Yoga is an integrative approach for self-transformation. The main philosophy of yoga is – mind, body and soul, all are one and can not be separated. Research shows that yoga helps in managing depression, headaches, blood pressure, back pain and many other health conditions.
This is the reason more than 15 million people across the world practice this ancient tradition. According to a survey, over the last few years, there has been 50% growth in the number of Americans doing yoga and this number is continuously increasing.
Every yoga asana (pose) has a unique name. It includes standing postures, backbends, inversions, core holds, seated twists, and arm balances. In this post, we are going to talk about the different types of ancient yoga poses and their health benefits.
What is Yoga?
Yoga is an ancient practice that originated in India thousands of years back. The word ‘Yoga’ derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Yug,’ which means unite or yoke. Yoga is both an art and science. It is an art because it is practised sensitively and intuitively. It is a science because it offers practical methods for controlling the mind and body.
Yoga works mainly with body energy through the science of energy control or pranayama. Prana means breath. Yoga teaches us how to control our breath and mind to attain a higher state of awareness.
Yoga has been designed to achieve a positive outlook on life and a permanent sense of peace and serenity.
Different Types of Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
The word Hatha means force. A force that lengthens the muscles and refreshes your mind. This style of yoga is best if you are starting out slower. It includes the physical practice of yoga than breathing exercises. It includes styles like Iyengar, and Ashtanga but not karma, Raja, and Kriya. The practice involves holding a pose and focuses on correct breathing, posture and a lot of meditation.
- Kundalini Yoga
This form of yoga is both spiritual and physical. It is mentally challenging and physically demanding and requires a lot of mudras, chanting, meditation, and breathing exercises. The main point is to release the kundalini energy in the lower spine.
- Ashtanga yoga
Also known as “eight limb path, and Power Yoga” this yoga style is physically demanding. It includes multiple Surya namaskars, along with floor and standing postures. There are 6 series of postures to be repeated. Also, known as Power Yoga, it also uses a breathing technique that helps to control the flow of your breath in the body.
- Kripalu Yoga
This yoga is perfect for those who are looking for spirituality through yoga. The main focus of this form of Yoga is on pranayama, meditation, deep relaxation, and self-reflection. The main aim is to destress the body and mind for self-awareness and better health.
- Yin Yoga
This slow-paced yoga style lets you hold poses from 45 seconds to 2 minutes. By holding poses for a longer time, you will not only stretch your connective tissue but make it more flexible. It also helps in improving your blood circulation along with the qi energy in your body. This style is practised in a heated room, helping your muscles to become more elastic.
Health Benefits of Yoga
There are more than 100 different types of yoga sessions available. Most sessions include meditation, assuming postures that stretch and breathing exercises. Yoga offers several mental and physical health benefits. Let’s have a look at them.
- Tone and Increase muscle strength
- Increased Flexibility
- Improve vitality, respiration and energy
- Weight loss
- Circulatory and cardio health
- Injury protection
- Improve athletic performance
Other than the physical benefits, yoga offers mental benefits as well. It helps in managing different types of stress, including neck pain, back pain, headaches, drug abuse, sleeping problems and more. Regular yoga practice creates calmness and mental clarity, relaxes mind, relieves chronic stress patterns, and self-awareness.
Yoga for all
Yoga can be stress-relieving, invigorating form of exercise that offers various physical and psychological benefits. In simple words, it is not just a physical practice, but also an exercise of mind. Whether you are a young or an old, a fit or an overweight, yoga has the power to strengthen your mind and calm your body. The beauty of yoga is not about doing flash backends and burning calories, but bringing movement to your body to help you create mindfulness and intention to your day. Perhaps, yoga is for all and it helps you to become the best version of yourself.
Practising different Yoga postures, meditation, and breathing makes your body, mind and spirit healthier. The benefits of yoga offer both lasting transformation and instant gratification. It lets you shape up, chill out and tune in at the same time. Whether you pursue yoga for its psycho-physiological benefits or as a spiritual path, this methodology helps in developing a deeper experience, making you feel really good.