Posted by on February 12, 2019

What are Different Forms of Yoga?

Yoga is one of the most popular practices across the world. For over 5,000 years, it has helped people in attaining good health and leading a fulfilling life. There are legions of people all around the globe who swear by these practices and perform different forms of yoga everyday to live an invigorating life.   

Over time, yoga asanas have developed into several different forms and all these forms help people in improving their health. All the different forms of yoga asanas have a different function to cater to. So, before choosing any one form you should know about the function of every form and also realize the requirement of your body. You should be clear about your intentions before choosing to perform yoga such as- improving your health; lessening stress; increasing mindfulness; gaining strength; losing weight or relieving pain? There can be multiple other reasons. Once you’re clear with your intentions, it would become very easy to choose the correct form for yourself.

Here’s a list of the different forms of yoga and their functions:

  • Hatha Yoga: It includes all the physical asanas of yoga. This form includes yoga practices like Ashtanga and Iyengar which are grounded in physical practice. Physical-based yoga is the most famous form of yoga. If you’re just starting out with yoga, then this is the best form for you as the pace of this form is slower than the others. The hatha yoga practice requires a person to hold a pose ‘Hatha’ for a few breaths and it focuses a lot on meditation, correct breathing and postures. It also focuses on essential relaxation techniques.
  • Iyengar Yoga: This form of yoga was founded by B.K.S Iyengar and is a great practice for those who want to work on their injuries and joint problems. This form focuses on alignment as well as detailed and precise movements of the body. In this form, people perform a variety of postures while controlling the breath and these poses are held for a long time while adjusting the minutiae of the pose. The yoga poses are performed with the help of various props like like traps, blocks and blankets. Iyengar yoga helps in improving stability, mobility, strength and flexibility.
  • Kundalini Yoga: This form focuses on both the physical as well as the spiritual aspects of human health. It involves a lot of meditation, chanting, mudras and breathing exercises for challenging the body in both physical and spiritual way. In kundalini yoga, one can perform various fast moving postures with periods of relaxation, where a person is supposed to pay attention to internal sensations and the flow of creative energy. Performing yoga in such a way helps a person tap into their kundalini-shakti which helps in releasing the kundalini energy that is coiled in the lower spine.

  • Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga means ‘eight limbs’ and it focuses on synchronizing breath with movement as you move through a series of postures. It is one the most famous forms of yoga amongst the celebrities all around the world. This form of yoga encompasses multiple surynamaskars followed by standing and floor postures. This form is also called ‘power yoga’ and it takes years of practice to be a master in this form. Before you start with this form, make sure you have some experience in the other easier forms. Adopt this style if you wish to attain good physical form and want to stay fit.

All the yoga forms mentioned above can help you in achieving your goal. Most styles of yoga are based on the same basic yoga poses (asanas), however, the experience of one style can be radically different than the other. Make sure you understand every form before starting and choose wisely for a better result!

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