Yoga is an age-old fitness practice that is a lifestyle for the mind and body. It is one of the most fun and exciting ways to start your fitness journey. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root word "Yuj," which means " to join," " to yoke," or "to unite”. So the word Yoga is pretty apt for its description - the practice of uniting the mind, body, and soul. Here, we will acquaint you with this mindful practice and make you aware of the stupendous health benefits of Yoga to your mental and physical health. The most heard and used word from the fitness industry - Yoga, can be included in your routine and is surely one of those things that people would cling to for life.
Most importantly, this true essence of a healthy lifestyle is a practice for those who wish to treat their bodies like a temple.
So, what's the real deal with Yoga? From staying fit and fine to rejuvenating oneself from the daily chores of life, does it really help you reach your fitness goals? Well, we can't promise to solve all the problems, but Yoga is absolutely a style of exercise that would offer you benefits - at all points in your life. The best part is, you can do Yoga at home, at work, at a park, or anywhere - no gym required!
Yoga is so much more than just working out: it is more of a lifestyle. The importance of doing Yoga is that each yoga pose you do (traditionally known as 'asanas') has a significance of its own. Every minute of the bend and every 'mantra' has a unique appeal to both body and mind. The importance of Yoga in life is that nothing in this practice is done in isolation. All your mind, thoughts, and body are knit together. Just like other wonderful workout practices, Yoga has also established itself as the ultimate form of head, hand, and heart workout. This practice has experienced a major revamp due to its expansion worldwide.
While doing yoga poses, the most essential thing to do is to establish a connection to reap benefits. If done mindlessly, the essence and advantages of the practice would not be met. Each kind of Yoga imparts a different benefit to your body and mind. And for those still clueless about why you should inculcate yoga practice in your life, let's understand it better here.
Broadly speaking, you need to know seven different types of yogas - each one with its unique style and consequences. You ought to get the asanas correct by understanding the kind of Yoga you choose and its benefits. You need to try and analyse to figure out which type of Yoga is best for you. The following is the list of the seven types of Yoga, with their benefits:
Vinyasa, also called "flow," is one of the most popular contemporary styles of Yoga. Doing this Yoga gives you the lenience to synchronise and move with your respiration. It is the best form of Yoga for beginners. In this type, with the ebb and flow of each exhale and inhale, you change your postures or asanas smoothly. The transition ought to be effortless and in sync with your breathing.
In this type of Yoga, each movement is synchronised with a breath. The breath is given importance, which acts as an anchor as you shift from one pose to the next. A cat-cow stretch is one such example of a very simple vinyasa. The spine is arched on inhaling and rounded on exhaling. A Surya Namaskar (sun salutation sequence) is a more complex vinyasa. Each movement in the series is cued by inhaling or an exhaling of the breath.
'Hatha' in Sanskrit means' hands.' Hatha yoga awakens the power within you. It is a yoga type about the balancing of the body and mind. What is believed is that 'Ha' represents the esoteric sun and 'that' the moon. This practice aims to join, yoke, or balance these two energies. The yoga class described as 'Hatha' involves a set of physical postures and breathing techniques that are practised more slowly and with more static posture holds than a Vinyasa flow.
Literally, Hatha means 'force' and is more traditionally defined as 'the yoga of force.' Therefore, Hatha Yoga involves anything you might do with the body, including:
The brain's sensory and cognitive abilities will definitely change positively with regular Hatha yoga classes.
Yin is a relaxed, passive style of Yoga that is just the opposite of Vinyasa yoga. It involves holding asanas for longer durations and increasing your inner awareness. It also includes paying attention to breathing, thinking, and body sensations.
It is also said that Yin yoga is a gentle form of Yoga that is cooling, grounding, and nurturing. It is very meditative in nature and is taught calmly and gently, contrary to active and dynamic yoga styles like Vinyasa, which is a yang practice.
Similar to the Chinese Yin and Yang theory, this Yoga style is based on the Yin elements of patience, perseverance, susceptibility, and permission. Yin yoga is a practice that is a form of meditation of the mind-body to be incorporated to connect with your body and is up for deep soul searching. Nothing in Yin yoga should be forced. It is always a session of passion and kindness.
The word Ashtanga is derived from a Sanskrit word which, when split into two, 'asht' means 'eight' and 'anga' means 'parts' - translating to eight parts or limbs. Ashtanga yoga comprises the eightfold path leading to spiritual arousal. This spiritual arousal and awareness are caused by a combined hand-in-hand movement of the body and the mind.
More conservatively, ashtanga yoga has a fixed number of steps to be executed in a particular order. One cannot tweak Ashtanga yoga. It trains your mind for Discipline, Rhythm, and Mindfulness.
The full routine lasts for about 90 minutes. Every movement you make has a corresponding inhale and exhale, and a visual focal point (Drishti). This combination of intense movement and focus helps stabilise your mind and mood for a healthy living.
There is a difference between Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga, but people use it interchangeably. For instance, you can fine-tune and adjust asanas in Vinyasa yoga, but the same is not allowed in Ashtanga Yoga.
Power yoga is an offshoot of traditional Vinyasa yoga, having its origins in Ashtanga yoga, a well-established practice that dates back to the early twentieth century.
Rather than treating each position individually, power yoga focuses on the flow from one to the next, yielding many benefits for the human body. In Power Yoga, the poses aren't separated from each other. Instead, it is a high-intensity, fast-paced workout which requires shifting from one position to the next quickly while syncing your breathing to your body's various motions.
Even though it demands mindfulness and attention to your breathing, Power yoga is more energetic than meditative. With Power yoga, you go all-in to test your strength, stamina, flexibility, mental realisation, and focus.
Bikram yoga is a type of hot Yoga that has 26 poses with a set of 2 breathing exercises. These poses are repeated in cycles. This session ought to last for about 90 minutes. The poses follow a process and have originated from the traditional hatha yoga poses.
The Bikram method was invented in the 1970s by yoga teacher Bikram Choudhury. A class of this form will leave you sweaty and panting. Its practitioners vouch for it and claim that Bikram yoga quickly helps detox and rejuvenates the mind and body, allowing better oxygen flow.
Iyengar yoga is a form of yogic postures curated by B.K.S Iyengar. In an Iyengar yoga session, you make use of different props like blankets, chairs, blocks, etc to help you with better posture formation and alignment. These props help you ease you into the right way of holding and maintaining an asana. With this type of Yoga, one is well aware of their form.
This form of Yoga focuses on detailing, precision, and alignment of the body posture. This form has over 200 poses and 14 unique breathing techniques, starting with a warm-up session, followed by standing postures and supine poses. Performing each pose with great alertness to the associated little nuances will submerge you in a state of trance. As you calmly engross in this yoga session, you will get rid of your body and mind of all kinds of stress, or strain.
Project Global Cure brings you the definitions of these 7 different yoga types to try this International Day of Yoga 2022. They all come with their unique set of benefits and asanas. Each style and form is carefully curated to impart a full body and mind experience.
To reap all the advantages of doing yoga, it's best to know the end goal and then dive into each type of yoga asana or type to know which one aligns with your mission. Yoga can work miracles when you surrender and submit your body and mind to the practice to attain that meditative state of peace.