What Are The Major Types of Yoga, and How Are They Different?
When everyone thinks of yoga the first words that come to mind are well-being and silence, concentration, and spiritual elevation.
But yoga is not just that. There are, in fact, different types of Yoga, suitable for all ages, which bring various benefits not only on a mental level but above all on a physical level.
Said this, what are the main types of yoga?
Below you will find a list of some of the most popular types of yoga, some more dynamic and some more spiritual. After explaining what the differences are, it will be up to you to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Ashtanga yoga is a traditional, very intense, and physical type of yoga. This type of yoga is composed of a series of 6 exercises of increasing difficulty. It is also characterized by the combination of controlled breathing and the execution of asanas in series. The 6 series of positions are sequences where the asanas follow a very specific order. the asanas are all performed at a certain speed and are very strenuous.
The first series, called “Yoga Chikitsa” (Yoga therapy), is composed of 75 asanas and takes from 1.30 to 2 hours to complete.
The second series, called "Nadi Shodhana", works deeper and helps to cleanse and fortify the channels where "prana" (life force) flows throughout the body.
The advanced series requires great strength and flexibility which can be achieved with the first two series after many years of practice. They can only be performed by experienced practitioners, otherwise, you risk serious injuries.
This type of yoga is suitable for those looking for something more dynamic and athletic. it is especially suitable for those who want to develop strength and physical endurance.
Bikram Yoga is one of the types of yoga that have spread the most in recent years.
Bikram Yoga is very special because it is done in heated rooms. In these conditions you sweat a lot, the body expels the accumulated toxins and you become extraordinarily flexible.
For some aspects, this style is like Ashtanga Yoga because the same sequence of positions is always performed. Unlike Ashtanga, however, in Bikram, the sequence is always the same and made up of only 24 positions. The benefits of this type of yoga are many. Thanks to the heat and humidity, the muscles melt, and flexibility improves. The tendons become more elastic and the range of motion of the joints increases. Intense sweating allows the body to eliminate toxins.
This type of yoga, however, is not recommended for those suffering from heart problems.
Hata Yoga is certainly the most famous of all yoga practices. It consists of the practice of breathing exercises or "pranayama", followed by physical positions, or asanas, which must be maintained by harmonizing the breathing.
Through Hatha Yoga, one works simultaneously on physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual components.
The positions are performed in order of increasing difficulty, in silence, and letting oneself be guided by the instructions of the teacher, who passes among the students to help and correct. The lesson ends with a deep relaxation session.
For those who have never practiced yoga, Hatha Yoga is certainly the most suitable. It is yoga that helps you control your breath and increases vitality and concentration.
The advice for choosing which type of yoga is suitable for your needs is to go and talk to the teacher, ask him about his path, his training, and above all take a trial lesson. Then, know that one style of yoga does not exclude the other, because the path of "yogi" needs to evolve.