What has our avant-garde lifestyle given us, apart from comfort and luxury? A bundle of bodily diseases and a queasy mind, hasn’t it? Thanks to Yoga that we can still bring amelioration to our physical and mental existences. Yoga comes in different styles and each type is targeted towards a different aspect of our well-being. Let’s have a look at some of the major types of Yoga and how to determine which one is best for you.
- Ashtanga Yoga: Aptly called the ‘Athlete Yoga’, Ashtanga Yoga helps in controlling our mind’s vacillations (or say fluctuations) and perturbations. It comprises of following fast-paced and physically exhaustive series of sequential postures. The person switches from one pose to the other quickly, at every inhale and exhale. Such a vigorous series helps in building stamina and fitness. Remember, there is high risk of injury involved in it, so don’t practice without a Yoga Practitioner.
- Bikram Yoga: A yoga system, named after its founder, comprises of a sequence of 26 exercises stretched over 90 minutes. This array of postures is done in a room with specific temperature and humidity conditions: the ideal is 40.6° C and 40%. You will sweat a lot while doing them. Bikram Yoga is good for those who are facing obesity and are low on stamina.
- Hatha Yoga: Meant for those who want to relax their body and minds by slow yoga movements, and are low on physical endurance. The word ‘Hatha’ in Sanskrit means forceful. It involves harmonization via two opposite forces like Yin-Yang. It helps in achieving mental relaxation and higher level of concentration. Hatha Yoga comprises of six limbs: Asanas (postures), Pranayama (breathing exercise), Dhahran (concentration), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), Dhyana (meditation), and Samadhi (higher concentration).
- Ananda Yoga: Those seeking higher levels of awareness can practice Ananda Yoga, a pose that helps in attuning or unifying body, mind, and soul, and awakening the internal energies by Pranayama. Regular practice can help you gain loftier levels of consciousness. This yoga is a part of Hath Yoga system and focuses on vitalizing the inner by giving positive affirmations to it.
- Kundalini Yoga: In Sanskrit, Kundalini stands for coiled. Kundalini Yoga strives to bring out the dormant energies that are hidden within our bodies and need to penetrate the seven ‘chakras’ of our body to reach the highest level of culmination. Carried out by the combination of dynamic breathing, invigorating poses, and chanting of mantras, this Yoga can take you to the highest level of consciousness. Once a yogi’s Kundalini gets raised, he is known to have divine experiences.
To choose which Yoga type is the best one for you, get to know about your current state of body and mental constitution. If you can bear physical strain, as is expected in Ashtanga and Bikram Yoga, go for any one of them. For mental relaxation and attuning your mind and body, without much physical stress, Ananda, Hatha, and Kundalini can be the right choices. Patients of heart disease and pregnant mothers should avoid any type of yoga that involves straining of body muscles.