Discover a Yoga Workout Perfect for You

 

When it comes to being healthy and fit, it’s not just about how much you weigh, how tight your muscles are, or how good you look on the outside. In fact to really attain optimal health and vibrant living you have to look the whole picture. A yoga workout can be a vital ingredient in that snapshot to really propel your health to the next level; it’s also the perfect place to begin getting fit.

 

A yoga workout was traditionally thought of as for only devout practitioners and those Yoga workoutwho meditate deeply and regularly. However, today the concept of what yoga truly is and who can benefit from it (everyone!) has changed. In fact yoga workouts have become so popular it’s now on just about every health club’s ‘menu’ of classes. There is also the new wave of yoga studios teaching only yoga exercise popping up everywhere.

 

If you’re wondering what yoga exercise can do for you there’s a lot to learn. Contrary to popular opinion a yoga workout isn’t just to de-stress and find your inner peace (although doing this daily can work wonders on your stress levels and daily feeling of calm) you can use different types of yoga workouts for to gain different types of benefits.

 

Let’s talk about a few of the most common types of yoga and the benefits of each. Once you know a bit more about the types of yoga workouts you can decipher the gym menus (or DVDs) and pick the one that’s best for you.

 

6 Common Types of Yoga Workouts

 

  1. Ashtanga and Power Yoga
  2. Bikram or Hot Yoga
  3. Hatha Yoga
  4. Iyengar Yoga
  5. Kundalin Yoga
  6. Vinyasa Yoga

 

Let’s briefly explore each.

 

1. Ashtanga and Power Yoga

 

Ashtanga is translated from Sanskrit to mean ‘eight limbs.’ Ashtanga yoga is a powerful type of yoga exercise emphasizing strength and flexibility. It is fast paced, moving from one pose (or posture) quickly to the next. The sets of poses are always performed in the same order and the series doesn’t change. This is one of the more physically demanding types of yoga exercises.

 

In fact this type of yoga is what inspired what is now known as Power Yoga. Power Yoga was ‘created’ by Beryl Bender Birch of New York and Bryan Kest of Los Angeles. Both had studied Ashtanga yoga extensively and were looking for a way to bring it more into the mainstream in the West.

 

While Power Yoga is also physically demanding and most appropriate for people who are already quite fit, it does not follow a set of the same poses as Ashtanga yoga does. Because of this it can vary greatly from one class and one instructor to the next.

 

2. Bikram or Hot Yoga

 

This type of yoga exercise usually referred to as Hot Yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury. In this practice there are twenty six sets of poses (not adhered to strictly) that are performed in a 95 to 100 degree room. This warmth allows the muscles to ‘warm up’ as well as promotes sweating which is thought to be very cleansing and an additional benefit.

 

3. Hatha Yoga

 

Hatha yoga generally is a broad term that includes many of the various types of yoga poses. This type of yoga class is generally the best for beginners because it follows a slower, gentler approach than the two previous mentioned types.

 

4. Iyengar Yoga

 

The emphasis with this type of yoga is alignment. Often encouraging the use of props such as blocks, blankets, and straps the focus is on holding poses for longer periods of time instead of ‘flowing’ quickly from one to the next. It is important to be in proper alignment to prevent injuries as well as relieve aches and pains.

 

5. Kundalin Yoga

 

This type of yoga exercise is often led by an instructor who also does chanting. The breath and its impact on the body are emphasized in this type of yoga. Practitioners focus on releasing the energy from the lower body and moving it upwards. This also uses poses that flow rather quickly from one to the next.

 

6. Vinyasa Yoga

 

This term, vinyasa, like hatha, is a general term to describe a number of yoga poses particularly the Sun Salutations. In this type of yoga exercise the breath is used in harmony with the movements and poses. This is a more intensive type of yoga exercise.

 

As you can see there are different types of yoga and each one can fulfill a different need. If you want to focus on alignment choose iyengar yoga, if you’re already fit consider Hot Yoga or vinyasa yoga. If you actively meditate or want to the more intensive mind body workout kundalin yoga may be best for you.

 

If you’re not sure and just want to check it out try a beginner’s class or one that is entitled hatha yoga. You can observe a class in action and simply join in if you want to do so.

 

 

 

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