Suppose you’ve wanted to unite your body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is definitely for you. Deciding what to style to practice can be similar to shopping for the perfect outfit. There are so many types of yoga available, and you want to choose the one that will fit your personality and work best for you. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you haven’t found it yet. This is what this article is about. Below are the well-known types of yoga that even westerners are crazy about. Remember that there is no rule that you have to stick to one type forever. It is also good to occasionally try other practices for a bit of variety.
Most Popular Types
Hatha yoga is a gentle, slow-paced type of exercise and is a very good way to be introduced to yoga. (Ha means sun, the moon)
This is an intense, vigorous and fast-paced style of yoga. It consists of a progressive series of poses resembling callisthenics like push-ups and handstands, side bends and toes touches. The poses are always performed in the same order linked in a flowing style, making it an intense aerobic workout. This practice is one of the most physically demanding and challenging because of the constant movement from one pose to the next with synchronized breathing. It is a combination of stretching, strength training, and meditative breathing that build up the practitioner’s strength and improve stamina and body pliability. (Ashtanga means eight limbs)
The practice room of a typical Bikram yoga is heated up to 37 degrees Celsius, with a humidity of 40% resulting in profuse sweating and the loosening of tight muscles. The 26 poses always remain the same in every sequence, and this is considered important to this practice. It has become one of the most practised yoga due to its capability of cleansing the body of toxins, making one healthier and feeling rejuvenated. (Bikram got its name from its pioneer, the Bikram Choudhury)
This is a more vigorous style than Hatha. A practice starts typically with a series of movements matched to the breath called Sun Salutations to warm up the body. The practice balances each pose with a counterpose. It moves on to more intense stretching up to the end of the class. (Vinyasa means breath-synchronized movement)
Kundalini practice concentrates on awakening and freeing the energy in the lower body, particularly in the base of the spine and drawing it to move upwards to the head. While all practices use controlling the breath, in Kundalini, it is most essential due to its effect on the poses. It uses swift, repetitive movements rather than holding the posture for a long period. In addition to the breathing exercises, meditations and chantings are also emphasized. Chanting is done with the teacher leading the class in a call and response mode. (Kundalini means the vital force and the base of the spine)
This type of yoga concentrates on bodily alignment, the proper order of poses and the perfect way they are linked together. It is a great way for working on your physical and mental health. There is an emphasis on holding each pose for a long time rather than moving from one pose to the next. Props such as blocks, blankets and straps are used to help align the body into the different poses sequentially so that the practitioner can perform a pose more confidently. Iyengar is suited for all levels and persons with disabilities or injuries, improving their flexibility and strengthening them. (Iyengar is based on the teachings of the yogi B.K.S. Iyengar)
Other types of yoga that are also known and practised are Ananda, Anusara, Bhakti, Integral, Ishta, Jivamukti, Jnana, Kali Ray TriYoga?, Kripalu, Prenatal, Restorative, Sivananda, Svaroopa, Sahaja, Tantra, and, Viniyoga, White Lotus.