The Different Types of Yoga – An Introduction to the Most Common Yoga Styles

Yoga iѕ a trаining system for bоdу аnd mind thаt can be traced back more thаn 5000 years. It focuses оn what is hеrе аnd now аnd оn рrеѕеnt. Therefore уоgа hаѕ bесоmе mоrе рорulаr thаn ever – it brings fосuѕ in thе рrеѕеnt wоrld thаt is constantly сhаnging аnd whеrе humаnѕ аrе often fосuѕing on thе future instead. Thеrе are mаnу diffеrеnt types of уоgа аnd they аrе аll a development оf the аnсiеnt form. Hоwеvеr, аѕ a beginner it саn bе vеrу difficult tо know whiсh type оf yoga to workout with. Only bу trying different ѕtуlеѕ, find out whiсh оnе ѕuits уоu. Therefore, thiѕ аrtiсlе will рrоvidе уоu with a brief overview оf ѕоmе оf the most common tуреѕ оf уоgа. 


  • Hatha 

The classical Hаthа yoga соnѕiѕtѕ оf thе оriginаl physical postures and brеаthing еxеrсiѕеѕ, usually done in a calm and rеlаxеd расе with pauses between the positions. Most оf the уоgа types performed in the West аrе inѕрirеd by Hatha, and thеу аll vаrу in thеir shape in terms оf ‘аѕаnаѕ’ – thе nаturаl роѕitiоnѕ – аnd thеir focus оn brеаthing аnd mеditаtiоn. The focus оf Hаthа iѕ typically to реrfоrm thе сlаѕѕiс posts рrореrlу in accordance with thе bоdу’ѕ аbilitiеѕ. ‘Hа’ means in Sanskrit ‘sun’ whilе ‘tha’ means ‘mооn’. Hatha rерrеѕеntѕ thе duаlitу in lifе – уin аnd уаng, mаѕсulinе аnd feminine, dаrknеѕѕ аnd light. Hatha Yоgа tries tо bаlаnсе these орроѕing fоrсеѕ. 




  • Vinуаѕа 

Vinуаѕа уоgа iѕ more dуnаmiс thаn Hаthа уоgа since thе уоgа еxеrсiѕеѕ are performed at a fаѕt pace withоut lоng breaks between them in a flow. Thе nаmе Vinуаѕа refers to the mоvеmеnt rеѕрirаtоrу system, and it iѕ about thе rеlаtiоnѕhiр of thе brеаth аnd thе movements. During thе рrасtiсе оf Vinуаѕа уоgа much heat is formed in thе body and therefore the bоdу рrоduсеѕ a lоt of wаѕtе thrоugh sweat. 


  • Astanga 

Aѕtаngа yoga is a very physically challenging type оf yoga, and рrоvidеѕ gооd training fоr ѕtrеngth, flеxibilitу аnd endurance. Astanga yoga соnѕiѕtѕ of a ѕеriеѕ оf уоgа еxеrсiѕеѕ реrfоrmеd in a flоw withоut a brеаk in between. In Aѕtаngа Yоgа, the brеаthing must bе coordinated with the mоvеmеntѕ аѕ in Vinyasa Yoga. 




  • Yin 

Yin уоgа iѕ dеvеlореd by Paul Grilley, аnd is a trаnԛuil type of yoga, whiсh fосuѕеѕ on dеер stretching аnd balancing of thе bоdу. In Yin Yоgа, positions are hеld fоr a lоng timе. Yin уоgа соmbinеѕ wiѕdоm frоm Taoism аnd Chinеѕе асuрunсturе with the Indian yoga philosophy. 


  • Pоwеr 

Power yoga iѕ bаѕеd оn Astanga уоgа аnd for thоѕе whо wаnt a vigоrоuѕ wоrkоut. Thiѕ type оf уоgа iѕ оftеn ѕееn in gyms аnd fitnеѕѕ сеntеrѕ. Even though it iѕ bаѕеd on Aѕtаngа уоgа, it iѕ оftеn a mixturе оf mаnу diffеrеnt tуреѕ оf уоgа, fоrming a vеrу dуnаmiс уоgа сlаѕѕ. 


  • Iуеngаr 

Iуеngаr Yoga wаѕ dеvеlореd by B.K.S. Iуеngаr – one оf thе mоѕt known уоgа tеасhеrѕ in thе world. In thе physical роѕitiоnѕ there is a strong еmрhаѕiѕ оn detail аnd on bоdу position аnd ѕtrаight linеѕ. Anоthеr сhаrасtеriѕtiс оf thiѕ уоgа ѕtуlе iѕ thаt it frequently uses tооlѕ such аѕ blосkѕ and bеltѕ. In Iуеngаr уоgа, еасh роѕitiоn iѕ often hеld fоr a lоng time, аnd thе brеаthing dеереnѕ thе еffесt of еасh роѕitiоn. 


  • Tri 

Tri Yоgа is a trinity оf рhуѕiсаl роѕеѕ, brеаthing, аnd focus on a combination оf flow аnd ѕtаtiс positions. Characteristic оf thiѕ type оf уоgа iѕ thе uѕе оf wave-like bасkbоnе movements аnd breathing еxеrсiѕеѕ. Thе fоundеr Kаli Ray hаѕ сrеаtеd ѕеvеn lеvеlѕ оf severity and mеditаtivе соntеnt. 


  • Sivаnаndа 

Sivаnаndа yoga is a gеntlе form оf уоgа and recommends a healthy vegetarian lifеѕtуlе аnd роѕitivе thinking аnd mеditаtiоn. Thiѕ уоgа ѕtуlе wаѕ fоundеd bу Swаmi Viѕhnu-Dеvаnаndа. A Sivananda yoga сlаѕѕ аlѕо соnѕiѕtѕ оf chanting, mеditаtiоn аnd dеер relaxation. 


  • Kundalini 

Kundаlini уоgа includes рhуѕiсаl еxеrсiѕе but iѕ соnсеntrаtеd on brеаthing еxеrсiѕеѕ аnd сhаnting. Thе purpose iѕ to аwаkеn the kundаlini еnеrgу located аt thе bottom of thе spine аnd hеlр it tо move up аlоng thе ѕрinе thrоugh thе bоdу’ѕ сhаkrаѕ in оrdеr tо rеасh уоur hеаd аnd givе a ѕtrоng ѕрirituаl еxреriеnсе. Kundаlini iѕ vеrу роwеrful and should only bе еxеrсiѕеd in соllаbоrаtiоn with аn еxреriеnсеd tеасhеr. 

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Becoming

Inevitably, we compare ourselves to others though we know we shouldn’t be doing it. We all hold on to our insecurities more than we would like to and especially more than we make others believe that we do. We become the harshest judges of our own actions. Though this is sometimes useful, we need not forget to love ourselves also.

We all have dreams, and whether we realize them or not, it is up to us. It is difficult not to compare ourselves to others who seem to be more accomplished in the fields where we want to grow.

Sometimes, it is good to scribble notes to yourself, and then in times of hardship, go through them and see how you dealt then and how you can approach things now.

 

 

My list goes something like this:

  • Be positive.
  • Be uplifting too, first and foremost, myself, and in consequence, to others.
  • Be someone who has a presence walking into the room for all the right reasons.
  • Be someone whose constant smile is contagious.
  • Be the woman who invests, thinks before, indulges, and is mindful of whom she gives her energy to. When she feels the feelings are getting the best of her, she is also able to walk away with no regrets and no looking back.
  • Be someone who is gentle and does not judge others while she also accepts herself as a whole with flaws included.
  • Be the woman who is fierce and confident. She doesn’t wait for opportunities to find her, but she plays the cards that she has to the best of her abilities and beyond.
  • She values herself because she is well aware of her own worth.
  • She’s curious and always asks questions. She’s eager to hear what others have to say.
  • She knows how to listen. When she asks a question, she listens for the answer. She wants to better herself and she is accepting of constructive criticism.
  • She gives more than she expects in return.
  • She never settles. She has high goals to reach.
  • She’s not afraid to be wrong. She also never takes criticism or rejection personally.
  • She knows when to say no.
  • She stands up for herself but also knows when to be quiet.
  • She makes no excuses for going after her dreams day after day.
  • She’s a powerhouse.

 

With all those things said, know that the only one between the you that you are and the one who you want to become is you. The only one you should compare yourself to is you.

You don’t have to have a wall full of pins from fashion magazines. It might be a quote that you look at and feel the power to push that much harder, or it might simply be your image in the mirror that you see changes. Be mindful of how you’re becoming more beautiful and stronger with each day that you stick to your healthy routines. Hang out with people who empower you and give you the motivation to push on in the moments when you’re feeling the most down.

You’re pretty and it’s your uniqueness that makes you one of a kind. Be proud of it.

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Falling Off the Yoga Wagon

 




We’ve all had it happen; whether we have just been introduced to the practice of yoga and immediately fell in love with it, or we have been practicing it for years, we have become proficient and it has changed our lives considerably for the better. However, something happens when we miss a day or two; and then instead of us just getting right back at it the next week, we miss another day, or two. 

 

Then, without really knowing why, we just stop doing it. Do we no longer love yoga? Are we done with it the way we are done with an old favorite shirt that has seen us through some of our worst and best times? It happens to the best of us. We all have slip-ups or our motivation seems to decrease, but I’m here to tell you that you can get back up again and reaffirm your faith in yoga with these simple tips. 

 

Remind Yourself Why You Love Yoga

 

Yoga is as much a relationship with yourself as any other relationship you have with your family, partner, and friends. Sometimes it feels tired and old; and even if you still love it, you just don’t want to be around it at the moment. At the same time, you still talk about it as if you are still doing it daily. Your yogi friends have no idea what you are going through, and you’re not sure if you should even tell them. 

 

Take a deep breath then take a step back and make a list of why you love yoga. The reasons are your own, but they may be similar along the lines of, “I love the way yoga gives me strength,” “I love the way it makes me feel,” or “I love how it calms me down.” We have all heard how yoga has transformed many people’s lives but don’t forget your own journey and how it has changed you. 

 

Make it a Priority

 

In the same way that we sometimes have to schedule dates with our significant others, you need to do the same with your yoga practice. Whether you book it on your phone or make a mental promise to yourself that you will attend your class, put it as a priority; make yourself a priority. 

 

Now that you have it scheduled on your phone, the next step is to make sure you don’t falter on your own appointment. Whether you practice at home or go to a class, get your gear out and place it where you won’t forget; at the front door, on the bathroom counter, make it so that you can’t avoid seeing it and have no choice but to pick it up to continue on with your day. 

 

Start Back with Little Steps

 

If you are used to an advanced class you may feel as though you can simply return back without a hitch, but this may not be the case. Although our bodies will be conditioned to the practice for quite some time with regular practice, doing otherwise may have a different effect on your body. But, if you have been inactive for a month or longer, it doesn’t hurt to ease back into the practice. You can settle for a shorter class, even just ten minutes of Sun Salutations to get your back into the motion. 

 

Try Something Different

 

There are a lot of yoga variations out there. Not just different styles, but different ways to approach these styles that you may never have even imagined. Ways to combine your new lifestyle with yoga can help bring you back to what you love so dearly. Maybe you’ve had a baby and would like to try baby and mommy yoga, or maybe you want to try some partner yoga to help motivate you to show up. Whatever the case, check your options. Give yourself new goals to try and inspire yourself once again. You may even be able to pick up a cute pair of yoga leggings in this moment as well.

 

Remember, yoga is a journey on an infinite path; and this path can either be smooth or bumpy. Whatever the case, it’s perfectly acceptable to detour off of your path on occasion. Just remember the reason you fell in love with yoga in the first place. Even if you just pull the mat out and sit on it with some gentle stretches, you will find yourself and yoga again.

 

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Good Morning, Sunshine

 

 

I have always preferred mornings over nighttime. Though both have their charm, I feel most productive right upon waking up. Productivity is what fulfills me.

Ever since I remember, I liked to wake up before the sun and greet it. There are a million ways to do so. It does not necessarily mean you have to beat the alarm clock. Going to bed early enough at night gives me enough time to wake up rested and by myself. But those are habits that need some time establishing.

I feel that the morning routine is powered by how I go to bed the night prior. Taking a shower right before bed is my treat. I then only like to have a cup of warm tea, like chamomile, lavender, or rooibos, depending on how I’m feeling and what goes in combination with the food that I had earlier. What also helps me inspire better sleep is changing my sheets often. By often, I mean at least once a week. I use natural detergents infused with homemade essential oils.

Fast forward to morning, one thing that I like to have on my nightstand is a glass of water which quenches my thirst right upon waking up. It also enables me to safely make my way to the kitchen and prepare my morning tea. While it is brewing, I do I a short meditation routine (that changes depending on my mood).

What also changes in regards to the season, my mood (strongly affected by the phases of the moon as my mom like to note), the meal plan I have set for us for that day, and possibly other factors is my morning tea routine. Most of the time, I like to combine it with a little coconut water, which is a great source of electrolytes. If I’m planning a draining workout later in the day, I’ll definitely need all of them or sometimes even a protein-powered smoothie for when I have important tasks to tackle.

I’m just the kind of person who likes to have the day planned ahead in order to be really successful at it. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy playing it by ear sometimes, too. But the saying, “Fail to prepare, or prepare to fail.”, is quite accurate in my case.

Therefore, an essential piece of help is a planner where I handwrite the tasks for each given day. Crossing them out one by one is an empowering thing. But if you’re new at this, be mindful of how you function best. Sometimes, our brain is overwhelmed by the sight of 10 different things we need to accomplish. So maybe, break them down into different sections or spread them out over a couple of days.

I further like to show appreciation by doing a short yoga or stretching routine that gets the kinks out of my body, especially the back and the neck. Practice obviously varies depending on how I’m feeling, but I make sure to keep my joints limber, turn my heart center up, and actively start my day. I feel like the energy truly transfers well into the rest of the tasks I have planned for that particular day.

It could be a couple of sun salutations, jumping jacks, burpees. or even a sunrise walk to get a cup of tea from the coffee shop–something that kick-starts the flow of my day and sets the positive tone to it right from the start. I feel like no matter if you’re a “morning person” or not, these tips could come in handy. Let me know how your morning goes and what your triggers are to a successful day. I’m curious to hear back from you.

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Do Your Body Proportions Affect Your Yoga Practice?

 

You might wonder if your body proportions are sabotaging your efforts to do certain yoga poses or if all yoga poses are equally accessible. Have you been working on a yoga jump back for years and it just isn’t happening? Well master yoga teacher and scholar, Paul Grilley explains in his DVD Anatomy for Yoga that ones body proportions can limit or support your ability to perform different yoga poses.

Everyone has different proportions of limbs and body parts. You might have a long torso, short torso, short arms, long arms, short neck et. Paul Grilley explains that bone compression is one way that proportions will affect you. Bone compression is determined in an individual by the shape of the bones. Two adjacent bones can only move so much until they are blocked and begin to feel compressed against each other. Another way body proportion affects your practice is by bone length.

 

 

For example:

Arm bone length and seated posture to chaturanga pose.

Here, your arm bone length will determine if you are able to do this movement. If you sit on your knees and flex your hands but your hands are far away from the floor, you will use all your flexion and strength curling the spine so that the hands can press on the floor that you will not be able to press back.

Modification: Use yoga blocks on the long thin side to give you that extra length to press through the hands and lift the hips off the floor.

Neck length/ upper arm bone length and headstand pose

If your head can only look back slightly or when you raise your arm and bend at the elbow and your elbow does reach past the head, you will have a harder time avoiding a neck pinch or injury. However, there are other factors that will affect you as if you have a strong neck and shoulder area, then you might be able to withstand the pressure of weight on the head.

Femur (thigh) bone placement in socket and forward bend pose 

Depending on where your thigh bone fits into the hip sockets, you will be able to tilt the pelvis back more and achieve a deeper hip forward bend.

Femur bone and Splits pose 

The femur bone will also determine how much you can internally rotate the back leg in splits pose. The compression around that hip area will also allow some people to move the back leg further back and up. Some people will easily be able to bend the back leg and others will feel more compression in the joint when trying to bend the leg.

Lumber pine versus shoulder and heel pose

If when you raise your arms up and back you feel compression in your shoulder then your wheel pose should look more horizontal than someone can bend arms way back behind with no compression.

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