Fitness

Different Types of Yoga: A Complete Guide

The word “yoga” means “union”. Yoga unites the mind and the body. Yoga offers many benefits, both physically and emotionally. Yoga is a practice that has been around since ancient times. Yoga’s importance has not been lost. Yoga is a way to achieve perfect mind and body alignment. Yoga is still essential for healthy and happy living. Different types of yoga have different goals but all focus on the same goal: overall well being and physical health.

You can do different types of yoga from the comfort of your own home. Yoga is easy to learn. All you need is a mat and half an hours each day.

Yoga forms have become an integral part of our lives. Yoga can be used to treat mental and physical problems. It is wrong to assume that yoga is only for a certain religion or community.  

You can find different types and styles of yoga online that target specific health issues. Therapy yoga can include yoga for back pain, yoga for reducing belly fat, yoga asana to lose weight, and even yoga for weight gain. These are a collection of physical poses and breathing exercises that target the problem holistically to eliminate it.

Yoga has many benefits

Yoga is a way to live, and it’s not like other forms of exercise. Yoga glow, yoga abs and yogic calmness are all terms that have gained popularity over the years. Yoga practice over time can make a huge difference in the way a person feels and her body. Yoga has many key benefits:

  • Weight loss is possible with consistent practice
  • Improved blood circulation which leads to improved skin texture and quality
  • It slows down overall ageing and is a therapeutic by nature
  • Increases physical stamina
  • Great for gut health and digestion
  • Enhances fertility, and reproductive health
  • Improves sleep cycle
  • It makes you feel calm and happy
  • Increases concentration
  • Reduces stress
  • Immunity enhancement

ResearchYoga is a great way to get your body and mind in shape. Practising yoga makes one fitter when compared to people who don’t do yoga. 

Different types of Yoga

Hatha Yoga

Types of Yoga - Hatha Yoga

The Sanskrit word Hatha means “force.” Therefore, hatha yoga restores the balance of the body. This type of yoga focuses on harmony among the chakras, energy points, and other elements. The chakras are energy vortexes, or the places in the body where the energy is concentrated. They can be found in seven different places in the body and are connected to specific organs or glands.

Hatha yoga is a variety of physical positions and positions that balance body and mind. There are some commonalities between different types of yoga taught by different teachers and schools.

ResearchHatha yoga is proven to help us feel calmer, more agile, and younger. Hatha yoga also purifies and heals the body. You will also notice a reduction in weight and toned muscles if you continue to practice.

These are the types of yoga that result from hatha yoga:

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a direct offshoot of sage Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The ashtanga term is a well-known yoga form for weight reduction. It is a derivative the Sanskrit number eight. 

Eight pillars make up Ashtanga yoga: Principles, personal discipline and asana and poses, pranayama and withdrawal, concentration, meditation, and salvation.   

These are some of the most common types of asanas that are used in Ashtanga Yoga:

  • Padmasana
  • Simhasan
  • The Butterfly
  • Kapalbhati pranayama
  • Anulom vilom pranayama
  • Surya bhedi pranayama
  • Chandra bhedi pranayama

Ashtanga is the best choice for anyone looking for yoga to relieve anxiety, stress, lower back pain, fat loss, and upper back pain.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga

This form of yoga is also called “flow” yoga. The word “Vinyasa” has two parts, with Vi meaning variation and Nyasa meaning within prescribed limits.

Vinyasa yoga incorporates movement and breathing techniques. It allows for controlled breathing and a flow of postures that mimic the flow of life. For example, Vinyasa yogis initiate the flow with a child’s pose and terminate the flow with the death pose (the savasana). The movement through life is reflected in the transitions to each position. Advanced vinyasa Yoga practices include meditation, which makes the form more mindful.

The best sequence for beginners in vinyasa would be:

  • Plank pose (Kumbhakasana)
  • Knees-Chest-Chin Pose (Ashtanga Namaskara)
  • Cobra pose (Bhujangasana)
  • Downward-Facing Dog pose (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Vinyasa Yoga is a great choice for those who enjoy high-intensity exercise. Vinyasa is also great for anxiety, depression and sleep.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga

Also known as the “yoga of awareness,” kundalini yoga includes repetitive poses. Kundalini yoga awakens latent kundalini Shakti. This spiritual energy is located at the base of your spine. Kundalini Shakti, according to Yogis, is like a coiled snake that is not roused at its base. Your spiritual well-being is therefore enhanced by the movement of the active energy up the spine. Kundalini yoga can also be used to reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and improve cognitive function.

The movements begin with a chant and then proceed to pranayama, which is controlled breathing. Next comes kriya, which is a series of postures or mudras that are specific to hand positioning. The next step is pranayama. Chanting and meditation are also possible.

Jal netikriya is a cleansing procedure that removes mucus, and other obstructions from your nasal passage.

Iyengar Yoga

This type of yoga is very similar to vinyasa. Its name comes from B.K.S. Iyengar is one of the most prominent yoga teachers in all of history. Iyengar Yoga is different than other types of yoga. It is primarily concerned with posture, alignment, and opening the body. To achieve perfect poses, it uses props like yoga blocks and belts. 

Benefits

  • Increase Flexibility
  • Toned muscles
  • A calmer mind
  • Pain relief
  • Better posture and alignment
  • Protection against disease
  • Improved breathing
  • Strengthen your muscles

A studyStudies have shown that Iyengar Yoga has effectively treated musculoskeletal problems. This condition causes severe neck and back pain. It has also shown visible results in treating spinal disabilities. It is progressive in its ability to increase strength, mobility, and stability. It is also useful in the treatment of gynaecological or gastroenterological conditions.

Aerial Yoga

It is not only suitable for advanced people, but also for beginners. It helps to tone and strengthen your muscles. Aerial yoga incorporates many other exercises in addition to traditional yoga. It combines the benefits of yoga with cardio exercises such as running or swimming.

This yoga involves a rope that suspends the body in the air. Poses are introduced later. 

Benefits

  • Burn body fat
  • It increases flexibility
  • Cures breathing difficulties
  • Stress relief 
  • Core strength increases
  • Improves posture 

There are four main paths to yoga

Karma Yoga

Karma yoga is one’s path of devotion to selfless work. Karma yoga is a practice of action. It is a sign that one must dedicate time, energy, effort to any task. You should not expect to be rewarded or approved. It is considered a humble practice, as one does not work for their ego but for the greater good.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana yoga is the yoga that combines intellectual knowledge with practical wisdom. This yoga form is about self-realization through meditation. One gains knowledge and intuitive understanding. One can discern the difference between the ego and the true Self.

Jnana Yoga consists of three main stages.

  • Sravana is the act of hearing or exposing oneself in order to learn.
  • Manana is the act of thinking and revisiting wisdom to improve understanding.
  • Nididhyasana (meditation).

Although Jnana yoga is not physically demanding, it is one the most difficult forms of yoga to do. It requires an open mind.

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga means king in Sanskrit. Raja Yoga is also known as ‘classical yoga’, ‘king of yogis’ or ‘yoga of the mind’. It is also known by the name ashtanga Yoga. 

Ashtanga is a term that refers to the number 8. Ashtanga yoga also has eight steps.

  1. Yama (Principles)
  2. Niyama (Personal Discipline).
  3. Asana (Positions, Postures)
  4. Pranayama (Breathing Techniques)
  5. Pratyahara – Withdrawal
  6. Dharana (Concentration)
  7. Dhyan (Meditation)
  8. Samadhi (Salvation)

AsanasYou can practice and refine your skills over time to reach perfection. You might be familiar with some common ashtanga asanas, such as Padmasana, Simhasana, Bhadrasana, and the butterfly pose.).

Many breathing exercises, or pranayamas such as Kapalbhati and Anulom Vilom to combat stress, are available. Raja yoga is ideal for those who want to practice yoga for back pain, anxiety, or stress relief.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti is a form of bhaj which means to worship God or love Him. Bhakti-yoga is a way to escape the cycle of eternal birth and death. Treading this spiritual path helps unite one’s soul or ‘atman’ with Brahman or ‘true reality.’

Depending on which Bhakti you choose, you may identify yourself as a specific type of devotee/bhakt.

  • Artha – distressed one
  • Artharthi – one who wants materialistic wealth
  • Jijnasu – the curious one
  • Jnani – the self-aware one

Different Yoga Practices

Yoga has evolved to include specific practices in modern times.

Face yoga

It involves massages and exercises to relax and soften your facial muscles to relieve stress, tension, anxiety, and worry. This type of yoga has gained popularity in recent years. This form of yoga is believed to reverse ageing and make you look ten years younger.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga combines martial arts and yoga. This form improves blood circulation and flexibility, as well as muscle tone and flexibility. The poses last at most for one minute. With practice, you can hold the same pose for up to five minutes. Yin yoga makes creative use of props such as blankets and blocks. It hence is known to be practised post-workout due to its ability to relax the body’s joints.

Yang Yoga

Yang yoga is more experimental and mixes Hatha and Vinyasa. This form is more energetic that Yin Yoga. It focuses on building strength, endurance, and muscle mass.

Power Yoga

Ashtanga yoga is the foundation of power yoga. Yoga postures should be performed at a quicker and more active pace. It helps to tone muscles and increases flexibility. 

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a way to fully relax into the various postures. This type of yoga uses props for support. Guided meditation is an integral part restorative yoga. Relaxing the nervous systems is the main goal of restorative yoga. It is a great way for anxious nerves to be calmed and destressed. For a few seconds, you can hold poses.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is designed to help reduce discomfort and pains that can be associated with pregnancy. Prenatal yoga can help you to relax and do some breathing exercises that are very helpful during labor. Prenatal yoga techniques can also be used in postnatal yoga. This helps new mothers lose some weight that they gained during pregnancy.

Pregnancy yoga benefits

  • For childbirth, endurance of pelvic muscles is essential
  • Lower back pain, nausea, headaches, and fatigue are reduced
  • Controls breathlessness
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces stress overall

There are many styles of yoga. A certified yoga trainer can help you find the best yoga technique for your needs. You cannot experience the benefits of yoga quickly. It takes a long-term commitment. You will never want to stop practicing yoga once you become involved and keep going. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Q. Q.

A. A.

Q. Q.

A. Eight popular styles of yoga are Ashtanga yoga, Hatha yoga, Hot yoga, Iyengar yoga, Kundalini yoga, Power yoga, Restorative yoga, Vinyasa yoga.

Q. Q.

A. The significant types of yoga are Ashtanga, Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Anusara Yoga

Q. Q.

A. Hatha yoga, the most popular type of yoga, is A. Hatha yoga. It is a series combining gentle sequences and meditation. This type is perfect for beginners who are interested in yoga. The postures are quite simple.

Q. Q.

A. To master any form or style of yoga, it takes years of practice. You can’t be perfect at every posture from day one. The mind can take years to control. Some people find it difficult to concentrate, while others find yoga poses challenging. 

Q. Which type of yoga is best to lose weight?

A. All yoga forms can ensure weight loss. You get the benefits of a full body workout with powerful postures. It burns calories with continuous, rapid movement.

Q. What type of yoga is mainly stretching?

A. Restorative Yoga is a type of meditative yoga. It involves holding poses for several minutes and stretching.

Q. Q.

A. It increases metabolism, relieves stress and improves sleep quality.

Q. Q.

A. If taught under the guidance of a trained teacher, there are no disadvantages. 

Q. Q. How fast does yoga transform your body?

A. It can vary from one person to the next. Yoga is slower than a rigorous workout. If you do it consistently, it can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks to see results.

Q. Q.

A. A minimum of 20 minutes per day of yoga is enough to see visible results. You can make short, effective practice by breaking down the practice into sun salutation and standing poses, lying down, and focusing your attention on different parts of your body on different days. 

Q. Q.

A. Yoga is beneficial for all ages. Many teenagers avoid yoga because of its meditative nature. Their therapeutic qualities are changing things. 

Q. Q.

A. Yoga should be done at dawn or dusk for maximum benefits.

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