The days of yoga being only for spiritual pursuits and those interested in Eastern traditions are gone. Nowadays, yoga has grown to become a household fitness method. It’s an excellent way to improve personal health, and it has numerous self-improvement and spirituality perks, too.
Yoga can provide peace, clarity, calmness and a strong sense of connection to the whole. The word “yoga” translates in Sanskrit to “unite.” There are many different types of yoga available, some of which designed to help you improve fitness, while others focus more on spirituality. In today’s article, we hope to help you decide which style will suit your needs best, helping you get the best of starts with your yoga practice.
What Do You Want From Yoga?
Since all styles of yoga are different, knowing the answer to this question is a critical first step in finding the right one for you. For example, are you looking for something that will help you strengthen the connection between your mind, body, and spirit? Or are you looking to use yoga just to get some exercise? Or are you looking for a little bit of both?
Lucky for you, there is a yoga style for each one of these needs. Having been around for so long, there seems to be a different style for almost every imaginable reason to practice yoga. So if you haven’t already, think about what it is you want to get from practicing yoga, as it will dictate which style is right for you and will be a big factor in how much you end up enjoying it.
What are the different types?
There are countless different types of yoga. Going through all of them would be mentally draining and probably wouldn’t help too much. So, here is a list of the five most popular styles. If one peaks your interest but isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, there are tons of resources available to help you hone in on what you want:
Jivamukti places a heavy focus on spirituality and philosophy, so it’s a great choice if you’re looking to improve the connection between your mind, body, and spirit.
Practiced in rooms heated to 105 degrees, Bikram yoga is fairly unique in its approach. The heat forces toxins out of the body and promotes flexibility. If you can stand the heat, Bikram is excellent for fitness.
If you want to lose weight and develop flexibility, this form would be an ideal choice. Using quick flowing movements between postures, Ashtanga Vinyasa helps you improve your balance, alignment, and focus, as well as helping you stay alert and aware.
This yoga form is perhaps best known for its emphasis on spirituality. However, it isn’t the easiest of styles and can be quite demanding. Using rapid breathing, difficult postures, and fluid movements, Kundalini will bring out your best performance. If you’re new to yoga, this might not be the best place to start, but if you’re up for the challenge, it can be a very rewarding experience.
Using smooth, relaxed and calm movements, this form of yoga offers peace, tranquility and stress relief. The poses help improve balance, and they help you focus better, as well. Sivananda classes also often teach nutritional diet plans, which can be very helpful when aiming to reach your fitness goals.
How to get started?
The internet has a vast amount of information on the subject of yoga, making it an excellent resource for yogis of all abilities. There are apps, videos, blog posts and newsletters available for you to learn about the different types of yoga, the poses involved and the level of spirituality.
YouTube is a great resource as you can watch others perform a style of yoga to help get a better idea if it is what you would like as well. For example, if you wanted to try Kundalini yoga, you could search YouTube for guided tutorials and routines and follow along or watch to see how you feel about it. Some yoga videos may have country restrictions, especially if they come from other parts of the world, but you can use a proxy to gain access to a larger range of content.
Time to start!
Finding the right style of yoga boils down to what you want from yoga. Knowing the benefits you wish to reap from practicing yoga will help you narrow down your choices. If you’re not sure what you want, just try out a few, either by going to a class or by watching on YouTube. You’ll quickly get an idea as to what you like and what you don’t, and before you know it, you’ll be a full-blown yogi.
Cassie is a health and tech blogger who has been practicing yoga for many years. She started off trying all different types but has been focusing lately mostly on Bikram yoga as it challenges her to perform at her best.