Want to take up yoga but not sure what type or which one would suit you? Women UK look at our choices. It’s confusing because there are quite a wide variety of options available. Although almost all of them are based on the same set of physical postures, each has a particular unique emphasis which makes them different.
Hatha is a very general term that can encompass any of the physical kinds of yoga. This is one of the most popular choices in the UK and is suitable for beginners. Hatha is known for slow paced and gentle postures and so a great choice to get started.
Like Hatha, vinyasa flow is also a general term for different classes but the emphasis here is on matching breath to postures called sun salutations. The postures flow from one to the other and with deeper stretching towards the end of the class. Vinyasa or Flow yoga tend to be a little more demanding than Hatha because of the continous flow of movement from posture to posture
Ashtanga is a fast-paced, intense, flowing style of yoga founded by Pattabhi Jois in the 1960s. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. This practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next and the emphasis on daily practice. It was one of the first yoga styles embraced by a large number of western students and had been very influential in the evolution of yoga in the past 30 years.
Baptiste Power Yoga:
Baron Baptiste is a power yoga innovator who studies many different styles of yoga, martial arts, and meditation before coming up with his own unique way of teaching yoga. His style is based on 5 Pillars: vinyasa, ujjayi pranayama, heat, uddiyana bandha and drishti. Classes, which are conducted in a heated room, are typically strong and sweaty. This type is only beginning to become popular in the UK and venues may be limited.
Based on the teachings of the yoga master B.K.S Iyengar, this style of yoga is all about bringing the body into its best possible alignment, often using such as yoga blankets, blocks, and straps to assist students as necessary. Iyengar practice usually emphasis holding poses over longer periods of time instead of moving quickly from one pose to the next (as in a flow class).
Bikram /Hot Yoga:
Hot yoga was pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, whose name became synonymous with yoga classes taught in a room heated to 95 to 100 degrees. The heat allows for the loosening of tight muscles and profuse sweating, which is thought to be cleansing. The Bikram method is a set series of 26 poses and the thought is no pains or aches the next day as your muscles would have been warmed up thoroughly.
The emphasis in Kundalini is on the breath in conjunction with physical movement, with the purpose of freeing energy in the lower body and allowing it to move upwards through all the chakras. All asana practices make use of controlling the breath, but in Kundalini the exploration of the effects of the breath (also called prana, meaning energy) on the postures is essential. Kundalini exercises are also called kriyas.
In the mid-1990s, several prominent teachers who were well-trained in traditional yoga were looking for ways to make flow yoga more accessible to more people. The resulting classes came to be known by the umbrella term of power yoga. Power yoga was initially heavily influenced by the intensity of Ashtanga but allowed for variation in the sequencing of poses at the discretion of the teacher. Contemporary power yoga classes are essentially vigorous vinyasa flow.
Restorative yoga uses props and its emphasis is on relaxing the body into poses over several minutes to enhance passive stretching by holding the poses for a time. Seated forward bends, gentle supine backbends, and twists are examples of the type of poses that can be adapted to be restorative with the addition of props like blankets and bolsters.
Yin Yoga is a practice developed by teacher Paul Grilley to stretch the body’s connective tissue, particularly around the joints. In order to do this, specific poses are helping over the course of several minutes. Grilley intended this practice to prepare the body to be able to sit in long meditation sessions and to act as a counterpoint to movement-oriented vigorous yang styles of yoga.
If you are unsure what type of yoga is best suited to you, ask at your local gym or yoga class and you will be pointed into the right direction. And if you are not sure you should be getting out your yoga mat just yet, just look at the benefits practising yoga can bring us!!! All 37 reasons why……….
1. Improves your flexibility
2. Builds muscle strength
3. Perfects your posture
4. Prevents cartilage and joint breakdown
5. Protects your spine
6. Betters your bone health
7. Increases your blood flow
8. Drains your lymphs and boosts immunity
9. Ups your heart rate
10. Drops your blood pressure
11. Regulates your adrenal glands
12. Makes you happier
13. Founds a healthy lifestyle
14. Lowers blood sugar
15. Helps you focus
16. Relaxes your system
17. Improves your balance
18. Maintains your nervous system
19. Releases tension in your limbs
20. Helps you sleep deeper
21. Boosts your immune system functionality
22. Gives your lungs room to breathe
23. Prevents IBS and other digestive problems
24. Gives you peace of mind
25. Increases your self-esteem.
26. Eases your pain
27. Gives you inner strength
28. Connects you with guidance
29. Helps keep you drug free
30. Builds awareness for transformation
31. Benefits your relationships
32. Uses sounds to soothe your sinuses
33. Guides your body’s healing in your mind’s eye
34. Keeps allergies and viruses at bay
35. Helps you serve others
36. Encourages self care
37. Supports your connective tissue