Yoga is considered the essence of a healthy life. A person practising Yoga on a regular basis not only ensures a healthy lifestyle, but also attains the much desired peace of mind. It is the greatest stress-buster and a remedy for curing a number of chronic ailments. Yoga is broadly divided into eight types. Most of them involve the use of different poses (Asanas), meditation and breathing exercises (Pranayams). In this section, we have discussed the eight prominent types of yoga, their technique and their benefits on the health of the practitioner.
Eight types of yoga
ASHTANGA AND POWER YOGA
In Sanskrit, Ashtanga means 8 limbs. This is a fast-paced, intense Yoga style, in which a set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. Ashtanga is also the inspiration for what is often referred to as Power Yoga.If a class is described as Ashtanga Yoga, it is sure be a flowing style.
It is founded by Bikram Choudhury.His style consists of a set series of 26 poses and is also called Hot Yoga, since it is practiced in a 95-100 degree room. This facilitates relaxing of tight muscles together with copious amounts of sweating, thought to be cleansing.
Hatha Yoga was founded by Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century in India. This type of Yoga is all about the combination of two extremes - 'ha' (the Sun, regarded as the positive current) and 'tha' (the Moon, regarded as the negative current). It involves the performance of physical postures (Asanas), breathing exercises (Pranayams), meditation, mudras and purification procedures known as 'Shatkriyas'.
It is said to provide a good introduction to the basic yoga asanas.
It is based on the teachings of Yogacharya B.K.S Iyengar. His style is more concerned with bodily alignment. Iyengar Yoga normally emphasizes staying in an asana for long periods as against proceeding rapidly from one to another.
Jivamukti is a Sanskrit word meaning "liberation while living." It combines an energetic physical practice with strong basics in ancient spiritual traditions of Yoga. Jivamukti Yoga’s distinct style puts together the physical, psychological, and spiritual aspects of Yoga practices into a modern lifestyle.
As the name suggests, Karma Yoga is the dedication of all the actions (karma) and their fruits to the Almighty. This type of Yoga purifies one's heart, and helps attain the knowledge of one's own self. The aim of a Karma Yogic (one, who performs Karma Yoga) is to provide selfless service to the poor and the needy, without expecting money, fame, power, respect and honor in return of the service.
Kundalini Yoga aims at drawing the untapped energy (Kundalini), coiled at the base of the spine, by using a set of technique that uses the person's mind, senses and body. Apart from the physical postures (Asanas), the person performs meditation, chants mantras in order to awaken each of the seven chakras of the body.In Kundalini Yoga more stress is laid on the Pranayama (breathing techniques) together with physical movement. The intention is to free the energy in one’s lower body and let it to proceed upwards. Kundalini also employs quick, recurring movements rather than staying in one pose for long.
It means breath-synchronized movement and is a more dynamic style based on the performance of a series of asanas in which movement is synchronized with to breathing.