Be it lowering the blood pressure, increasing strength and flexibility or reducing stress and anxiety, the wonders it does for the mind, body, and soul are making people all over the globe to roll out their yoga mat and enroll for the professional classes. Like most people, if you have also decided to give yoga a try and reap its benefits, it is advisable to know about different yoga styles and, make the choice accordingly. Undoubtedly, all yoga styles provide a sense of relaxation, ease and calm. To get the most benefits and enjoyment out of your yoga practices, find a yoga style that meets your requirements.
Take a look at some of the most widely acclaimed yoga styles and choose the one that meets your taste and parameters:
Hatha yoga primarily focuses on the physical practices. The word ‘Hatha’ is a Sanskrit word which means ‘Force’. This yoga style is perfect for beginners as it is slow-paced and gentle. It is the mother of all yoga practices as it gently inducts you into yoga. This yoga style emphasizes upon postures, meditation and relaxation techniques as well. Hatha yoga style helps unwind on all levels – mental, physical and spiritual. If you are a beginner, Hatha yoga is the best style to get started.
This yoga style emphasizes upon coordinating the breath with the movement and, creates a flow of postures which involves a smooth transition from one to the next. The nature of the classes generally depends on the creativity of the instructor leading it. Your instructor can keep it athletic or can incorporate spirituality into the course, with a dash of meditation and chanting. The classes can be slow and gentle or fast and intense both, depending upon the level. As a beginner, enroll for the slow-paced classes and move to the fast-paced one after enough practise and experience.
This yoga style primarily focuses on alignment. The class does not have a specific flow. All the sequences of Iyengar yoga are intense, held for a long time and expanded while breathing. This style usually involves usage of props like straps, blocks, blankets, etc. If you want to go into the details of the poses and learn them intensely, pick this style. The yoga style accommodates all limitations, leaving you more stable, flexible, and strong.
This yoga style will make you sweat profusely. It is done in a room heated at upto 40 degrees under 40% humidity to make the practitioners detox and sweat more. Founded by Bikram Choudhury, the yoga style is composed of 26 postures and 2 breath exercises in a 90-minute session.
Popularly known as Power yoga, this yoga style is considered as the temporary version of classical yoga. Began by K. Pattabhi Jois, it is about interlinking the movements with the breath but the movements are more defined. The yoga style is composed of 6 series of specifically sequenced yoga poses — a primary series of poses, an intermediate series, and four advanced series. In this style, each pose is practiced with an inversion and, you progress gradually with each asana. If you like a structured and powerful practice, go for Ashtanga yoga style.
This yoga style is slow-paced and mellow. It promotes deep relaxation while holding the poses for a longer time, with the use of props like bolsters, blankets, yoga blocks, and more. So, if you feel the need of restoring and relaxing your body, mind, and soul rather than activating and energizing, opt for this style.
Jivamukti yoga style is more than a practice- it is a way of life. Founded by Sharon Gannon and David Life, this yoga style has ethical, spiritual, and physical aspects. Shastra (Scripture), Ahimsa (non-harming), Bhakti(Devotion), Nada (Music), and Dhyana ( Meditation) are five important aspects of this style. The classes of such style start by setting an attention, followed by chanting, and breathing awareness. This yoga style includes both physical and spiritual benefits. If the style appeals you, give it a try.
The yoga style is rooted from chakras. It primarily focuses on awakening Kundalini energy through the regular practice of movements, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and mantra chanting. It is one of the most spiritual and powerful styles of yoga that expands your awareness of the mind and body. It builds physical health and increases consciousness. Such classes are physically demanding and mentally challenging. Kundalini yoga can prove to be life-changing experience once you get into the groove.
It is a slow-paced yoga style that needs prolonged holding of the poses of about 5 minutes. It improves the life energy in the body by increasing circulation and flexibility. The style is practiced in a heated room to help muscles expand and become more elastic. Began by Paulie Zink who was a Taoist yoga teacher and martial arts expert, yoga of this kind is for people who wish to challenge their mind. It helps you become more patient, relaxed and focused on your breathing in a thoughtful way.
If you are a newbie and looking for some soul-searching, this is something you must experience. The most spiritual of all, this yoga technique is extremely upbeat. Started by John Friend in 1997, the yoga style focuses on upliftment and seeking the internal light. It involves use of a lot of props in order to get breathing and alignment right.
Choose the ideal yoga style depending on your interest and bring out the best in you in an efficient manner.