Yoga can be a great addition to your exercise routine, but for those who are new to yoga it may appear to be one type of exercise. Yet there are different types of yoga that can each be adapted to your own fitness goals. In this article we look at four styles of yoga that could be beneficial to you based on your goals and experience.
John Friend developed this style of yoga in 1997. His inspiration behind the style was to combine the poses of the yoga school of Lyengar with Hindu philosophy and spirituality. According to Yoga.com the three A’s of Anusara Yoga are:
Attitude – the aspiration to re-awaken to divine nature and the celebration of life.
Alignment – mindful awareness of how the body’s parts are integrated and connected.
Action – the natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom.
Each part is designed to create a stronger bond and appreciation between the mind and body making it ideal for those who are looking for the more spiritual side of yoga.
Shape.com describes Bikram as a sequence of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises performed within 90 minutes in a 100 degrees plus room. Due to the heat this yoga is perfect for people suffering with injuries and discomfort such as arthritis and back pain. In their list of 9 things to know about Bikram yoga, Shape.com states that users should not be tempted to wipe sweat away and instead embrace the “body’s natural, intelligent and highly adaptive mechanism of self-regulation.”
For those looking for a more vigorous form of yoga Vinyasa is ideal. Fitday.com writes that Vinyasa is faster paced than other yoga styles and that the different poses are linked together by music making it more like a gym workout. One of the benefits of the faster paced Vinyasa is that the cardiovascular intensity of it can increase muscle strength and endurance. The name Vinyasa translates as “variations within parameters” which gives instructors greater flexibility to change their sessions.
This isn’t technically a type of yoga but there are beginners who are too nervous to go into a yoga class without any practice. For these newcomers there are many home options. One of the best options is Wii Fit Plus combined with the Balance Board. Very Well reports that Wii Fit is great for beginners because it determines your body mass index and tailors a workout to your needs. The strength of this game is that it is great for perfecting balancing poses. Toppling over as you do the tree pose can be embarrassing and doing it in the comfort of your own home is a great way to build up confidence. If you dig deeper into the psychological benefits of games like this, you’ll find it’s an angle often utilised among many of the leading gaming companies to empower players, especially people with low self-esteem. Games often combine activities that people find hard to do in public and allow them to enjoy it in their own home. For example, online slot gaming site Spin Genie takes an activity that many people feel uncomfortable doing in public and uses in their game Karaoke Party. Like Wii Fit, Karaoke Party takes the anxiety out of doing stressful activities in front of people making it ideal for building confidence much like the first example, Wii Fit Plus.
We hope that these four styles of yoga will inspire you to begin your yoga journey and improve your health and lifestyle.