Types of yoga for all levels

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Types of yoga for all levels
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Yoga could almost be considered an alternative medicine as its benefits for our health and our body are becoming more widely known.  This discipline links sport, breathing and relaxation together making it an excellent way to distress or empty yourself of negative emotions.  There are dozens of types of yoga but some or more energetic than others.  What do you prefer: energetic, relaxing or spiritual? 

Types of energetic yoga

1) Bikram yoga

Bikram yoga is adapted to those who want to work out their whole body as classes take place in rooms heated to 40°C! Make sure you don’t skip a meal before going to a class.  Bikram yoga consists of doing 2 pranayamas (breathing exercises) and 26 asanas (postures), about 45 minutes of standing postures and 45 minutes of seated postures.

2) Vinyasa yoga

This is an athletic type of yoga.  Vinyasa yoga aims to help the person practicing to find their inner strength and channel this power better in sporting activities as well as in daily life.  This type of yoga also helps you mentally face everyday challenges, ridding your mind of negativity.  Courses generally last around an hour and a half without a break.  Changes between postures are fluid and continuous so that the body is always moving.

3) Forrest yoga

Deriving from Hatha yoga, this type of yoga was developed by Ana Forrest in 1962. It is designed to relieve pain and physical or emotional tensions in the body to help lighten your mind. Posture sequences are quite complex but possible to achieve for people who are athletic.

4) Ashtanga yoga

Ashtanga Yoga will suit athletic people.  From the beginning of the class you learn a series of movements while the rest of the class is dedicated to reproducing these postures at your own rhythm with the help of a teacher who will correct your movements.

5) Prana flow yoga

Prana flow yoga is a recent type which was created in 2005, which is physically very energetic.  Deriving from vinyasa yoga, Prana flow yoga is based on almost continuous exercise movements.  Elements of dance and meditation can also be added.  The idea of this type of yoga is to engage with the prana.

Types of relaxing yoga

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1) Kripalu yoga

Kripalu yoga helps you to learn to observe the sensations in your body, both mental and physical, so that you can take a step back and analyse choices in your life.  The course is composed of postures, breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.

2) Integral yoga

Integral yoga is quite easy.  The courses consist of postures, breathing exercises and meditation often in the form of song.

Integral yoga aims to help you find your natural state, in touch with nature and living your life lovingly, joyfully and full of positive energy.

3) OM yoga

OM yoga is between an energetic and relaxing type of yoga, with vinyasa sequences and mindfulness and compassion exercises.

OM yoga aims to help you to become strong both physically and mentally.

4) Svaroopa yoga

Svaroopa is translated as internal happiness.  Svaroopa yoga was created in 1992 and is connected to the order of Saraswati monks. Courses start and end with lying down postures which relax the joints and muscles completely.  The aim of this type of yoga is to open up your mind and rid yourself of energetic breaks which prevent the transformation and evolution of your soul.

5) Lyengar yoga

Beginners of Iyengar yoga carry out a series of postures that can be adapted to each person if necessary.  You can also use aids to help you reach certain poses.  The aim of this yoga is to keep your body aligned so as to build up strength and flexibility.

Types of spiritual yoga

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1) Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga sessions, also called “mindfullness yoga,” are about an hour and a half long. The classes consist of asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing exercises) and meditation. There is no break during the course so you have to be pretty sporty. The aim of this type of yoga is to activate kundalini energy which is an energetic force controlled by our thoughts. If we manage to manipulate this energy force, we can reach a certain spiritual elevation.

2) Parayoga

This type of yoga combines dynamic yoga practice with tantric philosophy. The aim of parayoga is to help the people to thrive in all aspects of their life through a better self-awareness. Classes include complex asana which are postures that keep the body energized and helps with meditation.

3) Purna yoga

This type of yoga was created in 2003 and is based on a union between the body, mind and soul.  You have to gather these three entities together.  Here are the main foundations of this type of yoga that you should practice:

  • Meditation,
  • Postures and breathing exercises,
  • Applied philosophy,
  • Daily hygiene and diet  

If you are not interested in watching your daily hygiene or diet then you should look towards another type of yoga. The yoga classes run in a very similar way to a number of other courses as it is centered around postures.  Classes are similar to Iyengar yoga.

4) Ishta yoga

Ishta yoga incorporates Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda yoga together. During class, you will perform Vinyasas (exercises to improve posture and body alignment) Pranayamas (breathing exercises), meditation, and kriyas (liberation techniques) to help manipulated your internal energy.

This discipline aims to help balance the body so it can access a spiritual elevation.

These are just a few yoga disciplines but there are still many more to discover.

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