Yoga in the current age is a broad spectrum of varying styles and approaches that converge on the philosophy of yuj or unity. By harmonizing different channels of energies in body and mind, yoga means to enhance consciousness and propel the practitioner towards a spiritually fulfilling life.
Being a discipline almost five thousand years old, yoga has evolved in multifarious ways, branching out into different practice methods. Some styles are dynamic and all about restoring energy and will to the core and others that which are slow-paced and restful.
Let’s take a close look at 5 of the top yoga styles in the current age and whom these are suitable for:
Hatha Yoga for Introductory Level
Hatha yoga is understood as the groundwork for all types of asana exercises. Composed of basic and bold strokes, hatha solidifies one’s primary asana attitude and allows the body to relax and loosen up without breaking a sweat. In its traditional connotation, hatha is the discipline for aligning the “sun and moon” of one’s disposition, both physically and psychically. Being a generic category, Hatha is inclusive of all other types of yoga. Undergoing training in this one will let you absorb yoga’s purifying energy through a slow-paced exercise and stealth you for engaged practices of the more dynamic yoga versions.
The famous Sun Salutation series forms a major portion of the Hatha schedule, rich in physical benefits, effective for mental peace and stability, as well as introspective spiritual insight.
Ashtanga for Dynamic Core Exercise
To go a notch up in ladder of yoga prowess, you must choose Ashtanga. This eightfold discipline has its roots in Patanjali’s Sutras and has been reformulated by great yoga luminaries of modern India like Shri Pattabhi Jois and the grand master, Shri Krishnamacharya. Encapsulating a number of moral and ethical standpoints, Ashtanga yoga is designed to lead the practitioner on the path of righteous living.
In terms of physical exercise, Ashtanga is thoroughly dynamic. As per convention, training in this yoga style follows the standardized series of primary and intermediate Ashtanga asanas. The postures, unlike in Hatha, are connected in a dynamic sequence. The challenge is to get through the motions without taking a break. The relentless stress executed through performing an Ashtanga series results in core strengthening and cardiovascular power. BY integrating breath intensification with pranayama in the practice, you would be reaping the most benefits of Ashtanga. This one is surely a practice for stronger yoga souls, though not necessarily restricted to beginners.
Kundalini for Harnessing Chakra Power
This yoga discipline is centered around the concept of latent female energy concentrated at the base of the spine. The energies of Kundalini are depicted through chakras. This is a more spiritually uplifting exercise than most other styles of yoga. A typical Kundalini routine integrates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and power of mantra chanting. Harnessing internal spiritual vigor through mantras like Sat Nam(implying: “truth is my identity”) is among the unique highlights of Kundalini. To build psychical strength and physical vitality with a heightened consciousness is the main aim of Kundalini yogic exercise. Intensified breath with a drive for cerebral balance makes Kundalini yoga more of a inner exercise than a body-movement based concept. Another important characteristic of Kundalini as practiced is its rapid and repetitive sequences. Word of advice, Kundalinin must not be tried out intensively without a prior introduction to the more movement oriented yoga forms.
Hot Yoga for Intensive Heat Generation
Hot Yoga, also popularized as Bikram yoga is meant to be performed in a heated room of temperature 95-100 degree Fahrenheit. To promote greater flexibility, the heat is meant to loosen the muscles. The general humidity level at a hot yoga session is kept to 40% and though suspected slightly uncomfortable, this yoga is still popular for weight loss purpose.
Bikram yoga is actually a subcategory of hot yoga which came to be formulated into a sequence of 26 postures by Bikram Choudhury – a revered yoga luminary. Before you sign up for hot yoga or its Bikram variation of sequences, collect props and accessories to endure through a session during which you are going to sweat a bucket load.
Restorative Yoga for Calming Frayed Nerves
This yoga type is designed especially for relaxation after rough hours. To fill your heart with a fresh breath of positive energy following strenuous times, restorative yoga will come in super handy. The postures featured in restorative yoga are mostly passive. The body can naturally flow into the postures with ease without having to endure stress at specific parts. Props like blankets, blocks, and bolsters are utilized in a restorative class to ensure complete calm for frayed nerves. Ideally, an hour of restorative yoga could be more relaxing than a night of sleep. Friday nights or any workday evening is recommended for restorative.
Now that you have an inkling about all the popular forms, pick a training in a specific one that suits you perfectly or go for an integrative course in multiple yoga styles. Bring in happy yoga hours in your life today!
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