Find out what the different types of yoga are and which one is best suited to your lifestyle and needs
Yoga: you have surely already heard about it and this is because in recent times it is a very widespread and trendy practice. A little for fashion and a little for passion, almost everyone practices yoga: from the most famous Instagram influencers, to the neighbor, passing through friends and sports fans. When we talk about yoga we are referring to a new trend to find inner peace and serenity, through some simple daily practices. Yoga means being able to slow down your pace of life and take a moment for yourself giving yourself the opportunity to regenerate. Therefore, it is an excellent opportunity to disconnect from work stress, pressures, various worries and recharge the batteries to restart stronger than before.
If you practice yoga, or are planning to start doing it, you will be able to become aware of how it is possible to distance yourself from the pressing rhythms and anxieties and get in deep contact with your body and mind. In fact, doing yoga means just that: learning to listen to your body and broaden the perception you have of yourself. This gives infinite carefree and lightness.
Practicing yoga does not require huge spaces, much less special equipment: it is enough to get in touch with your essence and listen to the needs of your body to be able to benefit enormously in a short time. In fact, it is possible to practice it on vacation, when the relaxation you enjoy releases its positive effects and this leads to great results.
The origins of yoga and its meaning
Yoga is a very ancient practice, whose roots lie in the East and, more precisely, in India. Not much is known about this discipline, but everything we know is really very fascinating.
The first evidence dates back to the distant 500 ° BC. and take shape in a series of very ancient representations of specific positions on some coins, seals and tablets. Indian legend tells of a small fish that secretly observed and listened to the god Shiva while teaching his bride the secrets of this special discipline. After being discovered and chased away, the fish reached the coasts of India: right here he became a man and this was a true miracle. He took the name of Matsyendra and was warmly welcomed by the locals and became a yoga master.
Beyond this curious legend, the word yoga derives from the Sanskrit root "Yug" and which means to unite and concentrate our will with that of God. Strictly speaking, this practice constitutes one of the orthodox systems of Indian philosophy, according to which every what is permeated by the Supreme Universal Spirit, or God. Through yoga, therefore, the true essence of man can come into contact with God, so as to be able to ensure liberation from evil.
When it comes to the meaning of the word yoga, it is impossible not to mention the meaning of the Indian namasté greeting: it is typically used in this discipline and is a classic Indian sacred gesture of prayer. The term namasté, therefore, is very recurrent both in everyday life and during religious rites and literally means "to bow down". By pronouncing this word, therefore, we prostrate ourselves to the interior God of our interlocutor.
Types of yoga and their benefits
Practicing yoga brings many psycho-physical benefits. First of all, it helps to facilitate emotional management and, consequently, to reduce the states of anxiety and stress caused by external situations related to the workplace, for example. It is also very useful for learning to control your breathing and get in touch with the most intimate part of yourself.
But not only that, yoga is ideal for correcting some bad postures, improving the general body setting and working on flexibility and resistance. In short, yoga is a healthy source of benefits. In this regard, there are different types of yoga that respond to as many needs. Below, we will analyze the various types of yoga and their characteristics.
- Kundalini yoga
- Bikram yoga
- Anusara yoga
- Hatha yoga
Here is the first variation of yoga we will talk about: Kundalini. The philosophy of this kind has always been handed down orally and aims to work on inner energy through very specific and defined physical and respiratory practices.
The classes of Kundalini yoga are very varied: we move from the very physical and complex ones in which very dynamic positions are developed, to those in which the discipline is mostly practiced from the point of view of meditation. Obviously, in all classes, more or less complex, the presence of a mantra based on purification and stimulation of the energy center of the spirit is recurrent.
For this reason, Kundalini yoga is strongly recommended for those who can maintain a certain constancy, in conjunction with the work rhythms, of course. This type requires regular attendance, as only as a whole can it guarantee the desired benefits. They can be found both from a physical and psychological point of view: the energy circulation at the mental level is stimulated and the reduction of stress; while it helps improve the functions of the cardiovascular system, as well as the digestive, lymphatic and glandular ones. Could this be for you?
This type of yoga is also referred to as Hot Yoga due to the high temperature of the space in which it is practiced. It is a lesson of about 90 minutes, which has 26 different positions: the expelled sweat favors the elimination of toxins and is, therefore, very healthy. Furthermore, the high temperature of the room in which the discipline is practiced allows you to perform flexions, twists and flexorotations in a safe and precise manner, as the muscles are already relaxed.
Practicing Bikram yoga there is a notable improvement in the functions of the pulmonary system, the quality of sleep, as well as those of the lymphatic, cardiovascular, immune, digestive and muscular systems. The spine tends to become very flexible and in this way cellular aging is slowed down. What a bomb! Furthermore, the practice of this type of yoga, thanks to its complex positions, affects the well-being of the internal organs, helping to create total psycho-physical health.
Anusara yoga is based on the principles of alignment, action and attitude. To learn to understand this typology, it is essential to explore these three basic pillars. Alignment, the first principle we are talking about, is the relationship with the mind, as well as knowledge through the aggregation of the parts. In second place, however, we find action. This is a very important aspect based on energy. Finally, on the third place, we find attitude: a concept that refers to the strength of being complete.
However, the alignment itself is based on three other additional principles, such as: muscular energy, strength, openness to grace. The benefits of Anusara yoga are remarkable: the lessons are varied and creative and the important therapeutic effects are also worth remembering. The advantages are not only found from a physical point of view, but also from a psychological point of view. It allows, first of all, to unblock all the energy stagnations that underlie various pathologies.
Hatha yoga can be considered as the yoga of hard work and effort and this due to the difficulty of the positions practiced. In this case, the discipline passes through the exercise of breathing, declined in different forms. The principle on which this typology is based is precisely that for which effort is necessary, if not fundamental, to impose extremely complex movements on the body: the subject tries to overcome his own limits to reach a state of association with his own body. At the same time, we persevere in the search for peace and tranquility, also through articulated positions.
Hatha yoga is the type that most affects from the point of view of benefit and physical result: in fact, it is possible to achieve considerable looseness in the spine, reduction of neck pain, improvement of muscle and tendon elasticity. Psychologically speaking, we can safely say that yoga has a profound effect on the state of relaxation and concentration: in particular, it helps fight insomnia, general fatigue, anguish and panic attacks. Therefore, by acting on the nervous system, it lays the foundations for achieving a state of total psychophysical health.
Why practice yoga?
The main purpose of yoga is to create a very deep connection between body and mind, as well as benefit from a state of lightness and relaxation. Practicing this type of discipline, in fact, helps to reduce the high rate of stress in which our life is immersed: we learn to create harmony, to enjoy the joys of life and to face anxieties with a new spirit.
In addition, yoga strengthens the functions through which the brain works and, in particular, those responsible for attention and memory. It also has a positive influence on the study and behavior of children; in this regard it is advisable that children start practicing this discipline. As previously stated, practicing yoga helps to stay in harmony with oneself and, consequently, to improve the relationship with others, to manage one's emotions and to give greater balance to what surrounds us. In short, this practice improves our being in all senses.