Types of Yoga and Their Benefits

5 Exceptionally Popular Types of Yoga and Their Benefits

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Yoga has captivated the interest of many people all over the world. This discipline is becoming more of a trend than a powerful set of mental and physical exercises. Even celebrities like Madonna and Robert Downey Jr. are practicing this ancient exercise.

This stress-relieving process, offers many psychological and physical benefits. For some it is not an exercise routine, but also a way of life.

At present, many types of yoga are being practiced all over the world. Here are eleven of the most popular types of yoga and their benefits. It is important that you know what type fits your lifestyle and what you can gain from practicing them.

HATHA YOGA

On top of the list of the most popular yoga is Hatha Yoga. The term hatha means force and refers to a structure of physical techniques. It originated from India and is one of the oldest styles of yoga practiced for more than 5000 years. This type of yoga focuses on maintaining healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Poses in this type of yoga are often static and held for longer periods. It concentrates on individual postures (asanas) and alignment. It also includes control and regulation of breath (pranayama). The postures in this type of yoga are slow, gentle, and are good for beginners who like a relaxing and easy style when they hold extended poses.

Practitioners of this kind of yoga can attest to its physical benefits. Consistent practice of Hatha poses increases strength, balance, and flexibility. It also decreases the levels of stress while escalates the relaxation level of the body. Moreover, hatha intensifies self-awareness and removes the negativity from the mind.

BIKRAM YOGA

This type of yoga was named after its creator, Bikram Choudhury. It is composed of a couple of breathing lessons and 26 poses (asanas). This set of exercises work on each part of the human body, revitalizing each cell. If you like to attend a Bikram class, there is an assurance that this type of yoga is consistent. No matter where you enroll or practice it has the same asanas and breathing practice.

Bikram is different from other yoga because it also involves exercising in a heated room. Other practitioners call Bikram as hot yoga. The rooms where the lessons are practiced are heated to approximately 104° F or 40° C with a humidity of about 40%. Some believe that the heat in the room makes the body flexible to easily perform yoga. Because of the sweat, impurities within the body are discharged.

Bikram Yoga is known to detoxify and promotes weight loss. Some of its benefits include improved blood circulation. It also increases strength, flexibility and improves heart rate. It enhances breathing and sharpens focus. Practitioners of this yoga claim that it boosts their stamina, mobility, and balance. Bikram also sharpens their focus.

KUNDALINI YOGA

Kundalini Yoga Another ancient type of yoga is Kundalini. This yoga was developed more than 50 million years ago in India. Since 500 BC, the Upanishad people of India have been practicing this type of yoga.

However, it only became popular in the Western world in 1969 because of Yogi Bhajan. The term kundalini means coiled and is believed to be the power coiled up in the lower end portion of the spine.

This type of yoga believes that when the coiled up power is roused, it bestows extraordinary abilities and perceptions. Kundalini yoga is one of the few techniques that do not prohibit sex.

Among the movements in this type of yoga are repeated exercise and chanting. It also involves dynamic breathing techniques, mantras, and meditation.

Kundalini yoga aims to awaken the dormant energy trapped within the spine. When this energy from within is unleashed, strength and fitness are improved. The asanas in this type of yoga awakens the glandular system and expands the capacity of the lungs. It also purifies the bloodstream and strengthens the nervous system. Kundalini yoga is also believed to promote a higher state of calm and happiness.

VINYASA YOGA

The term Vinyasa came from the Sanskrit "Vi" which means variation. And, "Nyasa" which means within recommended parameters. This type of yoga is regarded by looping asanas. During the sessions, practitioners move from one pose to another using breath. It is one of the most popular types of yoga and is also called Flow yoga. It is often confused with Power yoga. However, Vinyasa classes have various poses that no two classes are ever the same.

Many believe that the practice traces back to the Vedic era, which is the earliest period of yoga. The asanas were practiced during that time by performing a sequence or series of steps to make something sacred. Like Hatha, Vinyasa is a general term that defines many styles of yoga.

Like all types of yoga, Vinyasa offers physical benefits. It improves flexibility and promotes better balance. Other benefits that Vinyasa practitioner can gain include improving endurance and stamina. The dynamic movements in this type of yoga develop muscle tone and strength and increase heart rate.

ASHTANGA YOGA

The Ashtanga or Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a type of yoga arranged and made popular by K. Pattabhi Jois. This happened during the 20th century. This type of yoga is usually advertised as a modern-day system of classical Indian yoga. The term Ashtanga means eight branches or limbs. The yoga postures is one branch, controlled breathing or pranayama is another.

Ashtanga centers on breathing while doing physical yoga poses. It comprises still breathing with a sequence of postures. The process yields a lot of sweat. It also produces heat that cleans organs. Furthermore, it improves blood circulation and also stills the mind. Ashtanga poses involves muscle contractions. It most often ends with corpse pose to relax muscles and mind.

This style of yoga depends a lot on the ability of the practitioner to focus. It is vigorous, fast-paced, and challenging. This type of yoga can be strenuous. Women should not practice this during the first three days of their menstruation.

There are many benefits that you can derive from Ashtanga yoga. This includes increased flexibility, improved endurance and stamina. It also enhances flexibility while helping you manage your weight. Aside from physical benefits, Ashtanga calms the body and eases heart palpitations. Various mental issues like tension and stress can improve with this type of yoga.

Which Yoga is for You?

Yoga is a vibrant and deep practice. Mentioned above are few of the popular types people love to practice nowadays. The practice of this ancient exercise always brings a different kind of experience to everyone.

Yoga is recommended for all ages and can very well benefit those who belong to older age bracket because it fosters healthy ageing.

So which among the types of yoga enumerated above fits you well? Are you the kind who likes to do easy poses? Are you the type who would like to do the heated type? Now you know these popular types of yoga, are you interested into enrolling into a yoga class?

These are beneficial poses that will help you improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. If you are not sure where to begin or if you want to move to a more advanced type, consult a yoga teacher. They can recommend the type of yoga that will match your lifestyle and your preferences.

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