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What is Yoga?

yoga

Yoga is becoming a more and more popular activity in the Western world today. The number of places holding Yoga classes is on the increase and there is a plethora of different types of Yoga. With a choice of Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and many more it can be easy to get confused.

Types of yoga:

1.Hatha Yoga

Hatha-Yoga

Hatha Yoga is a system of yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a yogic sage in the 15th century in India. This particular system of yoga is the most popular one, and it is from which several other Styles of Yoga originated including Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, and Kundalini Yoga. The word "hatha" comes from the Sanskrit terms "ha" meaning "sun" and "tha" meaning "moon". Thus, Hatha Yoga is known as the branch of Yoga that unites pairs of opposites referring to the positive (sun) and negative (moon) currents in the system. It concentrates on the third (Asana) and fourth (Pranayama) steps in the Eight Limbs of Yoga.

2.Bikram Yoga

Bikram _Yoga

Bikram Yoga otherwise known as “Hot Yoga”, is practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees, with a humidity of around 40%. Generally a sequence of 26 different poses is practiced during a Bikram Yoga class and the hot temperature helps to loosen muscles. Due to the high temperature most people sweat a lot during the class and this helps to cleanse the body of toxins.

3.Power Yoga

Power _Yoga

Power yoga is a general term used in the West to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to vinyasa-style yoga. Though many consider it to be "gym yoga," this style of practice was originally closely modeled on the Ashtanga method. The term came into common usage in the mid 1990s, in an attempt to make Ashtanga yoga more accessible to western students, though, unlike Ashtanga, power yoga does not follow a set series of poses, so classes can vary widely. With its emphasis on strength and flexibility, power yoga brought yoga into the gyms of America, as people began to see yoga as a way to work out.

4.Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini_Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is a style of Yoga that concentrates on the awakening of the energy that is found at the base of our spine. For that reason, Kundalini Yoga is said to be the most powerful form of Yoga known today. This energy is said to take the form of a coiled snake, hence the name "kundalini", which is Sanskrit for "coiled up". The goal of Kundalini Yoga is to awaken this "snake" and send it moving up your spine all the way to your brain, which is believed to result in a sublime state of ecstasy and awareness.

5.Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar _Yoga

This type of Yoga is based on teachings by B.K.S Igengar and concentrates on the correct alignment and form of the body. Unlike Ashtanga Yoga, there is an emphasis on holding each pose for a long period of time rather than moving constantly from one pose to the next. Iyengar Yoga uses props such as blocks and straps to help align the body into the different poses.

6.Asana

Asana

In practice Iyengar yoga focuses particularly on three aspects. Correct body alignment allows the body to develop harmoniously in an anatomically correct way so that the student suffers no injury or pain when practising correctly. As all bodies are different and people have different weaknesses and strengths. Mr Iyengar has also developed the use of props to help the body into the correct positions required. Props are objects like wooden blocks, chairs, blankets and belts that help one adjust or support oneself in the different postures so that one can work in a range of motion that is safe and effective.

7.Pranayama

Pranayama

"pranayama is control of Breath". "Prana" is Breath or vital energy in the body. On subtle levels prana represents the pranic energy responsible for life or life force, and "ayama" means control. So Pranayama is "Control of Breath". One can control the rhythms of pranic energy with pranayama and achieve healthy body and mind.

8.Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga_Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

9.Meditation

Meditation

Maintaining patience during meditation is of vital importance. Showing signs of impatience is a sure sign that you need to meditate. Through meditation you can develop a very special kind of patience that creates the awareness of the magic in each moment of life.As indicated, meditation is a state of mind that cannot be learnt and thus the practice of sitting and attempting to meditate is not a guarantee of results in itself. Rather the foundations of self culture have to be built through practicing the first five disciplines of yoga. The experience of meditation comes when the student is ready.

10.Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa_Yoga

Vinyasa yoga, in which movement is synchronized to the breath, is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. This style is sometimes also called flow yoga, because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance. The breath becomes an important component because the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. Vinyasa is literally translated from Sanskrit as meaning "connection," according to Ellen Stansell, PhD, RYT, a scholar of yogic literature and Sanskrit. In terms of yoga asana, we can interpret this as a connection between movement and breath.