Breaking Down Yoga
What type of yoga is right for you?
Yoga is one of the most popular exercise choices out there. Yoga has many benefits to your body. Improved flexibility is the first thing that people think of in association with Yoga. Yoga can also improve your overall strength, posture, cardiovascular strength, stress, focus and many more benefits.
Many fitness facilities and studios offer a wide variety of Yoga classes that are not all the same. It is important to try out the different types of Yoga to see if one fits you better.
Hatha Yoga – Hatha is a more emphasized stretching form of Yoga. This class is usually great for beginners as it is slower, more deliberate and focuses on breathing and light meditation. This is a good place to learn basic poses, relaxation techniques, and become comfortable with yoga.
Vinyasa Yoga or "Vinny Yoga" or "Yoga Flow" – This is one of the more common types of yoga. Vinyasa focuses on your breathing in order to dictate your movement. The instructor helps you transition from pose to pose by using the inhale and exhale techniques. Vinyasa offers more diversity and freedom with poses and is popular choice in many health clubs.
Anusara Yoga – This type of yoga is heavier on the mind, body, and spirit connection. It also allows you to use extra exercise tools like yoga blocks to help enhance your movements. It takes "flow yoga" and advances it further.
Ashtanga Yoga – This is a more athletic form of yoga that often attracts athletes who like movement over meditation. Ashtanga is a yoga that allows for more freedom in a class as opposed to others.
Bikram Yoga or "Heat/Hot Yoga"- This is an intense yoga class that will make you sweat. The temperature in the room is in the 90's and can get up to 100 degrees at times. This is an advanced class that will help your muscles relax and increase flexibility as well as perspiration. Bikram yoga is usually a longer 90 minute class.
Some of the other more common types of Yoga are Kundalini , Kripalu, and Power Yoga.
Pre-natal Yoga is also a very popular class for women who are pregnant. This type of yoga can help relieve stress in the body and mind that often accompanies pregnancy. The poses are altered due to the inability of women to exercise on their backs further along in their pregnancy. Many YMCAs and community centers offer this class in eight week cycles.