Your decision to make yoga a part of your fitness routine is a step in the right direction, but with so many different types to choose from, how do you know which is best for you? This depends largely on what it is you hope to achieve through doing yoga.
Yoga For Relaxation and Mood Enhancement
Anusara Yoga is a great place to start if you are new to yoga or aren’t sure you’ll be able to pull off some of the trickier positions. The idea behind Anusara is that you express yourself to the best of your ability. This is a highly spiritual type of yoga and may be suited for you if you are just looking for something to put you in a more upbeat and enlightened mood. Anusara yoga is also helpful in encouraging proper body alignment.
Kundalini is another type of yoga that does wonders in relaxation and mood enhancement. This practice incorporates a variety of fluid and constantly changing poses meant to represent the release of the serpent, or kundalini, energy within you. Kundalini is said to increase energy as well as spiritual awareness.
Types of Yoga for Weight Loss
Ashtanga yoga consists of six sequences of poses referred to as the primary series on through the sixth series. In this type the idea is to move rapidly and smoothly from pose to pose in certain timing to your breathing. Many of the positions are very strenuous, and there isn’t much time for catching your breath. Not only can you expect to lose weight with this type of yoga, but it is very effective when it comes to building strength and muscle. If you are a newbie, it is probably best for your health to familiarize yourself with a less intense type of yoga first.
Power yoga is another type that is popular among many westerners for losing weight and building muscle. This aerobic inspired style of yoga was adapted from the traditional Ashtanga yoga and appeals most to the highly athletic types.
While Ashtanga and Power yoga can both get pretty intense, some say that Bikram yoga takes the bar up a notch. In a typical Bikram class, students are expected to repeat a series of 26 yoga moves twice. The kicker is that the class room is like a sauna, with the temperature regulated at 105 degrees and the humidity at 40 percent. For this type of yoga to be beneficial to your health it is important to keep your core temperature down and bring plenty of water.
Some other types of yoga include Hatha , Iyengar, Sivananda, Vinyasa, and Yin, but it is impossible to cover them all in this one brief article. There are also types of Yoga for pregnant women and rehabilitation.
A great place to start is to find out what kind of classes are offered in your area and try each one for yourself. No matter what yoga type you choose, you will find the positive physical and mental effects on your health well worth the effort.