Last time, we talked briefly about 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 of what each style of yoga entails.
The founder of Iyengar yoga was Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar.
This style of yoga focuses on the body’s ailment along with your breathing.
This style of yoga is great for beginners because of the use of props.
This will help them to relax and ease their way into each pose easier.
If you are super new to yoga, this may be a great style for you to start out with.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
This style of yoga was created by K Pattabhi Jois and was created as a modern-day version of classical Indian yoga.
It is often referred to as power yoga due to its powerful movements like lunges and pushups, which focus on building stamina and strength in the body.
Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a challenging form of yoga.
Many athletes practice this style of yoga due to it helping them improve their balance, coordination, and concentration.
If you are more advanced in your yoga practice, definitely give this style a try!
If you are looking for a more spiritual style of yoga, 🙏🏾 then Bhakti Yoga is the right one for you.
This style is one of the spiritual practices of Hindus along with Jnana yoga and Karma yoga.
Bhakti yoga teaches you to respect life, nature,🌳🌸🍁 and creation.🐿 🐄
Life, nature, and creation itself are not only a work of art, but it is a sacred… a special gift for us all to enjoy and cherish.
This style of yoga also stresses the importance of treating others with kindness and generosity.
By doing this, it spreads more kindness, love, ❤️and joy into the world.🌎
To break down the meaning of hatha, ‘ha’ means sun☀️ and ‘tha’ means moon.🌙
Hatha yoga means to
bring balance to the sun and the moon that is inside of you.
This is a pretty common form of yoga where it emphasizes physical poses or exercises, known as asanas.
Some asanas poses include tree pose, mountain, downward facing dog, cobbler, seated forward bend, bridge, and child’s pose.
The goal of hatha yoga is to relax your body, mind, and spirit all while creating balance in your life.
This style of yoga is one of several spiritual paths in Hinduism known as the path of self-realization.
It involves deep contemplation requiring strong willpower and intellect.
Jnana yoga uses the mind to transcend its own identification through thoughts and ego.
The main goal of this style of yoga is to let go of your thoughts and perceptions and to achieve union with your inner self along with the oneness of life.
It is a quest for wisdom through meditation with the ultimate goal of being one with God.
Through the consistent practice of mental techniques of self- questioning and reflecting this can be achieved.
Karma yoga is one of the other spiritual paths in Hinduism and is called the path of unselfish action.
The philosophy of this form of yoga teaches that
yesterday’s actions determine today’s circumstances.
Those who practice 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.
Imagine if everyone in the world practiced this style of yoga just for a day and how much kinder the world would be that day.
This style of yoga refers to the goal of yoga which is to lead you to experience the natural state of calm, peace and serenity.
It blends the 4 layers of the self in this yoga form.
- The body
- Individual consciousness
- Individual subconsciousness
- Universal infinite consciousness.
The main focus of this kind of yoga is on the mind🧠 and spirit🙏🏾 with an emphasis on meditation.🧘🏾♀️
This style of yoga is very similar to Hatha yoga.
Tantra yoga involves seeking balance in your life and to break free from what is known as the 6 enemies.
- Physical longing
It also focuses on getting rid of what is known as the 8 fetters.
- Pride of ancestry
- Vanity of culture
The 6 enemies and the 8 fetters are considered hindrances that can be eliminated from one’s life through this yoga style.
Tantra yoga does this through self-discipline, training, and meditation.
This may be a great style of yoga for you to try if you struggle with any of these in your life.
This style of yoga is often referred to as hot yoga.
It involves practicing different yoga poses in a room heated to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius).
The belief behind heating up the room to such a high temperature is so your body warms up quicker.
This would allow you to perform each yoga pose easier without running the risk of injury.
I have not tried this form of yoga yet, but I love power yoga which is performed in a heated room as well, but not as high of a temperature as Bikram.
If you have a health condition, be sure to check with your physician👩🏾⚕️ before attempting this form or any form of yoga.
The goal of this style of yoga is to become more aware of your breath.
Breathing correctly is key to any form of yoga.
If your breathing is off, it could be harder for you to perform each yoga pose.
Those who practice kundalini yoga learn to use their breathing abilities in different ways.
They also use chants, meditation, and poses designed to awaken and energize your spine and drawing it upward through the 7 chakras.
- Muladhara (root chakra)
- Svadhishthana (sacral chakra)
- Manipura (solar plexus chakra)
- Anahata (heart chakra)
- Vishuddha (throat chakra)
- Ajna (third eye chakra)
- Sahasrara (crown chakra)
This is perhaps the most individualized form of yoga.
It involves working closely with an instructor who will customize your workouts for your special needs.
They will show different modifications of poses to help you perform them easier if you have tight hamstrings, hips or if you are not really flexible.
Vinyasa yoga is one of my favorite yoga styles along with power yoga.
All of the poses flow smoothly with each other and you can just feel the flow of energy⚡️ that moves through your body as well.
This style of yoga becomes effortless as you continue to practice it.
Right after a workout, this style of yoga is perfect because it relaxes and stretches your muscles out nicely as well!
To Wrap Things Up…
Many yoga classes out there combine many of these different styles of yoga into one class without you even realizing it.
You can really get a taste of each style of yoga in one class and improve in your practice very quickly because of it.
Before trying out any style of yoga, 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 physician 👩🏾⚕️ first before starting any yoga practice.
Next time, we will be talking about the practice of good yoga posture.
To another issue of Why Yoga Matters,
P.S. – If you enjoyed this post on Part 1-What’s Your Favorite Yoga Style? (Why Yoga Matters), remember to like, share, and comment below.
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