The Yoga that fits you best
So, you have decided that Yoga is the thing for you. The decision making process does not end there. You still have to consult yoga expert on what is the best Yoga for your body. There are many types of Yoga and while at the surface they may all seem to you, they have specific focus areas. If you are used to a laidback life then you need to start with a slower and more gentle form of Yoga and if you are a more active person then you can opt for one of the more rigorous routines.
Listed below are the most well-known and widely followed yoga types. It always helps that you know a little about them before you go to see an expert.
Hatha Yoga: The genesis of almost all Yoga forms practiced in the west is Hatha Yoga. It revolves around asanas, pranayamas, meditation and relaxation. Hatha Yoga is best suited for beginners.
Ashtanga Yoga: This is a more strenuous version of Yoga and best suited for athletes or very fit individuals. It involves a series of asanas or postures that have to be performed one after the other without a break. This is the reason why Ashtanga is strenuous.
Iyengar Yoga: The core focus of this Yoga is perfect alignment of the body. Each pose is held for a longer period of time and the progress from one pose to the other is slower. Iyengar yoga allows the use of props to maintain alignment and hence this Yoga type can be suitable for people with physical limitations. Beginners can also opt for Iyengar Yoga since it focuses on proper alignment which will help them as they advance to more strenuous forms of Yoga.
Bikram Yoga: Also known as hot yoga, this is practiced in hot closed rooms thereby encouraging a lot of sweating. Bikram Yoga stems from the belief that our body flexibility increases when we work under a heated atmosphere. This involves a series of 26 poses, where one pose follows the other and each pose is held for a few minutes. People with medical problems should not adopt this form of Yoga without consulting their doctor.
Power Yoga: This Yoga form is similar to Ashtanga Yoga however here the sequence of poses may vary everytime. Power Yoga is best for people who are physically very fit or those who have mastered the basic yoga and are ready to move the more advanced versions of it.
Kundalini Yoga: The ultimate objective of Kundalini Yoga is spiritual enlightenment. Its focus is on various postures that are worked out in tandem with specific breathing exercises. The process allows the Kundalini energy which is housed at the bottom of the spine to move upwards to the apex.
Kripalu Yoga: This involves a series of postures and breathing exercises that is aimed at making the individual more aware about his body and at ease with it. The aim of Kripalu Yoga is to help foster a healthy relationship between the body and the person. A class of Kripalu Yoga also includes long hours of meditation and relaxation.
Integral Yoga: This is a more meditative version of Yoga. Integral Yoga lays less emphasis on physical exercises and more on mental upliftment through meditation. When practiced correctly this is also said to have the powers to reverse heart diseases.
Viniyoga: This is the couture in Yoga. Viniyoga is a tailor made version of Yoga where every pose and every pranayama is undertaken only after a thorough understanding of your body and its workings. This is best suited for people who are dealing with specific physical problems and hence need individual attention.
Yoga like everything else works wonders when practiced at the right time, in the right way and in the right amount. Hence it is important to understand the basics before you start with it. It can be manna from heaven for you if you practice diligently.