Know the Different Yoga Styles that Meet Your Requirements

In recent decades, the basic yoga styles have expanded and branched out to create more styles that would make it hard for a beginner to know what these are for. Intermediate and advanced yogis would already be acquainted with the traditional yoga styles like Ashtanga, Lyengar and Shivananda. But newer styles like Viniyoga or Tri-yoga would baffle most as to which are for fitness and which would focus on spirituality. Being informed on which style serves fitness needs or spirituality is going to be useful.

Hatha Yoga is the ‘mother of all’ yoga styles since current styles have evolved from this. Simultaneously, it is performed by a combination of the asanas with breathing exercises and cleansing practices (pranayama and shatkriyas) and meditation and deep relaxation. Traditionally, the stances are maintained for long periods and within a meditative ambiance.

Anusara Yoga highlights an attitude that upholds life and in adjustment to the heart. This style has the belief in the proper alignment and beneficial results of the asanas to be boosted by a joyful and sensitive performance.

Ashtanga-Vinyasa is a dynamic and forceful style emphasizing breathing techniques, composed of six particular strings of poses with some elements of movement by which each pose progresses from the stationary traditional poses.

Bikram Yoga is made of a series of 24 positions and two pranayamas or breathing techniques intended to improve strength, balance and flexibility. This style differs from others with its requirement to be performed in a room heated as high as 40 degrees Celsius, in order to produce more sweat to rid the body of toxins. Thus, the term 'Hot Yoga' became the common identification for this style.

Integral Yoga, from its term, integrates the asanas, breathing styles, meditation and deep relaxation into one complete procedure with a spiritual bent.

Iyengar Yoga is among the popular and widespread styles, known for wide usage of props like belts, chairs, blocks and attention to detail and centralizing on proper alignment. Beginners are introduced to this style with specific instructions and fundamental knowledge on health advantages from it.

Jivamukti Yoga comes from the Sanskrit definition of jivamukti, “liberation of the soul.” A spiritually-oriented and more traditional style, jivamukti is done with particular series of asanas that are maintained for a long time, connected to each other in a vibrant and smooth way. Vegetarianism and awareness of the environment are promoted attitudes.Kripalu Yoga, or its alternative term, Amrit Yoga is a mutually healing and mystical style. A gentle practice, its goal is to calm the mind and develop an attitude of open acceptance of the self and one’s performance.

On the contrary, Kundalini Yoga is energetic and strong, aiming to stir the force of the serpent Kundalini, found at the base of the spinal column. Asanas are maintained for long periods and accentuating breathing.

Power Yoga is an easy, vibrant and accurate adaptation of Ashtanga. Its objective is to cultivate stamina, vigour and health. It’s said to be ‘about feeling good, not just looking good.’

Sivananda Yoga brings together the principles of exercise (asana), breathing (pranayama), relaxation (savasana), vegetarian lifestyle and meditation.

TriYoga is an integration of asanas, pranayama and mudras (sacred hand gestures) with flowing asana sequences.

Viniyoga is among the curative styles, centered on synching breathing and movements. The asanas, which are maintained for long periods, are also adjusted to the practitioner’s age and health status.

Vinyasa Flow is done with short-term asanas that are connected in a particular smooth movement that is combined with breathing. These ‘flows’ are designed for better vitality and flexibility, putting the mind at rest and creating spiritual awareness and healing. Ashtanga-Vinyasa styles are the origin of this newer style.

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