Study of the Different Methods of Yoga and Their Purposes
There are people in the world that love to work out and ones that hate it. Either way, when you mention yoga to them, there is always a spark of interest. If you are among the smarter, health-conscious individuals who thrive on the energy physical exercises uncaps, yoga offers you a different, more energizing and fun approach to physical exercise. On the other hand, if you are not a fan of physical workout, maybe you don't get enough time to hit the gym or motivation to make the effort. Yoga, however, can change the attitude. You don't need a gym or machines to do yoga, its intense routine can really work those muscles and the cherry on the top - it is extremely fun, and that will make you want to do it regularly.
The deal with most exercises is that they improve your physical strength but yoga - a popular physical exercise, is more than that. Yoga is a powerful tool to enhance the forte of your body as well as your mind. It is a way of living - connecting your body, mind, and soul. The stretches and bends strengthen your body and enhance flexibility while the intense breathing routine centers your mind. It enables you to focus and de-stress in ways you can't imagine. And of course, with a stronger body and relaxed mind, the health benefits entailed are numerous.
There are many types and styles of yoga, and they all produce a feeling of relaxation and calmness. However, it is important for the yoga style to suit your needs, current physical form, and lifestyle for you to reap the optimal advantages and gratification. When choosing which style of yoga to practice, most expert yogis recommend acknowledging the multitude of benefits you want eventually attain and choose accordingly. As there are a wide spectrum of health and psychological gains to avail, you should determine your priorities – such as whether the objective is to improve strength and vigor, or is it to de-stress and relieve anxiety, are you attracted by the pain-relieving potential of yoga practices or is weight loss benefits an appeal, or do you just want to elevate your mindfulness, become more Zen? Once you know what you need, you can choose a yoga style that offers you maximum benefits.
In order to make your life a little easier and to motivate you in pursuing the path of yoga, here are brief descriptions of a few major yoga styles. You can get a sense of what might work for you and unlock all the potential we know yoga has to offer.
In Sanskrit, word Hatha literally means force. So, if you are guessing that this style of yoga focuses more on physical form – strength and flexibility, you are right on the money. Hatha yoga style teaches elementary postures and movement – ideal for beginners. If you are one of those people who have never seen the inside of yoga studio, you should commence your journey here. The pace of Hatha classes is slower than other forms which can help you ease into the lifestyle and not want to give up the very first day. Regular practitioners of Hatha swears by its physical benefits such as improved strength, flexibility, and poise. Furthermore, it has emotional advantages such as reduced stress levels, higher relaxation, and more awareness.
Bikram style is a popular one, especially among celebrities, developed by Bikram Choudhury. It is a branch of Hatha comprising of two breathing routines and twenty-six poses – intense right. The unique aspect of this form is that it is performed in a heated and humid space. It activates your entire body – muscles, ligaments, and organs. The heat, breathing regime, and series of poses help you to achieve improved heart rate and blood circulation, detoxification due to sweating, more strength, and flexibility, and increased balance and focus the mind.
Iyengar yoga is a meticulous style with a prime concentration on discovering and maintaining correct pose alignment. There are uses of props to help with achieving those correct poses which are held for some period depending on your expertise of course, so don't worry. The amount of moving around is limited, but don't assume that it's not challenging. In fact, Iyengar is an intense workout, so you must have a high commitment to practice it. The pace is slower, and movement is limited; hence, this yoga is ideal if you are a victim of joint pains, chronic conditions, and injuries. It incorporates all limitations and helps you relieve pain and improve balance, strength, and agility.
Kundalini yoga is an olden style that emerged from India. Its essence lies in breathing, coupled with physical moves to elevate the flow of energy throughout the body and create a higher awareness of your mind and body. It embodies physicality and spirituality. The term kundalini implies to coiled and symbolizes the energy coiled like a snake at a person's spine. The ultimate objective is to release or uncoil that dormant energy so it can flow within. There is a lot of fast-paced movement involved with in between relaxation periods to appreciate your internal feelings and energy. Like other styles, it helps in improving health and fitness and elevate mental calm. Kundalini yoga is most suitable for you when you want something more than a workout. If you are ready to be challenged – physically and mentally, this style can change your life.
Ashtanga yoga is the modern interpretation of ancient classical yoga. Literally, the term Ashtanga means eight limbs representing eight branches of yoga teachings. It entails rigorously intense sequential routine with a series of postures grounded in breathing. It is a structured style, where you can move to the next level only after you master the previous one – making it an extremely demanding workout. It is a great option if you are a regular yoga practitioner, not if you are a beginner. As they say, "no pain, no gain," ashtanga helps in developing and improving concentration and focus, meditation, better breathing control instill lasting calm within, improved posture, higher awareness, more strength and balance, and elevated spirituality.
Anusara is an interpretation of Hatha yoga style that interlinks the physical practices with inner peace, grace, and light. There is a lot of emphasis on alignment in this style as well, but the heart-mind-body connection is critical. The underlying philosophy is that all beings are fundamentally good, and there is joy and happiness in each moment of life. These pockets of bliss can be accessed through physical poses as they help you open your heart and mind. Anusara yoga can also help you improve your strength and tone muscles, enhance flexibility and body alignment and posture. It is invested in your overall improvement – physical and spiritual as well as to create a harmonic balance between mind and body. So, if you are a beginner and want to experience higher consciousness and reach a new depth of your soul, this style is just right for you.
In Sanskrit, vinyasa means to flow or connection. This form of yoga, like many others, focuses mainly and intensely on movement. The movement is coordinated intricately with conscious breathing, and prominence is allotted to flow and smooth transitions between poses. In this format, teachers or gurus creativity places a key role as they set up the sequence of poses, there is no hard and fast rule. Some teachers include a spiritual aspect in the routine while others prefer to keep it entirely physical. Likewise, some keep the regime slow-paced and gentler while others make it fast and intense. You can choose, depending on your interests and skill level. Vinyasa yoga increases heart rate, which improves stamina and strength as well as helps in higher flexibility and balance. Physical consciousness helps you avoid injuries so common with other types of workout. It also improves immunity and just overall health.
These are brief descriptions and benefits of various yoga styles, and there are more forms that offshoots from these. And remember, this is just scratching the surface of the epitome of benefits associated with yoga. There are so many variations that you can find one just right for you and open new doors of physical and mental perks and higher awareness and spirituality – a broad range of benefits. So, find the style that works for you and begin a new way of life.