There are many forms of yoga to choose from. How do you know what you’ll enjoy? It helps to try out a few styles of yoga to see which resonates for you. However, if you have physical difficulties or recently had surgery then it is best to stick with a gentle yoga class or restorative stretching instruction.
Gentle, simple, and restorative, Hatha is the type of yoga to first become popular in Western circles. It is actually the foundation of all types of yoga, and is relatively easy to learn. It makes use of postures, regulated breathing, meditation, and realization, thus achieving a complete system of wellness and mind-body connection. In Hatha, poses are not meant to be overdone, but are meant to be enjoyed and approached with ease.
A Hatha class is approached in a rather meditative, calm manner. A session usually begins with a simple exercise in breathing, which is meant to center and calm the mind. It is then followed by asanas (yoga poses) that focus on easing the body’s joints while encouraging grace, control, and inner awareness as the body achieves each pose. The session finally ends with a long, guided relaxation. For this reason, Hatha is extremely popular as an exercise and as a therapy for stress.
A more strenous form of yoga is called Vinyasa. Vinyasa refers to “a dynamic connecting posture,” and this type of yoga aims to do just that. It makes use of a more flowing type of workout rather than the static and traditional practice of maintaining yoga postures. It “links” each movement to one’s breath, which means that moving from one pose to the next is done upon an inhale or exhale. In some circles, this technique is called “Flow” because of the manner in which the poses and breathing are approached: in a smooth, flowing pattern, much like a coordinated dance.
In Kundalini yoga there is an emphasis on meditation and tuning inside to one’s higher consciousness. It is also very effective for people who find their mind is tied up in inner dialogues and talk. This is a powerful style and enables one to both quiet the mind as well as energize oneself. Classes often have a meditation set that is eleven or fifteen minutes long as well as poses that engage breathing techniques including the breath of fire.
Whatever you choose, yoga is an attractive form of exercise and fitness for many people, especially since it holds many physical as well as mental benefits. Over time, many have experienced how yoga has improved their lives. With all the different styles and types of yoga, each individual can surely settle on a practice that will meet their physical needs.