Confused by the different types of yoga? Don't worry - our handy guide will make everything clear for you! The various types of yoga offered at classes in the UK tend to vary in intensity and spirituality.
Some are much harder, more vigorous workouts, while others are more contemplative, aimed more at spiritual development than physical.
Different types of yoga include:
Ayurvedic yoga combines Asanas (physical exercises and postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques) and meditation. Asanas strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and lead to a wonderful feeling of rejuvenation. The aim of Ayurvedic Yoga is to bring natural order and balance to our neuro-hormones and metabolism. Adherents see this as a natural way to treat stress and stress-related disorders.
This particular discipline involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures. The result is intense internal heat and profuse sweating, which detoxifies both the muscles and the organs. Adherents of Ashtanga yoga, which is the most vigorous form practised, claim that the results include improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.
Meditation yoga (also known as Sahaja Yoga) was developed by Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi, and aims to awaken a dormant energy, known as the Kundalini, located at the base of the spine. Meditation yoga very much emphasises the spiritual aspects of the practice.
Hatha yoga is the most commonly practised form in the west, its combination of Asanas, Pranayama and meditation providing a balanced approach to physical and mental health.
Iyengar yoga is characterised by specific techniques, including:
- Very precise alignment in the execution of the postures (Asanas)
- Sequencing Asanas towards a desired result
- Holding the Asanas for a precise length of time
- Using props to help a student gain the maximum benefit from each asana
Kundalini Yoga incorporates a number of elements, including;
This is a potent and effective system of self-transformation and personal development. Regular practice will help you to develop a healthy body, a balanced mind, and open the door to your full potential.
- Breathing techniques (Pranayama)
- Postures (Asanas)
- Chanting (mantra)
Bikram Yoga is a unique series of 26 traditional Hatha Yoga postures and 2 breathing exercises, all performed in a heated room. The entire workout takes approximately 90 minutes, and will leave you with a feeling of vibrant good health and well being.
For pregnant women, prenatal yoga is an excellent way to stay in shape and prepare for the rigours of both pregnancy and childbirth. The stretching and strengthening work is of great preparation for labour, with exercises which can be safely practices in all three trimesters of pregnancy.