Yoga involves stretching your muscles while sprawling out on a mat and getting lost in the tranquility. Yoga is practiced to tone down your body and to refresh the mind. It’s also well known for improving the immune system, relieving stress among other related health benefits. Yoga didn’t just start the other day, in India, it has been around for 5,000 years, what is changing over the years is just the practice. In modern India, we have many different styles that are coming up. All styles revolve around the same poses but what changes is the focus in like one style maybe improving your flexibility while another style strengthens your inner core. Here are some of the types of Yoga’s that you will learn while travelling to India.
Hatha initially originated from India and back dates to the 15th century. This yoga is characterized by gentle, slow paced and breathing focused meditation. Its purpose mainly is to introduce beginners and teach them the basics poses in addition to relaxation techniques. Just as addition and subtraction are the basics to mathematics, hatha is the basics of yoga.
Just like hatha, vinyasa has a lot do with breath synchronized movement and poses. It”s major emphasis is on the sun salutation which is basically a series of twelve poses where movements are matched to breath. Vinyasa purpose is to link breathe with body movement and facilitate lean muscle build up throughout the body. Some of the benefits of this yoga include toning the abdominal muscles, reducing high blood pressure, getting heart diseases and two types of diabetes. Vinyasa is recommended for beginners as well as advanced yogis who want to strengthen their bodies (image by Krista Shirley).
Considered as an advanced form of power yoga, Ashtanga focuses on eight limbs. It’s characterized by a fast pace and intense pushups and lunges. Unlike others its purpose is to improve your spiritual self. It is known to relieve stress, weight loss and improving body coordination. Ashtanga is ideal for fit persons who just want to maintain their strength or stamina and also those who want to get to their spiritual side.
Iyengar focuses on body alignment and also covers all the eight aspects of Ashatanga yoga. It’s highly detailed and involves different props such as straps, blocks and blankets that are all used to help strengthen the body. Emphasis is mainly done on standing poses and particularly standing for a long period of time. Among other benefits, this yoga helps to speed up injury recovery, improve on balance and builds up body strength. Its best suited for beginners as they can learn correct body alignment, people with balance issues as well as some chronic medical conditions such as arthritis.
Bikram is often referred to as hot yoga. It’s practiced in a room that’s 95 to 100 degrees. Bikram activities involve 26 poses that facilitate loosening of rigid muscles. A lot of sweating is involved. Bikrams purpose is to completely flush out body toxins and to deeply broaden the muscles. Among its benefits is speedy injury recovery, cleansing of the body and enhancing flexibility. Bikram is good for those who want speedy healing and for beginners too (image by Ron Sombilon).
6. Kundalini yoga
Kundalini is more breathing and chanting oriented unlike others that concern body movement. It involves controlled breathing and is mostly practiced to create that spiritual transformation that’s believed to be held up at the base of the spine.
The next time you visit India try out some of these style of yoga’s and see which best works well for you. You can also continue attending yoga lessons once you are back to your home country. Yoga is good and recommended for your health.
Featured image courtesy : Jack Affleck