Before beginning yoga, it is advisable to investigate which class to take and which yoga style to opt for. Kundalini, Iyengar, Bikram, Kripalu, Sivananda and Ashtanga are all yoga styles which promote different Asanas (Yoga Postures).
Yoga originated from India more than 5000 years ago and now millions of people all around the globe practice yoga on a daily basis to stay both physically and mentally fit. Some of the most popular forms of yoga commonly practiced today are given below:
Hatha Yoga was introduced by Yogi Swatmarama and focuses on the physical well being of the body, creating a balance between the body and mind. It focuses on Yoga Postures (Asanas), Yoga Breathing (Pranayama) and Meditation.
Kundalini Yoga focuses on the nervous system and the spinal cord. This yoga style requires practicing and should not be worked on without the help of a guru. It is one of the most powerful forms of yoga today which awakens energy from your spine moving up your brain, uplifting your spirit resulting in sheer ecstasy. There are about 150 trained Kundalini teachers worldwide.
Iyengar Yoga is a form of Hatha Yoga which focuses on body alignment. This yoga style was created by B.K.S. Iyengar, a well-known yoga teacher from India. This yoga style improves the physical health as well as the spiritual well being, improving stamina, coordination, balance, strength and flexibility. It improves and increases blood circulation, improves body postures, strengthens muscles and helps in ailing serious pain and med
ical conditions. This yoga style is vastly practiced in the western world.
Bikram Yoga is practiced in a heated room with temperature around 40 degree Celsius. This yoga style was introduced by Bikram Choudhury, who studied Yoga with Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda. Bikram yoga is used to warm and strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments. The heat promotes sweating which aims in cleansing and detoxifying the body. People suffering from chronic diseases such as thyroid disease, diabetes and Arthiritis can benefit from this yoga style.
Kripalu Yoga literally means “being compassionate”. This particular yoga style is used to achieve personal growth and empowerment. It has three stages. Stage one ensures proper body posture and breathing flow. Stage two focuses on meditation and involves holding a particular posture for an extended period of time, releasing tension and relaxing muscles. In stage three, all body, mind and spirit are united and the body movements occur naturally. This stage is also known as meditation in motion.
Ashtanga Yoga requires serious work out. Developed by K. Pattabhi Jois, this yoga style revolves around the idea of eight spiritual practices that lead to purification. Ashtanga is a very intense practice which requires a lot of stamina, strength and breathing. This is an athletic style yoga and is not for beginners. Every movement in this form is linked with an inhalation or exhalation. This yoga style literally boils the blood, heats up the body and releases toxins and cleanses the soul.
The above are just a few of the yoga postures. Before practicing, aim for what you wish to achieve and then pick the right yoga style for yourself. Yoga will bring an immense change in your life from eating healthy, to sleeping on time and your body will feel light and calm.