What is Yoga?
Yoga is a spiritual and physical practice that originated from India. It focuses the mind and body on movement, alignment and breath. Practising Yoga can improve health and happiness: increasing the body’s range of motion, sharpening concentration and reviving chronic stress patterns.
Its no secret there’s many benefits to practising Yoga! But which Yoga class is right for you? Get to know the benefits of practising Yoga here with Eyeko.
There are eight types of Yoga:
Refereed to as “Flow” Yoga, Vinyasa is a traditional form of Yoga that practices seamless movements between each posture. Vinyasa classes offer a variety of poses but no two classes are the same. The nature Vinyasa’s routines help to develop a balanced body recognised in a three-pose transition. These are known as Chatturanga, Upward-Facing Dog, and Downward-Facing Dog. Used in many health clubs, Vinyasa is the most common form of Yoga for beginners to try.
Technically, Ashtanga Yoga is a form of Vinyasa. Both practices stem from the Krishnamacharya Yoga lineage, and both highlight breath-centered movement. However the biggest difference lies in the sequencing. Ashtanga consists of a four movement practice. This is known as: opening series, a main series, a back-bending sequence and a finishing sequence. Ashtanga is taught in a “Mysore” style, meaning self-led, perfect for those who like to move at their own level and pace. Ashtanga benefits the mind and body by relieving stress and improving cardiovascular fitness. But the real aim with Ashtanga Yoga is to maintain internal focus.
A version of Hatha Yoga, Iyengar Yoga is known as “the practice of precision”. Iyengar’s postures are held for long periods of time and are often modified with props including belts, blocks, and pillow-like bolsters. Practitioners are guided to focus on the nuances of each asana until correct alignment is achieved. Great for beginners, this style is designed to improve strength, stability and calm the mind.
If you can stand the heat you’ll love Bikram Yoga. Refereed to as “Hot” Yoga, Bikram is a version of Hatha, a traditional branch of Yoga that combines postures and breathing. This Yoga is not just a style, it’s a specific experience. Classes feature 26 set poses, takes place in a 105-degree room, and are taught by a Bikram-certified teacher. Why so hot? Heat helps sweat out toxins, stretch muscles, and improve circulation. But don’t get ahead of yourself… the temperature and tough postures can provide different challenges to traditional a Yoga practice.
Jivamukti Yoga is one of the most powerful and structured practices. Jivamukti’s vigorous style aims to detox the body whilst connecting with your spiritual side. Each class begins with opening chants, then moves into an energetic flow of sequences focused on strength, balance and flexibility. But its signature mix of music and meditation that cheers you along its vigorous routine. Popular worldwide, be warned, Jivamukti Yoga can be addictive offering individuals a sense of higher self-consciousness.
Sivananda is a more unconventional Yoga practice that combines relaxation and self-awareness. Sivananda builds on physical and mental well-being, empowering the mind and body through slow and coordinated movements. Refereed to as “the art of relaxation”, this Yoga style is also known for it’s five principles:
- Asana: Exercise
- Pranayama: Breathing
- Savasana: Relaxation
- Bhojan: Yogic/Vegetarian Diet
- Vedanta and Dhyana: Thinking and Meditation
The clue’s in the name! Power Yoga is a rigorous workout involving the entire body. Fitness-based, Power Yoga enhances stamina and core muscle strength. Exercise classes can change depending on the teacher’s preference on intensity. Inspired by Ashtanga, if you’re looking for something energetic enjoy a sequence which includes beautiful, flowing patterns of motion and energy.
If you’re craving energy or are even over-energetic, Yin Yoga is perfect for you! Yin Yoga combines a routine that works with connective tissues. Stretching out muscles comfortably, Yin Yoga’s movements are a combination of alignment and accuracy. Yin benefits the body by creating a sense of balance, releasing fascia and improving joint mobility. A Yoga practice suitable for all levels, connect with your inner-self on a deeper level with Yin Yoga.
Even though every Yoga practice has its benefits, it’s important to acknowledge, not everyone will feel the benefits. Take care of your mind and body. Research into Yoga before attending classes.
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