Which style of yoga should I begin with?

All forms of Yoga have the same objective: to stimulate and raise the kundalini energy through the spine. Kundalini energy, which we all have, is located in the base of the spine. Through the practice of yoga, the techniques of breathing, and meditation, this energy is stimulated and begins to rise up the spine.

types-of-yoga

Aligned in the spine are the chakras, or energy centers. Each chakra has different qualities (see Chakras), and each one is necessary and important.  When the kundalini energy rises and begins to cross the different chakras, you will experience higher states of being.

Some forms of yoga accelerate this process more than others, but it also depends on the specific person, their attitude, their flexibility and so on.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is considered to be one of the fastest approaches for raising the kundalini energy. This is in part because all of the classes utilize pranayama (breathing techniques), asanas (positions), meditation and relaxation. This style of yoga is appropriate for all levels.

Kundalini yoga places a great deal of importance on healing. Many sets of yoga are dedicated to the different areas of the body such as the back, heart, liver, kidneys, etc. This style of yoga also influences our emotional side as it eases stress, opens the center of the heart, balances our emotions, combats insomnia, and so forth.

Kundalini Yoga is very musical and involves singing and the recitation of mantras. Music is used during the whole class.

White Tantric Yoga

The practice of White Tantric yoga for one week twice a year during the winter and summer solstices is said to be as powerful as seven years of continuous practice of yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a more energetic form of yoga. People who have played sports and are flexible and strong will enjoy this type of yoga quite a bit.  With this practice, one acquires great strength and flexibility.

My personal experience with Ashtanga Yoga is that at the beginning of the class the thoughts are many and constant, but as I start moving through the asanas the thoughts slowly start to decrease, and at the end of the class they are minimized or gone.

Meditation is not practiced at the end of an Ashtanga yoga class.  Patabbhi Jois says, “Don’t think, just practice”.

Power Yoga

Power yoga is very similar in practice to Ashtanga yoga. The main difference is that power yoga does not continue the traditional method taught by Pattabhi Jois. Instead, the order of the poses are varied and other poses are added, creating a style that might be described as a modern version of Ashtanga Yoga.

Bikram Yoga

Also known as “Hot Yoga”, Bikram yoga is practiced in a room that is heated to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating the room allows the muscles to relax and prevents muscle injury. In addition, practicing yoga at this temperature increases physical endurance.

The famous sun salutation is not practiced at the beginning of the class. This may be because the heat warms and opens the body.

There are two things that always caught my attention with Bikram classes. First was the incredible ability of the body to adapt to the high temperatures within two weeks of practice. Second was the fact that the class was almost entirely comprised of men, the reason for which I never knew.
Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a moderate form of yoga. It is appropriate for all levels. Almost all of the types of Yoga are derived from Hatha Yoga. The poses are all the same. The differences are in how long and how often the poses are practiced, whether or not there are rests between poses, if the room is heated, and so on.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga is another form of yoga that is appropriate for all levels. This type of yoga is known for its use of props, such as blocks, which help you to perform the poses.  It is a very precise form of yoga which specifically focuses on attaining an ideal alignment of the body.

Concentration and meditation are a part of Iyengar practice. There are also healing programs designed to address different areas of the body such as the lower back.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is an energetic yoga practice. Breathing plays an important role, and the movement from one pose to another is synchronized with the breathing. A typical class includes “sun salutation” followed by poses of a medium/intense level. This is a very energetic and dynamic yoga practice!

Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu yoga is a moderate practice of yoga appropriate for all levels. The classic poses of Hatha are used along with breathing exercises, or pranayama, to enter a “meditation in movement” state.

Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti yoga is an intensely physical form of yoga. Created by David Life & Sharon Gannon, it combines Ashtanga yoga by Pattabhi Jois with Vinyasa yoga. During practice, writings are studied and mantras are recited and sung. It is a very musical form of yoga.

Hope this infomation can help you.

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Bikram Choudhury

That’s the Bikram Choudhury shouting at you in one of his “Torture Chambers”. Bikram through experiment had learnt fifty years ago that the wrong way of doing any posture would not help you.

Bikram says, “If you follow my instruction and do my yoga postures Sequence to the best of your ability, you will live a better, healthier and more peaceful life.”

yoga images

Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury is the founder of the worldwide Yoga College of India™. Born in Calcutta in 1946, Bikram began Yoga at the age of four with India’s most-renowned physical culturist at that time, Bishnu Ghosh, the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda (Author of the most popular book on Yoga, The Autobiography of a Yogi, and founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship in Los Angeles).

Bikram practiced Yoga at least four to six hours every day at Ghosh’s College of Physical Education in Calcutta. At the age of thirteen, he won the National India Yoga Championship. He was undefeated for the following three years and retired as the undisputed All-India National Yoga Champion.

At seventeen, an injury to his knee during a weight-lifting accident brought the prediction from leading European doctors that he would never walk again. Not accepting their pronouncement, he had himself carried back to Bishnu Ghosh’s school, for he knew that if anyone could help to heal his knee, it was his teacher. Six months later, his knee had totally recovered. Ghosh was a celebrated physical culturist and the first to scientifically document Yoga’s ability to cure chronic physical ailments and heal the body.

Bikram later on devised the 26 postures sequence, which work irrespective of age groups. These 26 postures series has a profound healing power on your body and mind. He founded Bikram’s Yoga College of India. Bikram has shown the light of healthy life to millions of people around the world.

Bikram is the most respected living Yoga Guru in the world. He has written books on Bikram Yoga. Bikram is also singer.  His songs are really refreshing and have a soothing effect on the mind.

Bikram conducts workshops, lectures and seminars throughout the world. It’s a wonder to experience one of his classes. He will tell you where your weak point is while doing Bikram Yoga Posture. He will not stop until you come out at your best

According to Bikram “you will not get the intended benefits until it is done hundred percent correct”.

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The Benefits of Bikram Yoga

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Bikram is a very physical and intense form of yoga which, when combined with the hot temperatures, results in a tough workout. The heat not only replicates the temperature of India, yoga’s birthplace, it also helps to loosen the muscles and produce sweat which helps to cleanse the body of toxins. The asanas move fresh blood through the entire body and each organ, restoring health to the body’s system along with proper weight, muscle tone and a sense of well-being. With regular practice, Bikram yoga can help to remove chronic pain and disease symptoms from the body.

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The Benefits of Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga is also known as ‘Hot Yoga’ because it is performed in a room heated to 95 to 105 degrees. Developed by Bikram Choudhury, this style of yoga focuses on twenty-six postures, or asanas, which are performed in a set series that warms and stretches the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched. Each yoga pose is performed twice and then held for a specific amount of time. A typical Bikram yoga session begins in Standing Postures then moves to the Backbends, Forward Bends, and Twists. At the end of the class, a special breath called Kapalabhati Breath is performed.

bikram-yoga-poses Bikram is a very physical and intense form of yoga which, when combined with the hot temperatures, results in a tough workout. The heat not only replicates the temperature of India, yoga’s birthplace, it also helps to loosen the muscles and produce sweat which helps to cleanse the body of toxins. The asanas move fresh blood through the entire body and each organ, restoring health to the body’s system along with proper weight, muscle tone and a sense of well-being. With regular practice, Bikram yoga can help to remove chronic pain and disease symptoms from the body.

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The Coolest Aspects of Bikram Yoga

Some people jog miles and then back, others prefer to go to the gym and carry those crazily heavy equipment, or run the treadmill perhaps. Many are still hooked-up with the Tae-Bo culture of the late 90′s, while there are still a few who for the longest time continue to do the traditional aerobics (which my mom used to do by the way). For the past decades, different forms of exercises have been introduced to the public, and most I must say have been widely accepted well by the people, eventually embraced by the pop-culture. Perhaps, for something to become a trend, it has to be very cool. Among them is Bikram Yoga.

hot yoga It’s just another form of Yoga as what some people would say, but it seems to be getting much attention, and a public notice. Curious as I am, I did some research on Bikram Yoga, and I found out that this technique was actually already established early 1970′s. And as the reading research progressed, I realized that this workout regimen is actually indeed pretty cool! I wondered then why I’ve only just discovered this recently, when in fact this was made popular way before I was even born.

Though other exercise routines and innovations share the same health benefits, what makes this Yoga type exceptionally “cooler” that the others then?

Personally, I fancy the idea of having to workout in a hot environment, which is unique to Bikram Yoga. This means you get to easily perspire and palpably see your sweat literally dripping on the floor, like as if you see your toxins flushing out of your system like a river. But more importantly, the heat was for the purpose of aiding you to go deeper and safer into a particular Yoga Pose, or an Asana pose. In turn, it replenishes health to every muscle and joint, and stimulates increase of circulation to all organs in the body. If celebrities and athletes have subscribed to Bikram, and are loyal clienteles of the technique, then it really must be effective and real.

What’s cool as well with this method is that you get to flex your body into different poses you never believed you can do. Aside from exercising on a physically motivating atmosphere along with other sweating enthusiasts, the 26 Bikram Yoga set postures are relatively challenging as well, stretching in different forms and directions, yet still fun to perform. One might look really awkward at start, posing on difficult and funny positions, but that makes it all the more amusing since this is something more diverse compared to the other exercise disciplines.

Bikram Yoga might be very physically demanding, but seems worth the effort. After all, this discipline came from the same culture who introduced us Kama Sutra.

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The Attraction of Hot Yoga

Hot yoga studios have recently begun springing up all over the world. This recent trend in yoga might seem puzzling to some who suffer through humid summers and working outdoors, but practitioners swear by it. The idea behind yoga in a heated room is that the body is more flexible when it is already warm, an idea substantiated by the millions of athletes who begin their practices or games by warming up. Bikram style is a form of hot yoga, gets a jump on warm-ups by heating the room to 105 degrees Fahrenheit and infusing it with 40 percent humidity. Some practitioners liken the experience to practicing asana in a sauna.

Why is it Popular?

If merely reading about heated yoga leaves you cringing and sweating, you might be wondering why people do it. Bikram yoga is one of the most popular forms of yoga in a heated space and one of the most specialized, and practitioners love it for many reasons.

First, Bikram proposes that a heated asana practice changes the body from the inside out and that practicing in the heat does a number of things for the physical body including opening pores, thinning blood, and allowing muscles to work under optimum conditions.

Second, most hot yoga practitioners leave a session feeling more flexible and relaxed, attributing this experience to the increased heat and moisture in the room.

Third, Bikram yoga practices the same 26 poses and two breathing exercises. According to Bikram, these postures sequenced correctly work every single part of the body. As a result, practitioners can be confident that the asana sequence they do in each class addresses their bodies’ needs.

Fourth, because the body has to work harder in the heat and humidity, a person derives greater cardiovascular benefits from practicing yoga in a warm room than he or she would from practicing hatha or vinyasa in air-conditioned studios.

Tips for Preparing for a Hot Yoga Class

For many, the heat of a Bikram yoga class can be overbearing, so be sure to wear proper clothing. Sweat-wicking material is best because of how much you will sweat.

You should bring a full-size towel along with your yoga mat to class with you. Sweatbands will also be useful.

Eat a light meal a few hours before class begins and be sure to hydrate with lots of water. You can avoid sugary sports drinks aimed at re-hydration if you drink water throughout the day, both before and after your yoga session.

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The Amazing Physical and Mental Bikram Yoga Benefits

The practice of yoga in the United States today has become quite popular. It is regarded by most as a physical practice or sport that leaves the body more flexible and strong, however, yoga is much more than a sport.

yoga images Yoga was first conceived nearly 5,000 years ago in India by the sage Patanjali. Yoga literally means “yoke”, which is interpreted as uniting or joining and alludes to the ultimate goal of the process which involves uniting the mind, body and spirit as one. Bikram Yoga is a highly popular form of the art that involves practicing a series of postures in a heated room. Bikram yoga benefits are numerous and extend beyond the mere elongation and strengthening of the muscles.

Bikram Yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury and became popular in the early 1970′s. The practice combines a regiment of 26 yogic postures, two pranayama breathing techniques and the use of a heated space. The room is heated to 105 degrees F for the practice, which helps facilitate the relaxation of the muscles as well as the body’s production of perspiration.

The primary benefit of Bikram Yoga is the improvement of blood circulation which is accomplished through several techniques. The yogic postures performed throughout the session are designed to restrict and increase blood flow to specific parts of the body. The restriction of blood vessels while holding postures is said to actually increase the blood flow in that same area because the blood rushes back more quickly to the area when the posture is released.

Combining this technique with breathing exercises that increase the amount of oxygen in the blood allows the blood to become highly oxygenated which deeply nourishes all the body’s tissues. By practicing the postures in a heated environment the blood is circulated even faster as the body works hard to cool down, thus providing a benefit even if the postures are not performed with perfect execution. Bikram Yoga benefits not only the muscles, lungs and circulatory system but it also has a positive effect on the overall wellbeing of the practitioner.

Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years by men and women seeking a more enlightened consciousness and state of being. It is only very recently that the art has been used as a fitness tool. While the physical benefits of Bikram Yoga are indisputable, the effect on the mind of the practitioner should not be overlooked.

The practice of yoga demands that the practitioner has a focused mind. In fact, yoga is really a form of meditation that involves the body. When the mind is focused, calm, and cantered, the postures can be performed with more precision and the practitioner can experience a firm and deep posture. The more focused the mind becomes the more effective the postures are and vice versa. This process of using the power of the mind to discipline the body is said to be one of the keys to reaching higher consciousness.

While Bikram yoga benefits the body, studies show that it also benefits the mind of the practitioner leading to a more relaxed and tranquil feeling and an overall enhanced lifestyle.

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The Amazing Benefits Of Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga, the hot yoga that has become increasingly popular since the 1970′s, was designed by a man name Bikram Choudhury. It is a 90 minute yoga session which involves 26 different positions and 2 breathing exercises. It is performed in a room that has been heated to 105°F and has a humidity level around 40%. The use of the heated room is to help prevent injury, and deepen the stretching ability as well as reducing stress and tension. The goal of this form of yoga is weight loss and calorie burning, which has been estimated at 500-1250 depending on the person, the intensity of the workout, and other related factors.

bikram yoga So why should anyone perform a yoga workout in a heated room? What are the benefits of Bikram yoga? If someone gets a cramp, they stretch it, or put heat on it. Instead, performing that stretching in a heated room does everything needed while helping to cleanse the body and relax the mind. When someone is stressed, tense, or just wound up, people suggest yoga. When someone is achy and sore, people suggest a hot bath, or a sauna. Bikram yoga combines the stretching, calming effect of yoga, with the warmth and relaxation of a sauna.

If you are the type of person, who wants to work out, but does not like running on a treadmill or lifting weights, Bikram yoga is the perfect solution. It provides the stretching needed to help the body, it can provide the calming effects of traditional yoga, while simultaneously getting the heart pumping and the body burning calories. Bikram yoga can give you the mental and physical stimulation needed to make any changes in your life that you deem necessary. It can reshape the body, cleanse the mind, improve balance and coordination, reduce risks of sports injuries and the effects of stress, and tone and strengthen the body’s muscles.

The heated room can help with detoxing the body and allows the body to stretch without causing injury to the muscles. The various poses can enhance the functioning of the skeletal, muscular, and circulatory systems. Everyone wants to lose weight, whether it’s 5 pounds or more, Bikram yoga is a multi functional workout, and great for everyone.

Bikram yoga is the perfect workout for someone who has a stressful job, stressful home life, or just wants something fun to do, that benefits their mind and body. It is not the same repetitive workout of running on a treadmill or the strenuous activity of lifting weights. Not only does it help with any physical ailment affecting someone, it can support the body in any healing endeavors it needs to overcome the illness. Give Bikram yoga a try, see how it can benefit you in any mental, physical, or emotional endeavor you are about to embark on.

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The 3 Most Popular Types of Yoga

There are many styles and types of yoga classes available, ranging from physically demanding lessons, such as Ashtanga Yoga to gentle flowing restorative types such as, Anusrara Yoga.

Here, we look at three popular styles – Sivananda, Iygenar and Bikram Yoga.

yoga What Does Yoga Mean?

The word ‘yoga’ originates from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means to yoke, union, join together. Traditionally “yoga” was seen as a way to achieve balance -physical and spiritual in your life.

What Is Yoga?

A typical class consists of various exercises and techniques which encourages you to release stress and tension from your body and promotes a sense of inner calm and wholeness to your spirit. Most classes consists of a series of yoga exercises known as “asanas”, breathing exercises, known as pranayama, relaxation techniques and in some classes, meditation and chanting.

What Are The Different Types Of Yoga?

Traditionally, there is only one “type” of yoga which is hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is the generic term, however within this broad term there exists variations of styles and schools of yoga. “Hatha”, a Sanskrit word, means the joining of the moon and sun. “Ha” represents the sun or active masculine principle and “tha” refers to the moon or receptive female principle. This union, creation of balance between the inner and outer, strenuous and restorative aspects of our body underpins all types of yoga

Three Popular Types of Yoga

As previously mentioned, in this article we look at three popular types of yoga, Sivananda, Iygenar and Bikram Yoga.

1. Sivananda Yoga

Sivananda Yoga is considered one of the more traditional forms of yoga and is generally regarded as a gentle to moderate practice with emphasis on the more spiritual side of yoga.

Founded by Swami Sivananda (1887-1963), Sivananda Yoga consists of the Sun Salutation, breathing exercises, chanting and twelve core yoga poses. The teachings are based on five key precepts which Swami Sivananda believe improves your physical health and emotional wellbeing. These five key teachings are proper exercise (yoga) proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet (vegetarianism) and positive thinking and meditation.

2. Iygenar Yoga

Iygenar Yoga was founded by Sri B.K.S. Iygenar (b.1918) and is a very popular style practiced in the West. In Iygenar Yoga emphasis is placed on the anatomy and postural/structural alignment of the body in the poses. Props (such as sandbags, straps, blocks and chair) are also used to support you in the pose. Sri Iygenar wrote the classical book “Light in Yoga”.

3. Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga has to be the most well-known type of yoga practiced today. Founded by Bikram Choudhury (b. 1946), Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Classes are 90 minutes long and consist of a series of 26 poses, starting from Standing poses, Backbends, Forward Bends and Twists and two breathing exercises.

To close, although there are many types of yoga, all schools comes under the generic term of “hatha yoga”. Regardless of which type you practice – Sivanada, Iygenar or Bikram the goal is the same, to improve your health and achieve a sense of inner harmony and balance.

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My Sweaty Adventure With Bikram Yoga

“Breathe deeply, suck in your stomach and twist, twist, twist”, said Yuri, in her Brazilian accent. Her perfectly fit and flexible body testified of the benefits of this torture. Sweat dripped off my body to the towel below, preventing my yoga mat from becoming a slip and side. Yes, I do Yoga. Better yet, I’m learning to survive it.

camelsquare Several weeks ago I signed up to take a Bikram Yoga class, or Hot Yoga. I’ve attended a class or two in the past but decided to jump in and take advantage of a summer special. To be honest, it’s a rather miserable experience. A friend that I dragged with me the first day refused to come back. However, after tackling the recommended one class a day for 5 days to push through the learning curve, I **gasp** discovered that I liked it.

I also discovered that mostly fit people do Yoga. “Why is that?” I wondered in class one day. As I stared at my reflection in the mirror I tried to look past the red face, matted wet hair and jiggly belly to visualize my potential. Perhaps the 105 degree temperature and 40% humidity literally melts the fat off people. Or maybe its the thunderous beating of my heart by just standing in the heated room that helps to burn calories. Whatever the reason, it works. Within a week or two I feel so much better.

One thing for certain is the need to hydrate before the class starts. Newbies often nurse on a water bottle kept within arms reach. I did too. Instructors recommend not drinking water at all until after warming up. Then the entire class takes the first drink of water together. I learned the secret of staying hydrated several weeks later. While toweling off after a workout a woman next to me said, “the secret is to chug 2 large classes of water 20 minutes before class. And, if you’ve timed it correctly, you shouldn’t feel compelled to empty your bladder during class either.”

One more important tip is to wear as little clothing as possible. This can be a little intimidating. If you’re dealing with extra weight around the hips or tummy find a loose t-shirt and go for it. However, be aware that within a short time all clothing is soaked and stuck like glue to your body.

In the meantime, my adventures in Hot Yoga continue. I’ve discovered that after years of neglect I have biceps. And although my muscular body is still well padded, I will be learning to focus, relax and meditate myself into better health. Namaste.”

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