Today, Tuesday, January 22, 2019

A Comparison of the Main Types of Yoga

Many people seeking alternatives to the standard accepted methods of losing weight or reducing stress are exploring the benefits of yoga.  Here you will find comparisons of numerous yoga types so that you also may determine the style most suited for you.  Whether you are out of shape or a fine physical specimen already, there is truly no limit to the improvements yoga can bring to your life.

Let’s begin by determining what you hope to accomplish.  Are you having difficulty with cholesterol or issues regarding your blood pressure?  Maybe you’d like to improve your posture or even your karma.  You might desire to produce more melatonin in your quest to hang on to your fountain of youth.

Alignment and Inner Awareness

Iyengar Yoga often uses blocks and straps to help beginners do the various poses confidently.  If you have back or neck pain you will benefit greatly from the basics this style teaches.  The inner awareness you also gain will improve the more you practice it.

Lose Weight and Learn to Breathe Deeply                                                  

Bikram Yoga is practiced at a room temperature of 100+ degrees.  It is an excellent style for increasing flexibility and eliminating harmful toxins from the system.

Ashtanga Yoga incorporates deep breathing techniques while you simultaneously do complex yoga poses.  Often referred to as “power yoga” it emphasizes strength and stamina movements such as lunges and pushups.

Viniyoga also combines breathing and movement in flowing exercises and can be tailor-made for those suffering from back or neck injuries.

Devotion, Meditation, Repetition of Sounds                                               

Bhatki or devotional yoga involves the surrender of one’s self in the face of the divine.

Raja yoga frees the individual through meditation.  Not for everyone, this type of yoga requires intense concentration.

Mantra yoga aims to liberate by the verbal or mental repetition of certain sounds.  “Ram”, hum”, or “om” are often used in this manner causing mantra yoga to be commonly referred to as the “yoga of potent sound.”

The sustained practice of yoga is widely known to have a direct influence on the human physiology. Many scientists strongly believe in a connection between the regular practice of the Trataka technique and the stimulation of the pineal gland in the center of the brain to produce melatonin.  By gazing steadily at an object such as a candle flame, Trataka  has shown to be effective. A manipulation of breath known as Pranayama is also believed to increase the production of melatonin thereby easing the mood swings and other symptoms associated with seasonal affective disorder, known also as SAD.

Yoga type comparisons help you determine the form that is most appropriate for you. One must always take into consideration the ultimate goal, whether it is to become more physically or spiritually fit, or both.

If after conferring with your doctor it is determined safe for you to try any or all of these forms of yoga, your next step should be to seek the guidance of a qualified instructor. Thereafter, you will be on your way to becoming a happier and healthier you.

Resources  -  Yoga Styles  -  Mind and Spirit


Awakening the Spine; Vanda Scaravelli’ 1991

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