Yoga has been around for centuries and has become one of the go-to exercise routines for many people across the world in those decades. So, you can understand why when you set out on that journey to pick that perfect class or discipline you could be a little confused. After all, isn’t yoga just yoga? Well not really. You see each discipline has its own unique benefits and practices, so knowing the differences between each style could help you find the one that is just right for you.
But why choose yoga in the first place? And do you have to go to a class in order to do it? In this article, we are going to help you with a breakdown of some of the most popular yoga disciplines while answering “why yoga?”
As for the answer for whether you need to take a class, there are many ways you can do yoga in the comfort of your own home if taking a class makes you a little self-conscious or you are trying to fit it into your hectic schedule. There are YouTube channels devoted to Yoga and you can also check out online platforms like the Yoga Burn website. So, with that out of the way, let’s talk about the different types of Yoga.
Why Practice Yoga
Yoga has many benefits such as increasing your flexibility, decreasing cholesterol, and improving your balance. It can also reduce your risk of heart disease more than regular exercise does. Yoga can also lower your blood pressure and help you with various health issues such as fatigue, chronic pain, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and obesity.
Types of Yoga
When you sit down to decide which yoga style you want to pursue you need to understand what each one is and how it can benefit you. The truth is that no matter what choice you make, yoga is a great exercise option that will increase your balance, flexibility and allow a sense of calm. Not to mention it burns calories and tones muscle. Yoga is a great low impact exercise choice and has an option for everyone.
Here are a few of the different types of Yoga that you may find at any gym or yoga retreat:
This style was developed a few decades ago by a Yogi by the name of Bikram Choudhury (hence the name). These classes will be given in a heated room and you will work your way through multiple poses. This sequence of moves is always the same. Now you will be sweating up a storm and that means you need to make sure to stay hydrated.
This style of yoga is very similar to Bikram. You will follow a sequence of poses while sweating your butt off in a heated room. The difference between Bikram and hot yoga is that they do not follow the Bikram sequence of poses and that is the only real difference.
“To place a special way” is what Vinyasa means in Sanskrit and that is a pretty accurate description of this practice. This style and different types of yoga concentrates on the fluidity of motion by using smooth movements to transition from pose to pose.
While you move from stance to stance you will focus on your breath as you do so. This style is not as structured as some of the others. That means that one class will not be the same as the next and this could be good for someone who is looking for an intense workout but gets bored easily.
This is kind of a generic name for any yoga that uses physical posturing to maximize the benefits of yoga. If you see this in the class name then you can look for the class to be a little less intense, so this is a great type of yoga for beginners to start with.
This style is the more structured cousin of Vinyasa. This practice follows a set sequence of intense poses that will test your limits. Made popular by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 70’s you can bet on sweating up a storm if you go with this style of yoga.
Possibly the most relaxing of the yoga practices restorative yoga uses pillows and props to help you get your body into a sequence of passive poses. This way you get the benefit of the practice with less stress and anxiety. This is great for people that are suffering from illnesses that affect their muscles or joints or for people who are rehabbing from an injury (just make sure to check with your doctor).
Another great choice for people suffering from an injury or chronic ailments that affect muscles and joint Iyengar is like restorative in that it uses props and things to help you achieve the perfect alignment while in a pose.
It is a little more focused on alignment then restorative, but both are great if you just want to find your calm and get a little more balance in your life.
The newest rendition of the basic yoga principles this style was developed in the late ’90s and focuses more on the emotions and feelings you can stimulate by the physical practice of yoga.
This yoga is not only physically intense but mentally as well. For those that are looking to get a good workout in and develop alignment both mentally and physically, this style may suit you well.
No matter which style you go for you will be taking on a challenge and burning some calories while you do it. No matter if you are taking a class, if you prefer to use online sites like the Yoga Burn platform, or you enjoy streaming a YouTube video, doing yoga is a great way to get your exercise in and relax from that hectic day.
Breathe in, breathe out … let all your stresses melt away as you focus on the sound of your breathing and the beating of your heart.