Types of Yoga
Today there are many different types of yoga. However, for those of you new to yoga it can be a little overwhelming. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced yogi there is a type of yoga for everyone. Each type of yoga will have varied levels of intensity and difficulty. It is recommended, especially for beginners, that you try a variety of yoga types in order to find the best one for you. Below is a list of yoga types to help guide you to your preferred type.
The vast majority of yoga classes in the west can be classed as Hatha yoga. This type of yoga is very generic as it covers most yoga poses, with an empathises on physical posture.
The word Hatha itself means sun moon. This is widely interpreted as the balance between the mind and the body.
Hatha yoga typically takes on a much slower pace than many other types of yoga. It requires patience, as it allows for you to take more time over your yoga poses. You probably are not going to break a sweat during hatha yoga classes. Instead, you should feel a lot looser and far more relaxed.
Bikram Yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury, as part of his Yoga school. Bikram classes follow the same 26 pose sequence and are carried out by Bikram-certified yoga instructors.
All Bikram classes are conducted in heated rooms. Therefore, be prepared to sweat like crazy as this type of yoga is effectively a intense yoga class in a sauna. Not overly recommended for beginners due to the intensity of the classes.
Looking for a challenge? If so then Ashtanga yoga is for you. Consisting of a specific sequence of poses, this is a very structured class with plenty of intensity. More for the advanced yoga student due to the demanding and sweaty nature of the class.
Made popular in the west by Sri Pattabi Jois in the 1970s, Ashtanga is very similar to Vinyasa yoga and is a combination of standing and floor yoga poses. This allows for the linking of breath and movement. Generally, in a Ashtanga class you start with five sun salutation A’s and five sun salutation B’s. Overall, Ashtanga is a more advanced, intense type of yoga compared with more gentle types such as Hatha.
Prenatal yoga does what is says on the tin. This type of yoga has been carefully adapted and tailored for pregnant women. The main focus is on helping soon-to-be mums connect with the baby through breathing and relaxation techniques.
Prenatal yoga is great if you have a pelvic floor weakness too, which is common after you have given birth. Other benefits of prenatal yoga include; improving your posture, reducing stress and anxiety as well as improving your balance through strengthening your feet.
This type of yoga is fast paced and usually accompanied with music. The main aim of Vinyasa yoga is to synchronise breath with a continuous flow of postures thus Vinyasa’s fast paced reputation.
Sometimes referred to as flow yoga, Vinyasa is growing in popularity around the world but particularly in the United States. With no two classes the same this really is a rather unique style of yoga. Suitable for beginners and experienced yoga students alike.
Hot yoga is virtually the same as Bikram yoga whereby classes are carried out in sauna like rooms. However, yoga teachers are not restrained to Bikram’s 26 pose sequence.
Be prepared to sweat profusely in this class. Hot yoga is highly comparable to a high intensity workout at the gym and should be approached with caution. Overreaching is a major drawback of this type of yoga.
On the other hand, hot yoga is highly beneficial. For example, hot yoga can help with weight-loss and toning of muscles. Overall, hot yoga is not for the faint hearted and does not come recommended for beginners.
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