Yoga is a form of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual disciplines combined into one which originated in India over five thousand years ago. Its main purpose is to bring balance and unification of energy among those four aspects of human health. The word yoga is derived from the word “yuj” which is Sanskrit for unification or control. Those who practice yoga with diligence and mastery are called yogi or yogini. Yoga also consists of eight basic areas of practice which are namely the “pranayama” (art of breathing), “asanas” (body postures), “niyama” purification or cleansing exercises, “pratyahara” (abstraction), “yama” (abstentions), “dharana” (concentration), Dhyana (meditation or deep relaxation), and “samadhi” (liberation). These areas are also called the eight-limbed Yoga or also known as the Ashtanga Yoga.
Today, the practice of yoga has been incorporated in some exercise programs in the gym.
There are five types of yoga that are popular among dieters or individuals who just want to work on their overall wellness. These top five types are:
1) Ashtanga Yoga (Power Yoga) –
This is a kind of yoga that is best suited for those who are in good health condition as the routine exercises even for beginners are physically demanding. It would be much suitable for athletes or people who are already physically fit but just needs to sculpt their physique. It slightly focuses on meditation and it is more inclined to stamina, flexibility, and strength development. The exercises consists of an interplay of seating, standing, inversions, twisting, bending, and balancing while focusing on breath control. It is also necessary to do the Ashtanga Yoga routines in a warm room to avoid body strains.
2) Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga) –
This type has 26 alignment postures and 2 breathing exercises which are suitable for beginners. It originated in Los Angeles in the 1970’s by Bikram Choudhury and has to be done in a heated rood of 105 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 40%, hence the name hot yoga. It is aimed to improve breathing and blood circulation with two dynamics in mined which are extension and compression.
3) Hatha Yoga (Hatha Vigya) –
Another type of yoga that is suitable for beginners is the Hatha which was originated by Yogi Swatmarama in India in the 15th century. The exercises gently focus on holding postures or alignment while it also mostly integrates breathing or “Pranayama”. It targets muscle stretching and physical purification to achieve deep relaxation and meditation. Hatha also means sun (“ha”) and moon (“tha”) which promotes balance and so it is considered as a stress-reducing exercise.
4) Anusara Yoga –
This type was founded by John Friend and was based on Hatha Yoga and the Tantric philosophy. It still promotes alignment in all the postures with focus on the heart and spiritual meditation.
5) Inyegar Yoga –
This was originated by B.K.S. Inyegar and is the type of yoga that uses props which include blankets, belts, and blocks to hold postures and structural alignment. These are used to appropriately align the body and to minimize strains and the risk of injury.
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