For those new to yoga, the words can be confusing. And everyone in any kind of marketing knows that a confused mind doesn’t buy. In other words, if you don’t know enough about the various types of yoga styles, you are less likely to even try one. Here is a brief introduction to the various types of yoga. Read through and see if there is one that seems particularly appealing to you.
All types of yoga will improve your health by strengthening your muscles and giving you greater flexibility and balance. Yoga can be an intense workout that will definitely help you lose weight and tone your body. Other types of yoga are better suited to beginners, people recovering from an injury, or people returning to a fitness program, but aren’t sure where to start.
Hatha Yoga is a good beginning yoga style. Each pose is taught independently from the next. This is especially important for beginners because as you get into the pose, your instructor will tell you how to breathe, where to relax and where to tense your muscles to better support you in the pose. Props like blocks, bolsters, and straps help to get just the right alignment. As you learn each pose, you will begin to understand how breath and focus are the underlying elements to any yoga practice.
Ashtanga Yoga or “Power Yoga” is for people who have a basic understanding of a number of yoga poses and is interested in a true cardio session where you work up a sweat. This style moves or flows quickly from one pose to the next without any rest periods. The calories burned during one of these sessions can exceed 500 per hour. You will burn calories, and you will sweat a lot. Ashtanga yoga will move from one pose to the next in a very specific order. Power Yoga uses different poses each time.
Yin Yoga works well for people who are looking for deep stretch opportunities to help develop more supple muscles and joints. Most positions in yin are in a seated or lying down position. Once you assume a pose, you will then hold the position for approximately three to five minutes. This allows the body to adjust to the stretch and ultimately opens the body up to greater and deeper stretching. Yin yoga is particularly beneficial for people who suffer from stress because it pays a lot of attention to breath control.
Yoga Nidra, otherwise called “yoga sleep” is a guided meditation session to allow for very deep relaxation and stress reduction. Nidra sessions can be done alone or in conjunction with some yin stretching poses fist, finishing with a guided meditation period. This is not sleep in the general sense, but a state of deep relaxation that is as rejuvenating as taking a nap without the nap hangover many people experience.
Iyengar yoga is good for people who might be more injury prone than others. The instructors are highly trained to understand the biomechanics of the body and how to instruct students into positions without injury. There is a pause between poses, giving you time to perfect your pose before moving to the next pos.
When a yoga class is described as a “flow” class, this typically means you will move from one position to the next. “Slow flow” will do it more slowly, allowing you more time to find your position and notice what is happening to the various muscles and joints of your body. A regular “flow” class expects that you will know the most basic poses and how to quickly move from one pose to the next.
After just a few weeks of regular yoga practice you will notice the benefits in your stress levels, your fitness levels, and your overall body strength.