Yoga can be an amazing experience for your mind and body. It can relieve stress while making you more flexible and stronger. The benefits are endless, and it is also really easy to get into. Yoga has been around for thousands of years and over time, a lot of different styles have emerged.
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Hatha yoga has a strong focus on building strength and stability. It’s a more of a slower-paced style of yoga and does not follow a flow like the majority of them. It is great for beginners as it helps you learn breathing techniques, proper posture, along with relaxation and meditation techniques.
This particular style of yoga focuses on correct alignment. It also doesn’t have a flow like regular sessions do. Each pose is intense and has to be held for a considerable amount of time. Iyengar yoga encourages the use of props like blocks, pillows, blankets, straps, and belts if needed of course. This type of yoga is excellent if you have certain types of illnesses or aches as it relieves tension and makes you more stable, flexible, and stronger.
Ashtanga means eight limbs and is looked upon as a traditional Indian yoga style by many. The goal of Ashtanga postures is to synchronize breathing with movement as you go through the postures. The series of postures are practiced in the same way every time. The postures are Sun Salutation A, Sun Salutation B, a standing sequence, and a closing sequence. This type of yoga is usually done without music.
Vinyasa yoga is one of the most popular ones and is usually taught at practices and studios. Vinyasa means linking breath with movement, similar to Ashtanga yoga. Everything has to flow in Vinyasa yoga, it is like a moving meditation or even a dance. This once is also sometimes practiced in dim, candlelit environments, making the experience all the more sensual. That is why it skyrocketed in popularity, due to its sensuality, pleasant movements, soothing music, and beautiful environments.
This style of yoga was designed by Bikram Choudhury in the 70s in India. He, later on, brought it to the USA, where it exploded in popularity over time. Every single class consists of the same 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. It always lasts for 90 minutes and the room temperature is heated up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, or 41 degrees Celsius. So it is a variation of hot yoga and it is almost always practiced in front of a big mirror so you can check if your postures are correct.
Power yoga is generally more active and is done at a quicker pace than the rest of the yogas. The sequences are not the same every time. Power yoga can even be hot yoga, but also doesn’t, depending on the teacher. Regardless of the temperature, this one will make you sweat. It is quite similar to the Vinyasa type of flow. It is really good for building up your full-body strength and cardiovascular endurance.
Yin yoga is a slower type of yoga where poses can be held up to five minutes or even more. It is a meditative practice that helps your body feel comfortable in any pose without doing any work. It focuses on lengthening the connective tissues in our bodies. Yin yoga is quite the opposite of Yang yoga, naturally. Yin is a passive, cooling, downwards, internal style, whereas Yang is an active, warming, upwards, external style. The slower pace of Yin yoga helps relax and calm the nervous system.
This form of yoga might seem funny at first because people are lying down on their mats, looking as if they are asleep. In this one, you spend more time in fewer poses throughout the session. It is designed as a way to unwind after a hard day of work and to relax your mind. It has got a much slower pace and uses props that support the body. Some teachers might even guide you through meditation as you do Restorative yoga.
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