|"The awesome power of yoga". Photo Credit: Adria Richards.|
I started doing yoga about 5 years ago and fell in love with the gentle, relaxing and transformative nature of this ancient exercise. Yoga was founded several thousands of years ago (as early as 1000BC) in India. In this short message I wanted to share with you the 5 main types of yoga, 10 benefits of yoga and the only 2 things you need to get started!
5 Types of Yoga
Bikram Yoga - Pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, this style is more generally referred to as Hot Yoga. It is practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room, which allows for a loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating, which is thought to be cleansing. The Bikram method is a set series of 26 poses, but not all hot classes make use of this series.
Hatha Yoga - Hatha is a very general term that can encompass many of the physical types of yoga. If a class is described as Hatha style, it is probably going to be slow-paced and gentle and provide a good introduction to the basic yoga poses.
Ashtanga (Power) Yoga - Ashtanga, which means "eight limbs" in Sanskrit, is a fast-paced, intense style of yoga. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. Ashtanga practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next. In yoga terminology, this movement is called flow. Ashtanga is also the inspiration for what is often called Power Yoga. If a class is described as Power Yoga, it will be based on the flowing style of Ashtanga, but not necessarily keep strictly to the set Ashtanga series of poses.
Vinyasa Yoga - Vinyasa, which means breath-synchronized movement, tends to be a more vigorous style based on the performance of a series of poses called Sun Salutations, in which movement is matched to the breath. A Vinyasa class will typically start with a number of Sun Salutations to warm up the body for more intense stretching that's done at the end of class.
Iyengar Yoga - Based on the teachings of the yogi B.K.S Iyengar, this style of practice is most concerned with bodily alignment. In yoga, the word alignment is used to describe the precise way in which your body should be positioned in each pose in order to obtain the maximum benefits and avoid injury. Iyengar practice usually emphasizes holding poses over long periods versus moving quickly from one pose to the next (flow). Also, Iyengar practice encourages the use of props, such as yoga blankets, blocks and straps, in order to bring the body into alignment.
10 Benefits of Yoga
- Decrease stress
- Help you to relax
- Develop better self awareness
- Improve your mental performance
- Give you a positive mental/emotional state
- Improve flexibility
- Improve balance
- Lose weight
- Help to correct your posture
- Improve strength
2 Things to Get Started