Types of Yoga

Yoga is more than a physical discipline of keeping fit. It’s an ancient concept, and has a lot to do with the philosophical and the spiritual. Various types of yoga are being taught and practiced in today’s world and it is very important to choose the correct type of yoga. Each type has its own philosophies and practices. Some styles of yoga are meditative and focused on spiritual centeredness. Other styles of yoga are more physical and based on poses or exercises. Yogas that are more physical are called Asanas. Hatha yoga is a popular type; it focuses on breathing control. Mantra yoga focuses on chanting and can be a very spiritual practice. Power yoga is great for building stamina and strength. At any rate they all seem to provide similar benefits for your mind and body.

The varieties of poses flow one into another, always breathing through the nose. Kundalini yoga aims to awaken the potential energies at the base of the spine (Symbolised as a coiled snake) and direct this energy upwards through the spine and the Chakras thus bringing about increasing degrees of enlightenment. Bikram Yoga is the method of yoga that is a comprehensive workout that includes all the components of fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular flexibility and weight loss. Ashtanga, or power yoga, is designed to build strength and endurance. It is an aggressive workout where you move quickly from one pose to another. Ashtanga is for you if you’re looking for a tough, physically challenging workout.

Mantra Yoga involves the practice of chanting words or phrases repeatedly either aloud or internally thus influencing the consciousness. Jnana yoga is another popular type of yoga. This type of yoga generally emphasizes on mind in order to discern the mind. The main goal of Jnana yoga is to make an effort eternally to know, to understand and to explore more and more knowledge. Kriya Yoga is a very systemised form of yoga from the Tantras. Kriya yoga increases concentration and leads to meditation and ultimately to enlightenment but this is done more through awareness than pure concentration. Iyengar yoga is best type of yoga for beginners and for those who have not exercised at all. One can even use pillows and chairs to balance in case of lack of flexibility and if one is suffering from joint or back problems.