It seems like yoga is everywhere these days. You can find yoga studios in many places and there are endless videos available for people who are interested in learning and practicing this ancient and beautiful art at home. There are many benefits to yoga and people of all ages, weights and skill level can take advantage of them. So, what are the different types of yoga and who are they good for?
Hatha yoga is the base for many forms of yoga. It is a yoga practice that incorporates meditation, postures, regulated breathing and kundalini into one form of yoga that can be used to assist the individual in finding self-realization or enlightenment. Anyone looking for stress management or exercise would benefit from Hatha yoga.
If your goal is to build stamina, obtain a strong body, flexibility and a calm mind, then Ashtanga is perfect for you. This type of yoga involves moving through 26 progressive postures continuously while synchronizing breathing with the movement. Holding each posture for 5 breaths. Ashtanga is a very intense form of yoga that is suitable for people looking for an athletic yoga, however, it is not suitable for beginners.
Bikram yoga is practiced in a room heated to between 95-105 degrees. It is a very disciplined yoga practice. The purpose of the heat is to prevent injuries, promote flexibility and the assist in the detoxification process. Bikram is comprehensive and can help people achieve weight loss, cardiovascular health along with muscle endurance.
Lyengar yoga focuses on the alignment of the individuals body. It requires that practitioners move slowly from one pose to the next allowing for a few seconds of rest between poses. It teaches flexibility, balance, strength and endurance. Lyengar incorporates the use of cushions, blocks and straps. These tools can be used to assist people who are new to yoga and less flexible. Because of the use of the accessories and the slow pace of Lyengar yoga, it is ideal for those recovering from an injury, the disabled, those who are overweight and the elderly.
The focus of Kundalini yoga is to pull energy stored at the base of the spine up through the body. Breathing exercises, mediation and chanting are all used to awaken this energy. This type of yoga is great for women and helps them feel beautiful and empowered.
Power yoga is an intense version of Ashtanga yoga. There is no pausing between poses, instead you move fluidly from one pose to the next. This makes power yoga a great cardio workout that also burns calories. Many of the poses double as calisthenics and help those who practice it build strong muscles. Power yoga is a good choice for those who are already in good physical condition, but want to take their fitness up a notch.
This type of yoga is very gentle can be tailored to each practitioner’s needs and body type. It is a therapeutic form of yoga that is ideal for people who are recovering from injuries or surgery. The objective of Viniyoga is to be healing and gentle.
There is a yoga type that can benefit just about anyone. Whether you are fit, are recovering from surgery or injury or just returning to exercise after a long hiatus, you can make your body healthier and stronger with yoga. Many people have healed their bodies and minds with yoga and one of the most wonderful things about yoga is that it is never too late in life to take up this ancient practice.