When someone completely new to yoga looks at Instagram photos, they might get confused. Is yoga all about handstands and backbends? There should be something more to it. There are too many types of yoga, and all of them are quite different from one another.
According to the Eastern approach to understanding human nature, each one of us has a unique personality and temperament. It’s no wonder why yoga has taken so many forms. It constantly evolves, and that’s a good thing. Since there are so many types of yoga, everyone can find a method that suits them.
We’ll list few important types of yoga, so you’ll distinguish them and decide: which one suits you best?
1. Hatha Yoga
Hatha yoga is a combination of asana and pranayama, two of the eight limbs of yoga, described by Patanjali. In the Yoga Sutras, he described the term asana as a steady and comfortable posture. That’s exactly what this type of yoga is all about – achieving a steady, comfortable posture.
There’s no dynamic movement between the postures. Before getting into an asana, you’ll visualize the technique. When you get into the final position, you’ll stay there, feeling how it affects you. You’ll slowly return, and you’ll take a moment to rest and prepare for the next asana. Each movement is combined with proper breathing. Hatha yoga is slow, gentle, and excellent for beginners.
2. Acro Yoga
This is not the most traditional type of yoga. But, it’s certainly the most fun. Before you can start Acro yoga, you’ll probably need to work on your strength and flexibility through Hatha or another type of yoga. Convince your partner to do the same, since this is the type of yoga done in couples. One of you will be the base, and the other one will be the flyer (you can change roles, too). If you’re in for an adrenalin rush and you’re looking for a couple’s activity, this is the right type of yoga for you.
3. Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is one of the more challenging types of yoga. Bikram Choudhury, the creator of this method, derived the techniques from the traditional Hatha yoga, but added an interesting element to it: heat. Bikram yoga is practiced in a room heated to 95-108 ℉. Heat relaxes your muscles. That’s why the practitioners are able to get a bit deeper in the poses. There’s a lot of sweating involved, and sweating means only one thing: detox. If you want to lose weight, this type of yoga may do wonders for you.
4. Kundalini Yoga
This is a blend of spiritual and physical practices that have one goal: to awaken your energy. This kind of awakening is safe only if you choose a good teacher to guide you through it. Kundalini yoga is attractive to beginners, but it might not be the right choice for them. The nature of energy is neutral. It’s our thoughts, emotions and actions that make it positive or negative. We’re talking about spiritual awakening here.
5. Yin Yoga
Yin yoga was founded by a Taoist yoga teacher and martial arts champion, Paulie Zink. It is even slower than Hatha Yoga. Beginners stay in the asanas for 25 seconds to 2 minutes, and advanced practitioners may stay longer than 5 minutes. If you’re looking for a style of yoga that will really turn your senses inwards, this is the right one for you.
6. Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep. You’ll be achieving a state of consciousness between sleeping and being awake. You’ll still listen to the instructions of the teacher, but your senses will be withdrawn to some extent. If you’re not attracted by challenging physical practice, but you want to enjoy the spiritual benefits of yoga, then this is the method you should try. It’s based on relaxation techniques and it can really help you reduce stress and anxiety.
These 6 types of yoga are not the only ones you can choose from. For the sake of brevity and clarity, however, we decided to limit our list. Each one of us has different expectations and preferences. Fortunately, there are enough methods of yoga to meet everyone’s needs. Did you decide which style of yoga you’ll try?
By Olivia Ryan
Olivia is a journalist who always tries to see the bright side of things. She likes to inspire people in her writings on AussieWritings.com and enjoy a mysterious beauty of twilight. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.
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Yin Yoga for Flexibility and Relaxation w/ Elise Fabricant
Kundalini Yoga Therapeutics w/ Shapadpreet
Hatha Yoga: Strength & Freedom w/ Jackie Casal Mahrou
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