Yoga is quickly becoming one of the most popular fitness activities in the world and it’s not a surprise. Yoga is a great way to maintain your physical, mental, and spiritual health. While there are several types of yoga in existence today, western society generally focuses on three types. These types of yoga are generally the ones that you will find in wellness centers, gyms, and other places that focus on physical, mental, and spiritual well being. Below you will find these three types of yoga listed by degree of complexity, starting with the easiest and ending with the more complicated. Decide which type of best for you and start there. Eventually you will be able to work your way to more complicated yoga traditions.
The best place to start is obviously the beginning which makes Hatha yoga the most popular place to begin your yoga experience. Hatha yoga is the most basic form of yoga and acts as a foundation for the more complex types that you may encounter if you delve deeper into the world of yoga wellness. Hatha yoga incorporates postures or poses (Asanas), breathing regulation(Pranayama), and meditation (Dhyana and Dharana). The combination of these focus points results in an excellent way to maintain your physical health while working to eliminate or cope with everyday stress. As you progress through Hatha yoga your goal should be to execute positions in a slow, serious, graceful, and meaningful manner. The overall effect of this type of yoga should be to relax, therefore, it’s not necessary to overexert or physically exhaust yourself during your session.
Ashtanga Yoga is a more challenging type of yoga and is meant for those who are experienced in yoga practices. While Hatha yoga focuses on relaxing the body through a combination of poses, breathing, and reflection, Ashtanga yoga focuses on raising the heart rate and is ultimately more physically challenging. Ashtanga yoga is achieved by combining synchronized breathing with a succession of physically taxing poses or postures. These things combined raise the internal temperature of your body causing you to sweat. If is believe that this sweat cleanses your organs and muscles while improving your flexibility, circulation, and stamina.
Power yoga is basically the westernized version of Ashtanga Yoga. While the general concept is the same, the session is accompanied by physically demanding activities not generally associated with yoga practices. For example, it is very common to find push-ups, toe touches, and various other forms of aerobic movement during Power Yoga sessions. Because of the heavy influence of aerobics, power yoga is a lot similar to a well choreographed exercise routine with one movement leading into the next and so on. It the most simplistic terms, power yoga is a combination of yoga and aerobic exercises resulting in a form of yoga that is physically demanding workout more so than a relaxing slow paced experience.
What You Should Know Yoga is a personal journey. Regardless of what type of yoga you choose, it’s important to work at your own pace. The goal of the experience is to improve your physical, mental, and spiritual health. This cannot be achieved if you are in pain, feel inadequate, or are pushing yourself too far too fast.It is a general rule to attend yoga in a empty of almost empty stomach. You will feel better partaking in the yoga experience with only juice, tea, or coffee in your stomach. Anything extra may result in the inability to fully execute postures.Yoga requires a lot of movement and therefore you should always wear loose fitting clothing that allows you complete flexibility. There are several clothing lines that make apparel for yoga, but a jogging suit or leggings and a t-shirt will work just fine. While you may choose to wear socks to your to your class, it’s generally advised that you don’t wear them during your session. Some postures require a great deal of balance and socks can cause you to slip and lose traction while executing your poses. As with any exercise regime it’s recommended you don’t’ wear jewelry and that you tie long hair back.
If you experience any medical problems that may prevent you from benefiting from the yoga experience you may want to speak to your physician before attending classes.