Yoga is hardly new, indeed this eastern practice goes back thousands of years, and it is only in the past few decades that yoga has become popular in the west. Practicing yoga is beneficial physically, mentally & spiritually, which adds to the attraction, and when combined with meditation, it can be a life-changing experience for some people. Here are a few popular forms of yoga, along with some information about each.
- Bikram Yoga – Typically practiced in a warm environment, with 26 different poses to adopt, this is the cardio workout that is preferred by athletes, as it develops strength, flexibility and increases awareness. If you are physically fit, then this is for you, and with women’s yoga pants available online, you can obtain your mat, props and attire in a single shop. You will have to begin with some stretching exercises and gradually build up to the full program, which might take as long as a couple of months. Professional athletes like to practice Bikram, as it develops stamina and strengthens muscle.
- Hatha Yoga – The slowest form of yoga, this is ideal for the elderly and focuses on breathing and relaxation, and is generally regarded as a pre-cursor to meditation. If you are stressed, Hatha is a great way to relax and focus your inner mind on peace and tranquillity, and the more you do it, the calmer you become.
- Vinyasa Yoga – This discipline develops strength and muscle tone, and it is generally practiced in hot environments, and is ideal if you want to build muscle mass. The flowing movement tones the muscles and has a calming effect, which is why Vinyasa is so popular, and perhaps right for you if you are an active, outdoor person. Here is an interesting article that takes a look at how Covid-19 has affected the yoga industry, which highlights the use of virtual classes.
- Anusara Yoga – This is a relatively new form of yoga, created in 1997 by John Friend, which is generally regarded as a spiritual form of the practice. There are three categories; attitude, action, and alignment, which are seen as the tools for graceful flowing movements of an almost spiritual nature. Anusara is a Sanskrit word that means ‘flowing with grace’, which very much defines this graceful form of yoga.
- Yin Yoga – This is a form of yoga that in based upon martial arts and it involves holding a pose for at least a minute, and with some development, the practitioner can hold a pose for up to 5 minutes. It is designed to improve flexibility and increase circulation, and focuses on the back, hips and thighs, and while other forms of yoga focus on muscles, Yin yoga concentrates on the connective tissues. Click here for government information on getting enough exercise.
Free Online Resources
The Internet offers a wealth of information on everything, including the many forms of yoga, and by spending a couple of hours learning more about this ancient practice, you can make an informed decision on which form is right for you.
You can acquire all your yoga gear from the online supplier, and if you are in lockdown, YouTube videos can help you to get started.