The Most Common Types of Yoga

One of the most common questions many people are faced with after deciding to start doing yoga is: what type of yoga should I do?

There are so many different types of yoga today. It is best to choose a form of yoga that is appropriate to your level of fitness, physical and spiritual goals and health condition.

In this post we look at some of the most common types of yoga to guide you in choosing the best type of yoga for you.

  • Hatha Yoga: 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 (breathing exercises), which help bring peace to the mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.

Today, the term ”hatha” is used in such a broad way that it is difficult to know what a particular hatha class will be like. In most cases, however, it will be relatively gentle, slow and great for beginners or students who prefer a more relaxed style where they hold poses longer. It can vary a lot, so it is a good idea to call the studio before attending the class.

  • Iyengar Yoga: this type of yoga are solely focused on the alignment and precise movements. Yoga props such as blocks and straps are usually used as part of this type of yoga for those beginners who are not as flexible to compensate for injuries. These yoga props help assist all sorts of people to be able to do the poses comfortably. Because of its attention to details and the flexible modification of poses, this type of yoga is often a good form of exercise for people with back pain or neck pain, as they are likely to benefit from the random alteration to the poses.

In Iyengar Yoga, the teacher focuses more on alignment and inner awareness. This awareness starts with the body and expands to other parts of the self as one continues with the regularity of practice.

  • Ashtanga Yoga: this type of yoga is commonly called “power yoga” because it is focused on a powerful flowing movement. Such movements include pushups and lunges, which deals with strength and stamina. This type of yoga is best for people who have successfully overcome back injuries and are looking for a more challenging practice.

People who are already athletic such as runners, gymnasts and cyclists who want to add more balance and concentration to their routines are also utilizing this type of yoga.

  • Bikram Yoga: this type of yoga is also known as the “hot yoga” for this is done in a very warm room. This type of yoga is an excellent tool for increasing flexibility because the heat helps tissue to stretch.

But keep in mind that this type of yoga is not applicable to those that have developed cardio vascular diseases due to the strain placed on the body when vigorously exercising in the heat.

  • Viniyoga: this type of yoga links breathe and movement in flowing exercises that are adapted to each individual. This are often a good form of yoga for those with back problems or neck injuries because it can be easily adapted to anyone.

  • Raja Yoga: this type of yoga aims for liberation through meditation. This type of yoga is excellent for those people who are capable of intense concentration.

  • Bhakti Yoga: or commonly known as devotional yoga. This type of yoga focuses on self surrender in the face of the divine.

  • Mantra Yoga: much more know as the "yoga of potent sound,”. This type of yoga aims at liberation through the verbal or mental repetition of empowered sounds, such as "om," "hum," or "ram."

There are so many yoga currents and type of studios to choose from. Before joining a class it is a good idea to discuss with the instructor first regarding his or her philosophy and beliefs in order to find the most appropriate and personally appealing form of yoga for you.

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