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8 Major Types of Yoga: Which is the Best for You?

There are different types of Yoga with different techniques to achieve their desired purposes. Check out which one is the best for you.

Yoga is a traditional discipline that originated in India. It is a discipline that combines both spiritual and physical exercises to bring many benefits to people.  Known to combine the use of controlled breathing techniques with physical exercise and meditation, different types of Yoga deliver different benefits to users. 


Usually, breathing as an automatic function of the body is controlled by the brain’s respiratory center. When we feel tired or stressed the breathing pattern and the frequency become faster or slower in response to a different situation. Breathing is employed in many situations to enhance relaxation and lessen stress. Controlled breathing techniques are also used to adjust and counter the risk of exhaustion and stress. 

>>> Also Read:
15 Effective Yoga Poses for Beginners
10 Health Benefits of Yoga

 

DIFFERENT TYPES OF YOGA

Photo by Kike Vega @Unsplash

THE MAIN PURPOSE OF YOGA

One the original context of yoga was spiritual; to use the practices to train and improve the body-power and mind energy. The aim of this is to help individuals to discover their own nature through Yoga, to develop a higher level of discernment, awareness, self-regulation, and to improve spiritual consciousness.

As a Hindu ascetic and spiritual discipline, Yoga practice includes breath control and meditation.

>>> Also Read: 10 Health Benefits of Yoga

 


8 MAJOR TYPES OF YOGA 

There are several types of Yoga, each with its own unique techniques, values, and benefits. Majorly, all types of Yoga have the same purpose which is using a synergy of combination of mind focusing, breath control technique, and body poses and meditation. The various Yoga techniques drive at achieving general wellbeing, better spiritual development, and mind improvement.

Choosing a typical type of Yoga for a beginner may not easy for a beginner, but the first step is to know what you want to achieve before choosing a technique.  Enquire and know what each type of Yoga stands to achieve. It now depends on your level of fitness and what you want to achieve in choosing a Yoga program. Is your intention to reduce stress and body tension; to improve your health, to increase mind advancement, for strength and vigor, to shed weight, or reduce body pain? What you want will guide you to choose a corresponding Yoga practice. We like to make the task easier for you with our choice of “8 Major Types of Yoga and Benefits”.

 

What is Iyenga Yoga

Iyenga Yoga - A-Lifestyle
@yanalya – freepik

Fitness Level: Gentle

Point: Slow-paced; a perfect yoga for beginner

Iyenga Yoga was founded by B.K.S. Iyengar. This Yoga discipline is basically good for those recuperating from injury pains at the joints. It centered its focus on the perfect alignment of the body along with very accurate moves. The practice involves maintaining some postures while restricting your breath while remaining at a certain posture. This could be very short for a beginner and very long for an expert. The use of blocks, blankets, and traps as props are very common to achieve this practice. Using this type will enhance good strength, mobility, stability, and body flexibility. 

 

What is Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga - A-Lifestyle

Fitness Level: Challenging

Point: Non-stop series of yoga posts

Very popular among world celebrities, Ashtanga Yoga (also referred to as the “eight-limb path”) is physically challenging, hence it is not recommended for the new-bees in Yoga practice. Multiple surynamaskars with lots of standing and floor postures are involved in this case. During each training session, a student needs to complete some 6 series of synchronized postures. Because of its strenuous style, Ashtanga Yoga is referred to as Power Yoga. A student graduates from one level or stage to the next one after being certified to have mastered the previous level. To become an expert may take some years, depending on the expertise of the student.

 

What is Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga - A-Lifestyle
@yanalya – www.freepik.com

Fitness level: Mild

Point: Focus on breath and body awareness

Vinyasa Yoga is a yoga technique to witness when you visit most of the gyms and studios around the town. It is a Yoga discipline which emphasizes the practice of linking breath with postures. The associated movements are normally carried out in a very smooth manner, usually referred to as “Vinyasa flow”. The flowing movement is akin to a dance which some people memorize and replicate as a moving meditation. Mostly done in a darkened environment or sometimes with rays of candlelight, Vinyasa Yoga movement is usually carried out with the eyes shut. It earns its admiration and popularity because of the style of the body movements and the accompanying music. 

 

What is Bikram Yoga 

@istock

Fitness Level: Challenging

Point: yoga practice in hot room

It was a Yoga technique designed and popularized by the great Bikram Choudhury way back in the 1970s. Bikram exported this technique from India to California, where it began to spread to other states. This kind of Yoga is usually carried out in precisely measured out system and place. It is now generally known as one kind of Hot Yoga. For instance, it is performed in a class using 26 yoga postures completed with 2 breathing exercises with 90 minutes duration. The classroom is controlled to be at 105 degrees Fahrenheit, while the humidity remains at 40%.

There are two major immediate benefits to this technique. One, the heat triggers you sweat profusely, which help you pushes out accumulated toxins from your body. Two, the postures stimulate your body, allowing a free-flow of oxygenated blood to your internal organs. The technique does not incorporate music during practice, but employed the use of mirrors for the student to measure accurate and precise postures.

 

What is Yin Yoga

Yin yoga - A-Lifestyle

Fitness Level: Medium

Point: Slow! Need to hold your poses usually for more than 5 minutes

This Yoga technique is very energy demanding. It works by holding poses for a long period of time, varying from 3 to 20 minutes.  In this technique, the watchwords are concentration and focus. It has the benefits of preventing undue injuries and promotes joint health.

Yin Yoga is also more like a meditative movement. It often works together with meditation for inner peace.

 

What is Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga - A-Lifestyle
@littlelotusyoga.ca

Physical Level: Mild

Point: Gentle poses for stretching and muscle relaxing

Restorative Yoga is another delight among yoga lovers with over 31% responders showing more preference as their first-choice yoga class.  The restorative yoga thrives on the use of some measured gentle postures that are sustained over a long period of time. The use of supportive props is very typical of this impressive technique. In a restorative yoga class, you can see some poses such as forward poses, backward poses, stretching, and gentle twisting. These are performed at a very relaxing pace. Thus, you will enjoy doing this just before you sign out for bed. 

 

What is Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga - A-Lifestyle

Fitness Level: Medium

Point: physical practice of yoga poses

Hatha Yoga is very popular and poses a high acceptance level of 42% among primary yoga enthusiasts. It uses a combination of techniques, deeply working on another side of the wall of Vinyasa yoga. It is a system of ‘one step at a time’ and retaining the pose for a long period of time. This technique is great for beginners and those who want a more gentle and relaxing exercise. Hatha Yoga focuses more on stretching.

 

What is Kripalu Yoga

KRIPALU YOGA - A-Lifestyle

Fitness Level: Mild

Point: Slow movements; Focus on spiritual awareness

Kripalu Yoga is a yoga technique that focuses more on spirituality than physical strength.  The exercises of Kripalu yoga are less hectic, but focusing on self-reflection, deep relaxation, and more on meditation.  It works more on de-stress aspects of the mind and body to attain and maintain spiritual self-awareness. With this technique, you can modify the poses in response to your body’s demands.

SPECIAL TAKES

Want to live a healthier life, and improve your mind and brainpower? If your answer is YES, then step into the amazing power of Yoga and enjoy the unlimited benefits. Different types of Yoga techniques, yes, but you can derive the unique benefits that each Yoga practice offers. Get on the mat of Yoga; you will never be the same again. There is power in Yoga, there is health in Yoga.

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