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Most Popular Types of Yoga

7 most popular types of yoga

 

Differet Types of Yoga

The different types of yoga have helped contribute to its sustained popularity over thousands of years. With so many ways to practice this ancient form of exercise, there’s something for everyone. We’ve focused on seven types of 7 most popular types of yogayoga that are widely available to help you find one that works […]

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Hatha Yoga

It’s important to begin here because Hatha yoga is, strictly speaking, an umbrella term that means ‘discipline of force’. In other words, any type of yoga that teaches physical postures is technically Hatha. However, in reality, when you see a class advertised as ‘Hatha’, it’ll likely be a gentle, slower style using basic poses that are suitable for beginners.

When and where Hatha yoga first appeared are debated, but it aimed to use mastery of the body to help you reach spiritual perfection. It’s still often defined as including poses or postures (known as asanas), breath–work (pranayama), and meditation in various combinations, and, as with many commercial yoga classes, you’re likely to have more of a physical workout than a spiritual experience in class.

Yoga in general is thought to help improve flexibility, range of motion and strength, as well as helping reduce stress. Indeed, in a meta-analysis of studies published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Medicine in 2017, results showed that Hatha yoga is “a promising method for treating anxiety”. In short, it’s a great choice for those who are new to yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga is an athletic and challenging style of yoga that follows a set sequence. This type of yoga was taught and popularized in the mid 1900s by Indian yoga guru, K. Pattabhi Jois. It’s actually a form of Vinyasa yoga, with ‘Vinyasa’ referring to the flowing movement of linking one pose to another.

Ashtanga follows the same six series of specific asanas that flow into each other accompanied by synchronized breath–work. It’s a physically demanding technique that has been said to improve the body’s endurance and flexibility. It also potentially has mindfulness benefits due to the need to be present while moving through the challenging sequences.

A study published in 2016 in the journal Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked into the benefits of yoga for weight loss and suggested a positive effect for both number of calories burned and participants reporting a reduction in stress and food cravings as well as improved mood and self-esteem, and since Ashtanga is more physically demanding than some other types of yoga, it could be a good one to try if weight management is important to you.

Ashtanga is often confused with power yoga, which is similarly athletic but does not follow a set pattern. Teachers often like to design their own vinyasa flow routines in order to increase the challenge and give advanced students a more demanding practice.

Kundalini Yoga

Thought to date back to around 1000 BC, Kundalini yoga was first brought to the US by Yogi Bhajan in the 1970s, though its exact origins are unknown. It combines movement, breath and sound in the form of chanting or song.

Kundalini is designed to activate your spiritual energy known as shakti, located at the base of the spine. A typical class begins with an opening chant followed by a series of postures with breathing techniques before closing with meditation or song.

The idea is that through the practice of Kundalini yoga we can send energy upwards from the base of our spine and out the top of our head, stimulating our chakras (energy centers) on the way to provide a number of health benefits such as improved mood, greater focus, lower blood pressure, balanced metabolism, and improved strength. Do you struggle to sleep well? In a study cited by Harvard Medical School, participants were sleeping an average of 36 minutes longer per night after eight weeks of practicing Kundalini yoga