Yoga is a powerful tool to improve the strength of your body and mind. It helps you remain calm, focus and relaxed. It is an amazing way to de-stress and helps decrease the possibility of a number of health issues such as lowering blood pressure, improving bone density and strength, reduce stress and anxiety, etc. And these are just stretching the surface of the apex of benefits yoga provides to you.
But, there are many different types and styles of yoga. All yoga styles create a feeling of relaxation, ease and calmness, but you can avail maximum benefits and enjoyment from yoga when you choose a style suited for your needs and lifestyle. Here are brief descriptions of most common yoga styles so that you can decide on the best option for you.
Anusara yoga focuses on the use of the physical practice of yoga to help the practitioners open their hearts, experience grace and get in touch with their inner goodness. The philosophy has been derived from Tantra, which believes that all beings are basically good. It focuses on opening your heart and mind as well as the application of the Universal Principals of Alignment for explaining the correct positioning of each pose.
Ashtanga Yoga is derived from ancient yoga teachings and means eight limbs in Sanskrit. It is a rigorous style of yoga and follows a series of postures similar to vinyasa yoga. Each posture is linked to breathing movement. The same poses are needed to be performed in the exact same order. It is a demanding and very physical workout.
Bikram yoga style is one of the most popular styles in yoga teaching and was developed by Bikram Choudhury. It is a sweaty workout with a series of 26 poses that you can practice in studios called Bikram. It is very popular among celebrities.
Hatha yoga refers to any style which teaches physical postures; hence it is a generic term. Hatha yoga classes introduce most basic yoga postures, which are gentle but help you feel relaxed and flexible at the end of the class. It is slow paced and preferable for beginners.
Iyengar is a meticulous type of yoga with main focus on finding and maintaining proper alignment in the poses. It uses yoga props each as chairs, blankets, ropes, blocks, etc. to help students with their alignment. It does not require a lot of jumping around but it is very challenging, both physically and mentally. It is preferable for people with an injury or chronic condition.
Vinyasa, which means flow in Sanskrit, focuses on movement intensive practices. The teachers choreograph the students to smoothly transit from one pose to another on lively and soothing music in the background. The poses are practiced in different sequence in each class.
Kundalini yoga focuses on breathing in combination with physical movement with the purpose of improving the energy flow in the body. It is essential to explore the effects of breathing on the postures of the yoga practice.
Restorative yoga is an amazing way to relax and soothe the nerves. Students are instructed to practice passive poses so that the body enjoys the benefits of a pose without much exertion. It uses props and is more rejuvenating than a nap.