Starting a wellness journey through the profound art of yoga is a powerful and transformative experience. With an array of 7 unique types of yoga, you can unlock a versatile path towards holistic well-being.
Each yoga style offers distinctive benefits, guiding you to a healthier, more balanced life. In this exploration, we will delve into the world of these 7 unique forms of yoga, offering insights into their remarkable potential and guiding you toward an empowered wellness journey.
Table of Contents
Types of Yoga
Vinyasa yoga is a type of yoga where you move from one pose to another in a special way, following your breath. It’s like a dance with your breath. This type of yoga is often seen as the sporty version of yoga and came from ashtanga yoga in the 1980s. Many other types of yoga have their own “vinyasa flows,” like ashtanga, power yoga, and prana.
In a vinyasa types of yoga classes, how you move is linked to your breathing, making it a smooth transition between poses. How vinyasa is taught can be different from one teacher to another, and they might include various poses in unique sequences. Some teachers focus on keeping your body aligned during the practice. Conversely, some like to create new sequences every time they teach vinyasa, and sometimes want to spend a bit more time in certain poses after we’ve warmed up.
Kundalini yoga, also known as the “yoga of awareness,” is a type of yoga that involves doing repetitive poses. It’s all about awakening a special energy called Kundalini Shakti, which is believed to rest at the base of your spine. Think of it like a coiled snake waiting to wake up. When it does, this energy moves up your spine and can make you feel more spiritually in tune.
Kundalini yoga is also good for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression, and it can improve how your brain works. In a Kundalini yoga class, things usually start with chanting, followed by controlled and precise breathing called pranayama. After that, you’ll do a set of postures or special hand positions called mudras, known as kriya. And then, there’s more chanting and meditation.
There’s also a technique called jal neti kriya, it is among the types of yoga that helps clear your nasal passages by getting rid of mucus and other blockages. It’s all about feeling better in your body and mind.
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Ashtanga yoga means the “Eight Limb path” in Sanskrit. People from around the world come to practice this form of yoga together in Mysore, India, and they do it at their own pace. If you join a Mysore-led ashtanga class, you must know the specific series of poses. Vinyasa yoga, which connects breath with movement, is inspired by ashtanga.
It’s important to note that Ashtanga yoga is quite physically challenging and unsuitable for beginners. It’s best for those who have some experience with yoga. Ashtanga typically begins with five rounds of sun salutation A and five rounds of sun salutation B. After that, you’ll go through a series of standing and floor poses. It’s a tough practice that dedicated yogis tend to enjoy.
The word “Hatha” in Sanskrit means “force.” Hatha yoga is all about restoring balance to your body. It focuses on ensuring your body’s chakras and energy points work together harmoniously. Chakras are like swirling energy centers in your body; they connect to specific organs and glands. There are seven of these chakras in different places in your body.
Hatha yoga involves various physical poses and positions that help balance your body and mind. Different types of yoga taught by other schools and teachers have some things in common. Studies suggest that practicing Hatha yoga can help you relax, stay physically fit and flexible, and even make you appear more youthful. It’s also believed to cleanse and heal your system. Regular practice can even lead to weight loss and toned muscles. It’s a great way to take care of your body.
Bikram yoga is named after Bikram Choudhury, who created this unique style. In Bikram yoga, you do a specific sequence of poses in a room like a sauna, typically heated to 105 degrees with 40% humidity.
It’s important to know that Choudhury faced serious legal troubles in the United States related to sexual assault and harassment, which led him to leave the country in 2017. As a result, many yoga studios that used to follow Bikram’s style now practice a similar but different style called hot yoga, trying to distance themselves from the founder.
In the Bikram type of yoga, the sequence of poses stays the same every time, and it includes 26 fundamental postures, each done twice. Many of these poses focus on getting your body aligned correctly. If you like yoga with lots of heat, you can look for studios that offer hot yoga classes instead.
Iyengar yoga is similar to vinyasa yoga but has a unique approach. It’s named after B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the world’s most well-known yoga teachers. What sets Iyengar yoga apart is its strong focus on getting your body’s posture and alignment just right, along with opening up your body.
To help achieve these precise poses, Iyengar yoga uses props like yoga blocks and belts. It’s a type of yoga that has been proven to effectively help with musculoskeletal disorders, which can lead to severe back and neck pain. It has also shown good results in treating spine-related disabilities.
Over time, practicing Iyengar yoga can improve your strength, mobility, and stability. Plus, it’s been found to help address gynecological and gastroenterological issues. It’s a methodical and therapeutic way to take care of your body.
Aerial yoga is for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or an expert. It’s a fun way to build strong and lean muscles and quite different from traditional yoga. In aerial yoga, you do exercises while hanging in the air, defying gravity. It combines the best of yoga with cardio activities like swimming or running.
A special rope suspends your body in the air, and you get into different yoga poses.
The benefits of aerial yoga include:
- Burning body fat.
- Improving flexibility.
- Helping with breathing problems.
- Reducing stress.
- Boosting core strength.
- Improving your posture.
It’s like doing yoga while flying, and it’s great for your body and mind.
As we conclude our journey through these 7 remarkable types of yoga, it becomes clear that yoga is a holistic and versatile practice. Whether you seek strength, flexibility, inner peace, or spiritual awakening, there’s a yoga style that can empower your wellness journey.
Each form of yoga carries its unique essence, but they all share a common thread: improving your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It’s your turn to embrace the one that resonates with you and embark on a healthier, more balanced, and empowered life. Namaste.