Types of Yoga
We’re going to go over some of the most common types of yoga to help you determine which type will work best for your lifestyle.
Iyenga yoga, which is considered one of the most common types of yoga focuses on alignment, breathing and performing precise poses. This type of yoga often incorporates props such as straps or blocks to help beginners. Props help new students relax and become more comfortable while holding various different positions.
Ashtanga yoga, often referred to as power yoga is known for its powerful movements like lunges and pushups, which focus on building stamina and strength. This challenging form of yoga is most often practiced by athletes on the quest for better balance and concentration.
Bhakti Yoga, if a more spiritual form of yoga that teaches its practitioners respect for life nature and creation as well as the importance of treating others with kindness and generosity.
Hatha Yoga, another common form of yoga especially in the United States emphasizes physical postures or exercises, known as asanas, with the goal of creating balance in one’s life.
Jnana Yoga, involves the practice of deep contemplation and a quest for wisdom through meditation. With the ultimate goal of being one with God.
Karma Yoga, is based on the philosophy that “yesterday’s actions determine today’s circumstances.” Practitioners of Karma yoga make a conscious decision to accomplish non selfish acts of kindness. By making today’s positive actions, they wish to improve tomorrow’s circumstances for both themselves and others.
Raja Yoga, known in India as road to reintegration, blends the four layers of self; the body, individual consciousness, individual sub consciousness, and the universal infinite consciousness. The main focus of this type of yoga is on the mind and spirit with emphasis on meditation.
Tantra Yoga, similar to Hatha yoga involves students to seek balance in their lives and to break free from the six enemies; physical longing, anger, greed, vanity, obsession, jealousy as well as the eight fetters; hatred, apprehension, fear, shyness, hypocrisy, pride of origins, vanity of culture, egotism, by using self-discipline, exercise routine, and rituals.
Bikram yoga, often referred to as hot yoga, involves practicing yoga postures in rooms heated to over 100° Fahrenheit (37.8° Celsius). The belief behind this type of yoga is that postures are easier to attain and hold. Another benefit is that warm muscles help reduce the risk of injury. If you have a health condition, be sure to check with your health care provider before attempting this form of yoga.
Kundalini yoga, the premise behind this type of yoga is that becoming aware of your breath is a key. Practitioners learn to use their breathing abilities in different ways, along with chants, meditation, and postures designed to awaken energy at your spine’s base and drawing it upward through the seven chakras.
Viniyoga, this is perhaps the most individualized form of yoga, and involves working closely with an instructor, who will customize your workouts designed for your special needs.
Regardless of what type of yoga you decide to practice, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider first to see if there are any special considerations or restrictions you should follow. For example, people who suffer from hypertension may need to avoid certain poses, while women who are pregnant may have other limitations.