If you're trying to decide whether or not to begin a yoga regiment, it can be overwhelming. There is so much to think about: Which type of yoga style is best for you, how it can benefit you and how to get the most of your individualized regiment.
You've come to the right place. We're going to let you in on some of our favorite types of yoga, the many benefits that they provide and how to get started on a productive yoga regiment.
Everybody has different capabilities and energy so it's important to learn more about different types of yoga to see what works best for you.
1. Hatha Yoga: This is a slower paced yoga that is best for beginners. Hatha practices are designed to align and calm your body, mind, and spirit in preparation for meditation
2. Vinyasa: Vinyasa yoga is an intermediate level yoga. It involves stringing together different movements in one seamless and elegant flow. This type of yoga involves a lot of flexibility allowing the flow of energy to move you through different poses.
3. Lyengar: This is a form of Hatha Yoga focused around structural alignment that is best achieved through the development of an asana. An Asana is a posture where you sit in a firm position in order to properly connect your mind and body to one another.
4. Bikram Yoga: Bikram Yoga is a traditional style that involves different postures and breathing. It is most commonly referred to as "hot yoga" because classes are usually conducted in rooms that are 105 degrees. This promotes perspiration and detoxification, a big part of the cleansing process.
5. Viniyoga: Viniyoga is a comprehensive type of yoga combining asana, chanting, sound, meditation and person ritual. It focuses on function over form and helps individuals create a personalized routine.
6. Sivanada: Sivanada is a classic and holistic approach to yoga that was created in India in 1936. It involves frequent relaxation and emphasizes deep breathing and meditation.
7. Pranayama: This involves multiple breathing exercises ranging from shorter to deeper breaths and involves an emphasis on asana.
8. Mysore: This involves more individualized instruction combining free movement with sound.
Yoga has shown many benefits for mental health and sharpness especially in older adults over 50.
There is growing evidence to support the correlation between yoga and meditation and mental sharpness. A study in April 2016 at the University of Los Angeles was conducted to put this theory to the test.
Researchers began by recruiting 29 middle-aged and older adults from the Los Angeles area who were found to have mild cognitive impairment, a mental condition that can be a precursor to eventual dementia.
They were divided into two groups: One group began a training program that involves an hour a week of classroom time and a series of mental exercises meant to improve their memory.
The other group took up yoga. For an hour each week, they performed Kundalini yoga. The yoga group also was taught a type of meditation known as Kirtan Kriya that was performed in tandem with the yoga.
The experiment went on for 12 weeks in order to draw patterns and conclusions about the two groups and their reactions.
Results revealed that all men and women were able to perform significantly better on most tests involving cognitive thinking after the 12 weeks.
However, only those who had practiced yoga and meditation showed improvements in their moods, stress levels and overall demeanor..
They also tested better for spatial awareness, balance, depth perception and memory of objects.
Yoga proved to have more of an impact on brain functioning than the activities as time went on indicating its significant long-term benefit.
Researchers of the University were surprised at how much more yoga and meditation can have an impact than normal brain boosting activities.
It's pretty clear that yoga along with meditation can create some powerful positivity for your mind, body and well-being and promote great energy.
Start by crafting your motivation for starting yoga. How do you want to improve yourself and how can yoga help you do so?
Next, research the different yoga styles and positions that we've listed above to give yourself a basic understanding of the forms and movements.
Find the style that you think would work best with your personality, work ethic and capabilities. That is your starting point.
Research the best local place for your yoga to see if they have classes. Find an instructor that you feel comfortable with to guide you through your journey and get going.
1. McGee, Kristin. “Types Of Yoga - Breakdown Of 11 Major Types.” Mindbodygreen, Mindbodygreen, 2 Mar. 2018,
2. “Know Before You Go: Bikram Yoga.” Greatist, Greatist, 6 June 2016, greatist.com/fitness/know-you-go-bikram-yoga.
3. “What Is Viniyoga?” American Viniyoga Institute, www.viniyoga.com/about/what-is-viniyoga/.
4.“Benefits of Yoga.” American Osteopathic Association, osteopathic.org/what-is-osteopathic-medicine/benefits-of-yoga/.
5. Romine, Stepfanie. “How Yoga Affects The Brain.” The Beachbody Blog, 3 June 2017, www.beachbodyondemand.com/blog/how-yoga-affects-the-brain.
6. Reynolds, Gretchen. “Yoga May Be Good for the Brain.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 1 June 2016, well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/06/01/yoga-may-be-good-for-the-brain/.
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