The ancient Indian art form- Yoga has become one of the most globally acclaimed physical practice. Yoga can be said to be one of the biggest and most beneficial cultural export from India to the world. The practitioners of Yoga swear by it and never fail to list out the several benefits the yoga poses. It improves your strength, releases stress, improves flexibility and also allows you to free yourself and lessen up.
However, Yoga has evolved by leaps and founds and there are many different disciplines and types of yoga pose which can get a tad bit confusing for a novice. Different yoga practices have different values and benefit the body in a different way.
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The first step in choosing the correct yoga practice is to understand why you want to practice Yoga. Is it to relieve stress? Is it to improve flexibility? Is it to regulate your health? Or is it to increase your focus and concentration.
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Once you figure that out, you need to understand which Yoga technique suits your level of fitness. While it is always good to have a guide or a guru Ji, we do understand why it might not always be feasible to always have someone to guide you. In order to help you ease this confusion and make you see a clear path, we have listed out some yoga styles and poses. Through this, you can understand which one is for you.
This type of Yoga is used as a broad term under which there are a lot of yoga practices. Hatha Yoga is an umbrella term to describe all the different kinds of Yoga that have to do with the physical body. It includes styles like Ashtanga and Iyengar but not Kriya, Raja, or Karma yoga that are not based on physical yoga practice.
This is the best way to start off if you are beginner into the world of Yoga. It is fairly simple and easier to grasp owing to its slower pace. The style involves having to hold a pose, then take a few breaths and focus on some serious meditation. Hatha, Yoga is more inclined towards meditation and correcting breathing styles and postures. This is also a very good technique to relax.
Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, this form of yoga is extremely beneficial for everyone who wants to focus and work on their injuries and joint problems. This style of Yoga practice emphasises on correcting any ailment of the body. It also has very precise moves, which can get a little complicated. These postures are held while you have to hold your breath. The duration if holding each of these poses increase as you start getting the hold of it. The perfect pose cannot be achieved just by oneself. It can be achieved with the help of props like blocks, blanket and traps. This Yoga style also tends to greatly improve stability, mobility and strength.
Yoga is not just about the physical body, but also impacts and touches the inner soul and mind of the practitioner. One such Yoga style is called the Kundalini yoga. This style is highly mystical and instils a kind of spirituality through the physicality of the practice. This Yoga style is extremely demanding and challenges the mind. It involves rigorous meditation, chanting, mudras and breathing exercises. The focus point of this type of Yoga is to free the kundalini energy that is encased into the lower spine. In this style, you have to really posit yourself and do a lot of fast-moving postures with breaks. You will be taught to pay extra emphasis on your internal emotions and will be told to introspect and tap into your kundalini-shakti. This style is more work out based.
This style of Yoga is one of the favourites among celebrities. Ashtanga or the eight limb path is very rigorous and demands a lot from one’s body. You should avoid this Yoga style if you are not totally fit and if you are a beginner. The style involves taking part in multiple Suryanamaskars and then follow it up by various floor and standing postures. There are about six series of different posters that must be repeated in every new session. This form takes years to practice.
This yoga style is somewhat related to the Ashtanga Yoga and involves athletic based yoga poses, and each movement is synched with breathing. The pace is pretty fast and you will not have to hold one kind of a pose for a long time. The essential ingredient of this style is to flow from one yoga pose to another so the adrenaline starts rushing.
This is more for someone looking for a workout, and it tends to tone your body. It works your core and upper body which gives you a proper cardio workout. This yoga has gone through several modifications.
med yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, the key focal point of this practice is to do a set of poses in a room heated to 41 degrees centigrade and 40 per cent humidity. This ensures that you swear exceedingly which assures that the toxins in your body are released and away from your body. A session lasts for about 90 minutes, and there are 26 basic postures in tear session. There are related twice along with two breathing exercises. It is important to drink plenty of fluids during this session, as you sweat a lot. This Yoga style tries to cleanse your body and eliminate all the harmful toxins from your body.
One major benefit of Yoga is the mindfulness and spirituality that comes from it. Kripalu Yoga is now such Yoga style that allows you to unlock the full potential of the spirituality that Yoga has to offer. The key point of the Yoga is not about the physical form, but about self-reflection, pranayama, deep breathing and relaxation. It preaches the idea of looking within oneself and to destress the body by understanding oneself in a better way. This is not as rigid as the other yoga styles, and one can easily change the poses and modify it according to your bodily requirements.
Yoga is not just a workout but a deeply spiritual experience and if you want to know this practice in its totality then you should try the Jivamukti style. Founded in 1984 by Sharon Ganon and David Life, Jivamukti incorporates Vinyasa style postures and sequences accompanied by chanting, meditation, deep relaxation and pranayama. There is also some emphasis on philosophy, poetry and music. Jivamukti centres also offer courses in Hindu scriptures, Sanskrit and kirtans. Jivamukti proponents are also expected to be vegetarian.
If hectic and fast-paced Yoga is not your cup of tea, then Yin Yoga is the perfect practice for you. This slow and relaxing style of Yoga allows you to hold the poses from 45 seconds to two minutes. There is more focus on spirituality and inner peace, and it involves a lot of seated postures. By holding these various poses together, your boy strength increases and you are able to stretch your connective tissues and make them more elastic. It also helps improve your blood circulation.
The style is often practised in a warm room which further makes your muscles more elastic. Avoid this if you have a lot of flexibility, since you may end up overstretching the muscles and sustaining injuries.
In today’s modern fast-paced life, it is impossible to avoid a stressful lifestyle. This yoga is fit for everyone who is an unfortunate slave to this rat race that we live in. Restorative Yoga postures are meant to give you the peace and calmness after a long hard day at work. It helps you tap into your parasympathetic nervous system so that you can fully open the cage and dive into a world of relaxation and rejuvenation. This yoga is especially helpful if you want to suffer from insomnia, anxiety, stress-related illness and other such ailments.
Pregnancy can be a hard time for women, as it leads to a lot of stress and pain. Yoga is the best way to counter these uncomfortable pains and sudden aches. These yoga techniques are specially curated for pregnant in all of the trimesters. This kind of Yoga style works on your pelvic joints and helps you to learn breathing that eases your labour and delivery.
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