Yoga is a vast collection of spiritual techniques and practices aimed at integrating mind, body, and spirit to achieve a state of enlightenment or oneness with the universe.
The different paths of yoga emphasize different approaches and techniques but ultimately lead to the same goal of unification and enlightenment.
1. Yoga, as a disciplined method for attaining a goal.
2. Yoga, as techniques of controlling the body and the mind.
3. Yoga, as a name of one of the schools or systems of philosophy (darśana).
4. Yoga, in connection with other words, such as “hatha-, mantra-, and laya-,” referring to traditions specializing in particular techniques of yoga.
5. Yoga, as the goal of Yoga practice.
One of the benefits of yoga is that you can choose a yoga style that’s tailored to your lifestyle, such as hot yoga, power yoga, relaxation yoga, prenatal yoga, etc. Whether you prefer to practice at home, in a private session, while watching a DVD or at a studio or gym, there are a huge variety of options available to suit your goals and needs.
If you’re a yoga beginner, hatha yoga, which focuses on basic postures at a comfortable pace, would be great for you. If you want to increase strength through using more of your own body’s resistance, power yoga may be right for you.
If you’re ready for a deeper practice, Bikram also called “hot yoga” may be just what you’re looking for. In Bikram yoga, the room temperature is set to around 105 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in a greater elimination of toxins from the body through the increased production of sweat. No matter your fitness level, fat percentage, or health history, yoga has a style for you.
Yoga is great for reducing stress and allowing for greater relaxation. Once you get into Yoga though, you learn that it is so much more than just a way to workout and keep in shape.
It is a philosophy, a passion and a way of life for many of those involved in Yoga. While you may be getting into yoga for the exercise, you may soon find yourself wrapped in the philosophy and spirituality that Yoga brings along with it.
What Yoga does for you
Yoga can do a lot for the human body, although it won’t cure every ailment. Yoga can be worked into virtually any lifestyle or schedule. Yoga has been proven to increase health and body awareness allowing yoga participants to better control their bodies. From flexibility increases to better body alignment, Yoga can help with a variety of ailments.
- Increased Flexibility
- Increased Strength
- Improved Balance
- Increased Stamina
- Improved Body Alignment (reduces joint pain)
On December 11 in 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 21st as the International Day of Yoga. Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not about exercise but to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and nature.
Different types of Yoga
Anusara means “flowing with grace,” “going with the flow,” “following your heart.” Anusara yoga is a modern-day Hatha yoga system founded by John Friend in 1997. It is based on the philosophy that life is a gift that we are invited to remember and celebrate in our yoga practice.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a modern style of gymnastic exercises and stretching practiced in combination with yoga breathing and ancient yoga philosophy.
Bikram yoga is a great way to stretch, detoxify, relieve stress, tone, and heal, but you need to know these precautions first to stay safe during your practice.
Hatha is a general category that includes most yoga styles. It is an old system that includes the practice of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (yoga breathing exercises), which help bring peace to the mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.
Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of Hatha Yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision, and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama).
Incorporating chanting, meditation, pranayama, philosophy, and music into a vigorous flowing asana, or vinyasa, practice, Jivamukti is a physically and intellectually stimulating method.
Kripalu Yoga is an interplay of body, mind, and energy. Within the physical body is a subtle flow of rhythmic, energy pulsations that we call prana, or life force.
Kundalini Yoga is the science to unite the finite with Infinity, and it’s the art to experience Infinity in the finite.
Prenatal yoga breathing techniques might help you reduce or manage shortness of breath during pregnancy and work through contractions during labor.
It is the centering of your breath and body – aligning the physical and mental by practicing stillness or gentle movement for extended periods of time.
Sivananda yoga, after teachings of Swami Sivananda, is a non-proprietary form of hatha yoga in which the training focuses on preserving the health and wellness of the practitioner.
Viniyoga is a Sanskrit word that has multiple meanings. In non-Hindu or Western context, viniyoga typically refers to the therapeutic style of hatha yoga.
Vinyasa yoga is a discipline that utilizes postures and breathing techniques. This form of yoga offers a range of health benefits to those who practice it, as it encompasses all areas of mind, body, and spirit.
This traditional type of yoga combines postures, breathing exercises, selfless service, meditation, chanting, prayer, and self-inquiry.
Focuses on opening energy channels throughout the body with postures, visualizations, and meditation.
New students find this a very approachable style, often beginning in chair poses that are comfortable. Promotes healing and transformation.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time.
A modified Ashtanga practice developed by Ganga White which is combined with breathwork and meditation.
Have you found a type of yoga that might be a fit for you? Surely you must have….