Here I wrote a small guide which goes through the most popular types of yoga, in order to facilitate the outcome of your choice, regarding style and particular personal requests.
Obviously, I evaluated through my experiences, which means that you should try every style that attracts you, regardless of my subjective description.
You will be able to find the first five types of yoga on my page and youtube channel, and for the last two styles, I would recommend you to try them in a studio.
|Nowadays there are so many different types of yoga, so many different variations and new definitions. |
It’s so fascinating to bump into different types of yoga like gun or beer yoga, like cannabis, dog, goat, raves, nude yoga. There is also aerial, tantrum and acro yoga.
Some people think it’s just for flexible thin women, many say it’s a static and boring practice, too slow.
Some others believe it’s for those spiritual fanatics, after meditation.
Yoga (nowadays) goes beyond those stereotypes!
The authenticity is not in any of these definitions, the truth is your definition, it is an experience that cannot be understood intellectually, but through the practice.
So, how to choose the Yoga practise that would suit you?
Anyone who is curious enough knows the benefits of yoga, but first, let’s talk about what you are looking for in your practice!
What are you looking for?
Can you define it?
Try to answer the following questions to clear up your need!
Would you like to develop your strength or your flexibility?
Are you spiritual or physical orientated?
Do you have any muscle or bone injury?
Are you looking for some therapeutic yoga or you just do it for fun?
Breathing is a very important topic for any yoga class.
( I recommend you check out my breathing techniques article link before you start. The flow of Prana is connected to our experiences: https://femaryenne.com/the-flow-of-prana-is-connected-to-our-experiences/)
Under each type of yoga you will find my evaluation, my answer to the questions above, to give you an extra orientation.
Let’s go through them together!
Hatha yoga is said to be the oldest, the most ancient, Indian type, and the most popular, especially in the west.
Hatha Yoga literally means Ha, sun and Tha, moon, trying to reestablish the greater balance between those two elements.
This type of yoga is a combination of strength, flexibility, breathing, relaxation and meditation, which leads to the complete balance between mind and body.
The practice is developed in a calm way, the positions are simple and calmly executed; which is why it is particularly suitable for beginners, but definitely challenging for the experienced one, who wants to re-establish a slower connection.
Provides adaptable positions depending on the level of preparation.
The asanas are connected with the rhythm of the breath and mental strength, respecting the limits of each one.
Hatha Yoga works on different parts of the body, improving the circulatory, nervous and digestive system, but in the first place, it has great benefits for the spine.
Vinyasa means “flow”, in fact, this type of yoga is a style focused on continuous movement.
It requires good coordination and basic asana knowledge and it consists of dynamic movements between one posture and one sequence to be repeated.
It combines parts of Ashtanga and parts of Hatha Yoga. The substantial difference with Ashtanga yoga is that Vinyasa Flow is all very spontaneous and doesn’t require pre-established sequences.
Asanas are harmonic and dynamic sequences interconnected to the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation.
Classes are structured by an incessant movement, each position is graceful and connects immediately to the next.
You move from one position to another in a light and fluid way, similar to the realization of dance choreography.
The synchronization of asanas between them can be emphasized with music.
The Vinyasa allows good cardiovascular work, in fact, it is appreciated by sporty and athletic people, who are looking for dynamic activities.
If you have imagined Yoga as something static, come and try this type of yoga!
HEALTHY BODY CONDITION
Ashtanga Yoga is a very strict traditional form of yoga.
The Ashtanga Yoga system is developed in six pre-established series in which it increases the difficulty and it requires several years of practice before moving to the next one.
Positions and asanas are always practised in the same order.
The first series is divided into 4 different sequences:
Surya Namaskar A and B, standing sequence, seated sequence, finishing sequence.
Between one position and another, there are fragments of a small dynamic sequence, performed with jumps, called “Vinyasa”, thus combining yoga positions with very high cardiovascular rhythms.
Ashtanga is a style that does not allow interruptions, thus flowing between the control of breathing and the concentration of movement.
Compared to other practices, it is among the most dynamic, requiring physical preparation to be fully practised. This is why it takes time to adapt to the ability to perform the entire sequence.
Over time, it makes the body flexible, giving great strength and endurance; it is a life-giving and invigorating practice.
Ashtanga Yoga is also often indicated for people who want to lose weight or simply increase their muscle level.
HEALTHY BODY CONDITION
Yin yoga is a perfect way to establish meditation from a dynamic point of view.
The aim of yin yoga is to understand in detail the relationship between the body and the mind in order to induce relaxation.
Ideal to release tensions, release energy block and stress, which are major issues in modern society.
Yin Yoga is a calm discipline that follows the rhythm of the body in a new slow approach, providing slow movements focused on deep long breathing.
Yin yoga is a restorative yoga with therapeutic effect, aimed to work on the connective tissue, such as ligaments and tendons.
It gives a hint of a better understanding of some postures, with more advanced yoga alignments.
Blocks, bolsters, and straps are often used in the class.
It is an excellent anti-stress practice, which reduces the level of cortisol (the stress hormone) contained in the blood. It does relax the nervous system and relieves muscle pain.
The challenge lies in holding the posture for 3 to 5 minutes, sometimes up to 15!
Yin yoga is a perfect combination of the flexibility of mind and flexibility of the body.
Designed for people who are looking for less physical activity.
It is a discipline invented in America as an answer to westerners problems and needs.
It is an ideal practice for those who want to recover their fitness level, in fact, it is very dynamic, close to aerobics, thus it can help to lose weight and burn fat.
Power or dynamic yoga is a great way to get rid of stress by increasing the level of positive energy.
Physical preparation is the dominant aspect, strengthening is certainly the main objective, combining the development of strength and flexibility.
This type of yoga, in addition to sculpting the body, will give you more mental balance, freeing you from all negative thoughts.
It is inspired by Ashtanga Yoga, but without following a precise sequence of asanas; the positions are always different and are performed very quickly.
The energy level of the class can be increased, along with the intensity.
Music varies from Pop to Hip Hop and is generally the backbone of the class.
If you are not looking for spiritual practice, this class is for you!
HEALTHY BODY CONDITION
Iyengar Yoga was invented by B. K. S. Iyengar, inspired by his knowledge of Hatha yoga.
The goal of this discipline is to keep the body in shape without damaging it.
It’s a way to increase healthiness for young and old people, for beginners but also advanced practitioners.
The main focuses are toward the anatomy of the body and his alignment, in relation with breath awareness.
The main goal of the discipline is to increase mobility, strength, flexibility and balance.
The range of asanas is held for a long time, in a beginner to advanced progression, to gradually experience simple and more complex asanas.
Iyengar Yoga has a therapeutic effect, the foundation is the usage of props such as blankets, straps and belts hung on the walls, blocks, bolsters, chairs, to ensure the perfect outcome of the asana.
This is a perfect yoga for people who went through some injuries on bones or muscles.
Kundalini yoga is more a science than a simple type of yoga; has been created in ancient times by Rishis, but only in 1969 was widespread by Yogi Bhajan.
It is a method that activates different parts of the body and brain in order to improve mental consciousness and body health and awareness.
Kundalini is a powerful tool to heal an emotionally unbalanced state of mind, related to old traumas or difficult situations.
It is a step forward to personal transformation, it gives instant results, that’s why Kundalini can be addictive!
Kundalini yoga consists of long and demanding breathing exercises that work as a bridge of interconnection between mental and physical strength. This starting phase of pranayama can be sometimes combined with postures (asanas).
The gestures of the fingers and hands, called Mudra, are a fundamental part of the practice.
Great attention is directed toward the Bandhas. You lock the root chakra on one of the Bandhas to force the kundalini energy to move up the spine.
The practice is invigorated by evoking spirituality with songs like Mantras and ending or beginning with meditations.
These elements are combined together with one or several sequences to activate or deactivate specific effects in the body and mind.
Fundamental to this practice is the elevation of the Kundalini, which is connected to the reproductive organ, where stagnant energy of the Muladhara chakra resides, which we drag from birth.
With a very complex work, we begin to raise the degree of this energy on the spine, focusing attention on the navel point, until reaching divine energy in a higher self, beyond the crown chakra above the head.
DEVELOP MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRENGTH
HEALTHY BODY CONDITION
Come and try some of these practices with me!
If you missed the previous episodes on my blog:
Fe Maryenne Blogs
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See you at the front row, I’ll be by your side.
Much Love, Fe
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