher.
This style of Yoga would be perfect for you if you want a Yoga that allows you to progress into and master several poses in a structured manner.
4. Bikram (Hot)
This style of Yoga has the reputation of allowing you to get into postures that make you sweat a lot in hot rooms. Bikram Choudhury created this Yoga style for vinyasa Yoga and contains 26 different poses, which you must carry out in a particular order, strictly. These particular poses were chosen by Bikram based on his conviction that the muscles, ligaments, veins, organs and every other part of the body is challenged by these series of postures in that order.
This Yoga style is based on alignment. The classes do not transit like the classes for vinyasa. You are expected to breathe to a particular pose, while maintaining the pose for a longer time. The breathing will allow you to expand more. Several props are used by instructors including blankets, straps and blocks, so as to help get the actual posture for every pose. The Yoga style also encourages people who love instructions that are very detailed as well as those who have injuries and require a style of Yoga that is considerate of their restrictions. This style of Yoga will aid you to develop stability, mobility and strength.
This Yoga style connects breathing with movement such as the development of postures that flow smoothly into the next one. Vinyasa is a word in Sanskirt which implies connection. Every movement is linked with an exhale or inhale. You are also expected to transit some seated stretches, bending of the back, pose balancing, warrior poses and sun salutations. Every vinyasa class concludes with the last pose for relaxation known as savasana.
Hatha is a Sanskrit word which implies force. It highlights the physical Yoga practice. Every other Yoga type is thus classified under Hatha. If you have a class schedule for Hatha Yoga, it implies a class which is of a slow pace. Furthermore, the poses do not require a flow to transit into each other. The class is often very gentle and is a great style for amateurs who are just starting Yoga. It is also perfect for individuals who want to wind down or do Yoga after work. Hatha Yoga will allow you to learn meditation, techniques for relaxation, breath work and elementary postures.
So which style of Yoga are you? Comment below
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