The increased ease of communication has made people’s lives much busier than before, and it’s no surprise that many are seeking out a way to slow down and quiet the mind in the midst of the fast-paced world we live in. Yoga, the practice of incorporating breathing, meditation, and posture techniques, has found its way into the routines of many people looking to find a physical and mental release from the tensions of daily life.
The practice of yoga is an ancient Hindu discipline that has grown in popularity over the last few decades due to its overall wellness benefits. People of all ages and physical conditions can benefit from the discipline because yoga is not an all or nothing approach. In fact, there are dozens of types of yoga that you can practice depending on the type of rigor or benefit you are seeking.
Today we are talking about some of the most popular types of yoga and the body and mind benefits that they bring when practiced regularly.
Hatha: this type of yoga, which focuses on the physical aspect of the practice, is often a good starting point. All types of yoga fall under the “Hatha” category as Hatha yoga is any class that teaches movement and poses. This is an essential part of practicing yoga as it teaches you proper alignment, poses, and breathing techniques for tension release and relaxation.
Vinyasa: This type of yoga is more fast-paced and is typically less structured, meaning it varies depending on the instructor. The goal is to combine movement and breath and to get your heart rate pumping. This form of the practice focuses on sun salutations and places emphasis on the flow between poses.
Ashtanga: Also known as “power” yoga, this style is more physically demanding than other types and is probably not best suited for beginners. This type of yoga takes years of practice to perfect and is considered more rigorous, making the connection between mind and body more focused and stronger.
Yin: If you’re looking to improve flexibility and reap mental health benefits, Yin yoga is one of the best types of yoga to practice. Yin focuses on stretching the muscles and holding poses for a few minutes and is typically slow-paced and very meditative.
Restorative: This style is meant to aid the body in recovering from stress and clear the mind. Like Yin, poses are held for longer periods of time and props are used to help the body through the poses. This style is not meant to be rigorous but rather deeply relaxing.