Yoga is considered a mind-body type of complementary and alternative medicine practice. Yoga brings together physical and mental disciplines to achieve peacefulness of body and mind, helping you to relax and manage stress and anxiety. It utilizes mental focus and deep breathing while performing a series of special poses. Though it appears to be primarily physical, but what makes yoga radically different from traditional “workouts” is the remarkable internal impact of the practice. Yoga will help tone your body but while it’s doing that, it also helps you to be truly in the moment and infuses your spirit with positive energy.
There are many different types of yoga to try out, its just about finding which ones work best for you!
Hatha Yoga is a form of yoga that involves the practice of various asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), with a focus on relaxation. The breathing exercises heighten your awareness of the connection between the body and mind. By practicing yoga you will become more self-aware of the signals that your body gives. The main principle behind the practice of Hatha Yoga is breathing. Controlling our breath can help improve oxygenation in the body and reduces stress levels. Therefore, this practice encourages us to focus on our breath, maintain steady balance and promotes stillness in mind.
Vinyasa means “movement linked with breath.” Postures are strung together in a short or longer flow. This style of yoga is often quite dynamic, which requires the mind to stay focused in the present to be able to keep up. Focusing keeps you from drifting off and helps you to be present in your body rather than stuck in your head. Vinyasa Yoga classes may incorporate music, meditation, or chanting. They will typically include a broad range of poses, including standing and balancing postures, twists, back bends, inversions, seated poses, and forward folds.
Yin Yoga is a slower-paced, more meditative version of the popular physical and spiritual discipline of yoga. In Yin yoga, the poses are held for a long period of time (typically three to five minutes or longer) to target the connective tissues (such as the ligaments) rather than focusing on the muscles. As this practice emphasizes stillness and silence, Yin Yoga prepares both the body and the mind for deeper experiences in meditation.
Bikram Yoga facilitates the recovery and rejuvenation of the human body, helps to cure chronic diseases and various injuries. On the physical level yoga expands flexibility, strength and balance. On the mental level it encourages raising self-confidence, develops self-control, improves concentration skills, evolves determination and assists in stress management. Bikram Yoga is a specially developed series of 26 hatha yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises. It is practiced in a room heated to + 40.6°C and run for exactly 90 minutes. The sequence of postures always remains the same in order to ensure a systematic workout of every part of the body. The hot and humid air warms up one’s body, so greater flexibility is attained, it is easier to perform stretching and the risk of getting injured is considerably eliminated.
Kundalini yoga is also called the "yoga of awareness." The primary aim of Kundalini yoga is to awaken the kundalini energy, which lies coiled, serpent-like, at the base of the spine. In Kundalini yoga, practitioners use breathing exercises, physical postures, chanting and meditation to unlock this energy. Each kundalini class begins with a chant and is followed up by a warmup for the spine. The main part of the class is the kriyas, which combine postures and breathing techniques and end with a meditation and chant.
While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a restorative yoga Class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deep relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose. Restorative yoga stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which slows the heart rate, regulates the blood pressure and relaxes the body. As such, Restorative yoga is considered particularly beneficial for those suffering from anxiety, insomnia or headaches, as well as other stress-related conditions. Restorative yoga is believed to boost the immune system and accelerate the body's natural healing process.
Iyengar yoga is both careful and rigorous in its approach, characterised by a vigorous style that places great emphasis on safety and precision. The postures and sequences, developed for effectiveness, can be tailored to the individual needs of the students in a class, making this a method that is suitable for a wide range of people, no matter what their level of fitness or experience. The focus is on helping students achieve, maintain health and wellbeing. Iyengar does this through emphasising precision and alignment in all poses, using props to assist all people to be able to access yoga, and through sequencing – meaning there is importance placed on when and how poses are done.