Monday, December 29, 2008

Types of Yoga

You can find many varieties of Yoga, an ancient discipline that was practiced in both India and China. Its migration to the New World, specifically the United States, has resulted into a transmogrification of a regular buffet of possibilities.
Depending on your personality, strength, body type, and commitment there are a myriad possibilities. Make sure that you opt for one that will reduce not increase your stress level by making you competitive or nervous. The term ‘Yoga’ can include tapes, studios, practices, gear, mats, wardrobe, props, and Christy Turlington. In alphabetical order, here’s a list of options:
  • Anusara Yoga: An aerobic Yoga that stresses alignment while increasing the heart rate. It’s a lot faster paced than traditional Yoga, but less of a cardiovascular workout than a step or high-impact class. Purists hate it, but if you’re looking to work up a bit more of a sweat, give Anusara a try.
  • Ashtanga Yoga: A more fundamental Yoga that utilizes a sequence of postures involving synchronized breathing, so you basically have one breath to do any particular movement. If you’ve done Yoga before and you’re looking for a challenge, this may be your particular cup of tea.
  • Bikrum Yoga: Done in a very hot room; popular because you can lose a lot of weight due to excessive sweating and become light headed due to dehydration, which can be mistaken as altered consciousness. Many folks swear by it, but it seems to me overly taxing, and weight loss due to sweat is offset at the drinking fountain.
  • Hatha Yoga: Considered classic or basic Yoga, this is for those who are looking for inner peace rather than panting, sweating, and weight loss. You hold postures for a long time, and the emphasis is on deep breathing. Beginners get a taste of basics here.
  • Iyengar Yoga: Emphasizes procession and purity of form. (To be quite honest, this is my favorite because it really does focus on holding a posture for a long period of time and doing it absolutely correctly.)
  • Jibamukti Yoga: Combines physical practice with foundations in spiritual teaching. Jibamukti means “liberation from limitation.”
  • Kundalini Yoga: A style of yoga that specifically focuses on energy flow and is recommended for relieving emotional stress and awakening psycho energetic power by those who swear by it. Sting has made this famous by incorporating it with tantric sex positions — tee hee.
  • Vinyasa Yoga: Moves from one posture to another and tends to be a bit more vigorous. Vinyasa is the name for a Yoga posture.

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