Why Yoga Matters Part 2-Styles of Yoga

Last time, we talked briefly about the history and the benefits of yoga. Today we’re going to go over some of the most common yoga styles. There are many out there to choose from, but let’s give you a little idea what each style of yoga entails. Then you can determine which one is the best fit for you!

Iyenga Yoga

This kind of yoga is considered one of the most common types of yoga that focuses on alignment, breathing and performing precise poses. This type of yoga often incorporates props such as straps or blocks to help beginners. Props help new students relax and become more comfortable while holding various different positions.

Ashtanga Yoga

This type of yoga is often referred to as power yoga and is known for its powerful movements like lunges and pushups, which focus on building stamina and strength. This challenging form of yoga is most often practiced by athletes on the quest for better balance and concentration.

Bhakti Yoga

If you are looking for a more spiritual form of yoga, then Bhaki Yoga is the right one for you. This kind of yoga teaches its practitioners respect for life nature and creation as well as the importance of treating others with kindness and generosity.

Hatha Yoga

This is a common form of yoga that emphasizes physical postures or exercises, known as asanas, with the goal of creating balance in one’s life.

Jnana Yoga

This type of yoga involves the practice of deep contemplation and a quest for wisdom through meditation with the ultimate goal of being one with God.

Karma Yoga

The philosophy of this kind of yoga teaches that “yesterday’s actions determine today’s circumstances.” Practitioners of Karma Yoga make a conscious decision to perform selfless acts of kindness. By making today’s actions positive, they hope they can improve tomorrow’s circumstances for both themselves and others.

Raja Yoga

This yoga is known in India as ‘road to reintegration’. It blends the 4 layers of self; the body, individual consciousness, individual subconsciousness, and the universal infinite consciousness. The main focus of this type of yoga is on the mind and spirit with an emphasis on meditation.

Tantra Yoga

Similar to Hatha Yoga, Tantra Yoga involves the practitioners to seek balance in their lives and to break free from the 6 enemies. They are physical longing, anger, greed, vanity, obsession, jealousy as well as the 8 fetters; hatred, apprehension, fear, shyness, hypocrisy, pride of ancestry, vanity of culture, egotism, by using discipline, training, and rituals.

Bikram Yoga

This kind of yoga is often referred to as hot yoga and involves practicing yoga postures in rooms heated to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius). The belief behind this type of yoga is that postures are easier to attain and hold. Another benefit is that warm muscles help reduce the risk of injury. If you have a health condition, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before attempting this form of yoga.

Kundalini Yoga

The premise behind this type of yoga is that becoming aware of your breath is key. Practitioners learn to use their breathing abilities in different ways, along with chants, meditation, and postures designed to awaken energy at your spine’s base and drawing it upward through the 7 chakras.

Vinyasa Yoga

This is perhaps the most individualized form of yoga and involves working closely with an instructor who will customize your workouts designed for your special needs.Vinyasa yoga is one of my favorite yoga styles. All of the poses flow smoothly with each other. I love this form of yoga right after a workout because it relaxes and stretches my muscles out nicely!

Before deciding on which style of yoga is best for you, it’s a good idea to consider your fitness level, physical and spiritual goals as well as your overall health condition. Be sure to consult your healthcare provider first before starting any yoga practice.

Keep a look out for next weeks post where we will be talking about the practice of good yoga posture.

To another issue of Why Yoga Matters,


Morgan Green

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