Yoga classes have confidently taken their place among the popular sports.
And for good reason. Despite the fact that there are not so many teachers who have gone through the path of training with yoga gurus, the popularity of this direction is not becoming less: studios, groups, YouTube channels, everywhere there are clear examples of what and how to do. At the same time, references have different names, and what they mean, who they are oriented to – is not often indicated, which raises many questions:
who is yoga for?
how many species are there actually?
which type is suitable for a particular purpose: relaxation, recovery, spiritual development, weight loss?
We will try to answer these and many other questions in our article.
Yoga is not only a good opportunity to relieve stress after work, improve the psychological state, tighten the body and find like-minded people. Yoga is always change. Changes in personality, outlook, worldview. And here it is important to choose exactly the practice that will help to discover something new in yourself.
Such different yoga: from ancient practices to modern types
Types of yoga
In its original form, yoga, as a symbiosis of psychological, physical and spiritual practices that arose before our era, has 5 types: raja yoga, karma yoga, jnana yoga, bhakti yoga and hatha yoga. The rest are branches that combine several directions or are supplemented by elements over time. Looking ahead, it is immediately worth noting that it will not be bad from attending training sessions of practitioner-followers, unless, of course, the mentor knows how to perform the exercises correctly.
Raja yoga, karma yoga, jnana yoga and bhakti yoga are aimed at spiritual development. Each type is based on the sacred Hindu scriptures, and the classes are more religious in nature, as they involve serving God. Each of them contains asanas, breathing exercises and meditations. We will not delve into aspects of faith, if desired, whoever becomes interested will find the answer to their question. Yes, and in our latitudes, a teacher and mentor will have to be searched very well, and the search result is not a fact that will please. So, in search of a guru of one of the four types of yoga, Hindu philosophy will have to go to the east.
Popular common types of yoga and their purpose
Hatha yoga. The main focus is on physical exercises (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and energy management (mudras and bandhas). The pace of classes is not fast, so it is suitable for beginners. In the first classes, additional equipment is used: bricks, rollers and belts, in order to perform more complex asanas.
Ashtanga Vinyasa. A dynamic type of yoga and a small number of vinyasas – nine. The constant change of postures, lack of breaks, concentration on breathing and relaxation has found love among young people and fans of active sports. Another important benefit of ashtang vinyasa is the burning of a large number of calories, and therefore weight loss.
power yoga. The name already speaks of a large load on the muscles. Power Yoga is a modern interpretation of yoga, more precisely, a complex of asanas and cardio without chanting mantras and a metadicional block. This type of yoga is often found in well-known trainers, for example, Janet Jenkins. So, if you want to lose those extra pounds, but you don’t want to run around the stadium, you should take a closer look at power yoga.
Iyengar. This type of yoga is suitable not only for beginners, but also for pregnant women, the elderly, children, and those suffering from chronic back pain. The founder of the Bellur technique, Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, was a very weak child in childhood, but when he started practicing yoga, he lived up to 95 years. The main emphasis is the correct position of the body in space.
Kundalini. A type of yoga that combines static and dynamic postures. It also combines physical stress on the body and spiritual development, namely, the disclosure of internal energy, kundalini.
Aero yoga. A type of yoga founded by Christopher Harris. The main task is to relax the muscles of the spine. Suitable for people with a sedentary lifestyle. However, a hammock in which exercises are performed can also become a support for strength exercises.
Vini yoga. Like Iyengar, it is used for relaxation and pain relief. The exercises are a complex of soft dynamic physical activity and teaching meditation, philosophy, accompanied by Vedic singing.
Kriya yoga. From Sanskrit, the name is translated as “movement”, “action”, which already speaks of its dynamism. That is why the practice has more than 70 kriyas and covers all aspects of the moral and spiritual life. One of the special aspects of kriya yoga is the stimulation of nerve nodes and endocrine glands (endocrine glands). And, of course, helps to lose weight.
Yin yoga. Focused mostly on women. Practice allows you to relax after a long working day, relieve fatigue. Movements are performed slowly, accompanied by meditation music. The main postures are sitting and lying, and the main task is maximum relaxation and comfort.
These are not all types of yoga offered by studios within our country. Each practice has its own goal, a set of asanas and, accordingly, different results. One thing can be said for sure – yoga is suitable for absolutely everyone, the only obstacle can be only a personal preference for a particular sport. Choose your type of yoga and discover new sensations and possibilities of your body!