Yoga is not some new age fad that got swept into the 21st century!
This meditative and relaxing exercise regimen has been around for many years. It is a natural and highly recommended way of strengthening your body, and your mind as well.
If you are bombarded with everyday stressors that are making your life miserable, maybe it is time to try out some popular types of yoga techniques.
Brief History of Yoga
There is often some historically rich and lengthy explanation behind the origins of yoga.
That is because it is coming from priests who lived hundreds of years ago. They were known as Brahmans. They explored ancient texts and sought to develop a practice that would help them enjoy a healthy and balanced mind, body and soul.
In India, the Vedas – an ancient script – provides information and literature written in Sanskrit.
Vedic priests of the 3300 BCE, used to be very self-disciplined and used certain poses when they yajna sacrifices.
Many years later, around the 3rd BCE Buddhists and Hindu texts start to incorporate references the Yogachara meditative practice. It depicted eight steps of meditation. Back then it was less associated with religion and more so, with meditation.
By 1500 AD, yoga had mushroomed into many different forms.
Types of Yoga with Definitions
While there are quite a few styles to choose from, here are some of the main ones. These can be explored safely by beginners, under the tutelage of your yoga instructor.
1. The Hatha Yoga Style
This is one of the more popular yoga styles you will find on the North American continent. It is great at relieving stress. Many find that it is easier for beginners to grasp as well.
Before diving into any complicated poses, you must first sit in a quiet space, focus your breathing and then progress into the movements. It incorporates movements from a number of other styles of yoga.
2. The Bikram Yoga Style
If you are looking for one style that is highly detoxifying and will up your flexibility game, then this type founded by Olympic gold medalist Bikram Choudhury will give you a challenge.
These 90-minute sessions are done in a hot environment, around 105 degrees. It is more of an exotic yoga style.
3. The Astanga Yoga Style
If you want to up your yoga levels, then the Astanga type of yoga is definitely the way to go. There are a number of challenging poses. It incorporates synchronized breathing and incessant sequence of postures, which comes from Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Your muscles and organs will get a steady detoxifying effect. And expect to sweat a lot!
In the end, you will be calmer and highly flexible.
4. The Iyengar Yoga Style
Whether you are young, old, an athlete or starting yoga for the first time, the Iyengar method is a suitable option. It uses moves from both the Hatha and Asanas forms.
Some 60 years ago, this style was accredited to B.K.S Iyengar. He was a yoga master at that time. If you are injured or not flexible, then the blocks and cushions incorporated in this style make it easier to execute.
The central focus of this practice includes fostering better flexibility, endurance, strength, and balance.
5. The Anusara Yoga Style
This is one of the newer types of yoga practices, which started around 1997. It focuses on connecting with the divine but tends to be more playful.
6. The Bhakti Yoga Style
There are nine principles, which guide this type of yoga. It tends to be one of those that focus on the spiritual connection with God.
7. The Jivamukti Yoga Style
If you are looking for a form of yoga that sticks to the original tenets, then Jivamukti Yoga is the choice for you.
Sharon Gannon and David Life developed this style. If you are a fan of non-violence and love incorporating music into your workouts, Jivamukti will keep you happy and centered.
They started this particular form of yoga in 1986, in their New York studio.
8. The Ananda Yoga Style
This style has to do with controlling your breathing and correctly re-aligning your body. It teaches you how to navigate the energy in your body, back to your brain so that you can meditate effectively.
9. The Kali Ray TriYoga Style
This form was named for Kali Ray, who started the practice in 1980. It incorporates dance-like movements, meditation, and various breathing exercises. You can check out the TriYoga studio in Santa Cruz.
10. The White Lotus Yoga Style
Another of the main yoga types is the White Lotus. This form uses both breathing exercises and meditation. It was created and adapted from the Ashtanga by Ganga White.
11. The Restorative Yoga Style
12. The Svaroopa Yoga Style
If you are looking for a more gradual style to help you recover and heal, then the Svaroopa yoga is a good option. It uses a mixture of postures plus chair poses.
13. The Kriya Yoga Style
There are many levels to this style. Practitioners have the opportunity to move through the various stages gradually. You use poses and tons of breathing exercises.
The Kriya yoga style also fosters good spiritual development quickly.
14. The Power Yoga Style
This method of practice incorporates meditative breathing, and strength training. In addition, you will find yourself doing a lot of stretching postures. This was formed from the Ashtanga type of yoga.
If you are looking for a practice that will push endurance and helps to build muscle, then give Power yoga a try.
15. The Vinyasa Yoga Style
Both Pattabhi Jois and Krishnamacharya are known for this style of yoga. It is intense. But, t works with both coordination of breath and getting the person to improve their form and movement.
16. The Viniyoga Yoga Style
Your physical therapist might recommend this type of yoga.
It is very restorative and is done by a lot of people who are trying to exercise safely, while they recover from surgery or other types of injury.
17. The Sivananda Yoga Style
If you are looking for a form of yoga that sticks to the roots of the practice, then try the Sivananda yoga style. It is often compared to the Integral style of yoga.
It uses meditation, chanting, dietary restrictions, scriptural study, breathing and postures. Lilias is credited with helping this form become more popular.
Explore the Practice of Yoga
So, hitting the gym and pumping weights is just not doing it for you. You are looking for something that will engage both your body and mind.
Well, yoga promises to do just that and much more.
Different styles of yoga offer different benefits. You can explore with a few types of yoga for beginners to see which ones you prefer.
As always, before starting these all types of yoga practices, check with a medical professional. This is especially important if you have a nagging health condition.
This blog breaks down the 17 most popular types of yoga, in a way beginners can understand. We hope you launch and explore the practice of yoga, safely!
Did we miss any types of yoga? Share with us a few of those you know and love.
Share with us in your comments below!