Yoga is a popular form of body-mind exercise whose benefits are now being recognized all over the world. There are different types of yoga and you must practice the one that suits you best! Yoga unites the mind and the body, improving the health of both. This form of fitness originated in India as many as 5000 years ago and continues to be practiced in India even today. It has even gained much popularity in other parts of the world, especially in the West. There are different types of yoga and each one provides a wide range of benefits. You must choose a type that suits your level of fitness and matches your fitness goals. Here is a quick look at some of the most common types of yoga practiced today.
The Types Of Yoga – Five Popular Forms Of Yoga
Hatha yoga is one of the easiest forms of yoga and can be done by everyone. It blends together various postures, meditation, and breathing techniques to help calm the system. Practicing this at the end of the day is a great way to relax. Hatha yoga has become very popular in the United States because of its ability to reduce stress.
A survey conducted in 2008 by Yoga Journal shows that the number of adult yoga practitioners in the US is 15.8 million and this number is sure to rise further.
Bikram yoga, founded by Bikram Choudhury, involves a series of twenty-six poses that are practiced in a sauna-like environment with temperatures of 35°C-40°C. This allows the body to sweat, which results in the flushing out of toxins. Bikram yoga promotes weight loss, enhances flexibility, and increases muscular strength.
Radha Garcia, owner of Bikram’s Yoga College of India in Boulder in Colorado says that the body is like a sponge and it needs to be wrung in order to purify it.
Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, this type of yoga focuses on bodily alignment. It is done using props such as straps, blocks, cushions, and blankets. This enables the injured, the old, and the physically-challenged to be able to practice yoga. In this form of yoga, each pose is held for long periods of time. Iyengar yoga speeds up recovery from injuries, helps improve balance, and builds both body strength and endurance.
Janet MacLeod, a yoga teacher at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco says that props give support to the body and allow practitioners more freedom to breathe deeply into the pose.
Vinyasa yoga is also known as Flow yoga because it consists of a series of poses that smoothly run together. Synchronized breathing is an important part of this type of yoga. The breathing and the movements are coordinated with each other in order to build lean muscle mass, improve flexibility, and tone stomach muscles. Vinyasa also cuts down the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.
Ashtanga yoga is popularly called Power yoga in the West. It constitutes of a series of fast-paced sequential postures. Students are encouraged to do lunges, toe-touches, push-ups, side-bends, and handstands. This intense type of yoga is great for ex-athletes and those who wish to maintain good strength and stamina. Founded by Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga yoga helps you connect to the spiritual side of your self.
As there are so many different types of yoga, it is a good idea to learn more about each type before you select one to practice. Yoga doesn’t just build your physical health, but also brings peace of mind. Stay centered, refreshed, and highly energetic by adding a yoga routine to your life!