Originated in ancient India around 5th and 6th century BCE, Yoga is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices or disciplines which largely consist of postures called Asanas. Yoga has a huge past which divides it into many different types. With all these options it is not easy to find out which one is best for you. So here is a quick guide explaining 8 different types of yoga, so you can pick what’s best for you.
1. Hatha yoga
Hatha yoga was mainly developed in the 20th century, focusing particularly on asanas (the physical postures), and also became popular throughout the world as a form of physical exercise. This modern form of yoga is now widely known simply as “yoga”.
This is not only the most common form of yoga but also the most sought after one. Multiple people practice it throughout the world which has only made it more popular.
2. Vinyasa yoga
It essentially means movement synchronized with breath and is a vigorous style based on a rapid flow through sun salutations. This is the second most sought after form of yoga. It mainly consists of asanas like Hatha yoga. But the difference is that here, the movement of the asanas are paired with breath.
3. Ashtanga yoga
Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.
4. Iyegar yoga
This form of yoga is great for those who want to work on injuries and joint problems. It focuses on correct alignment of the body and very precise moves. These postures are held while holding your breath and the duration of each pose increases with expertise. This practice great improves stability, mobility , strength and flexibility.
5. Bikram yoga
Created by yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, the key feature of this practice is to do a set of poses in a room heated to 41 degrees centigrade and 40 percent humidity. The heat makes you sweat excessively thereby getting your body rid of toxins while the postures work every part of your body and bring oxygenated blood to all your internal organs. This form of yoga maybe very intense but it is known to give results.
6. Yin yoga
This form of yoga is very slow paced. You need to hold the asanas or postures from 40 seconds to 2 minutes. This is for people who are not intent on doing hardcore yoga. It relaxes your body and mind and stretches your muscles and tissues to make you more flexible.
7. Restorative yoga
As the name suggest, restorative yoga is for people who have a stressful job or are overthinkers. This type of yoga helps to refresh and rejuvenate the person and uplift their mood. If you are struggling with insomnia, anxiety, stress-related illnesses, then you should definitely try restorative yoga. This practice helps you tap your parasympathetic nervous system so that you can truly relax your mind and body deeply.
8. Kripalu yoga
This form of yoga focuses less on the asanas and more on self reflection, pranayama, meditation and relaxation. It aims to distress the mind and body for better health and self awareness. Not as rigid as the other practices, this one requires you to modify poses according to your body’s needs.