- 01. Hatha Yoga
- 02. Ashtanga yoga
- 03. Vinyasa Yoga
- 04. Hot Yoga
- 05. Aerial Yoga
- 06. Yoga Poses
- 07. How to Learn Yoga?
Many of us lead a busy lifestyle where we have to juggle work, family, chores, paying the bills and many other commitments in life. It is important to allocate some time to unwind and relax.
Learning and practising yoga can be the perfect solution to get away from your daily hectic lifestyle in order to unwind and release stress.
In simple terms, yoga is the union of mind, body, and breath. By routinely practising yoga, we can not only learn to calm our minds but also relax our bodies and learn breath control.
These techniques will benefit you in your daily life, outside the yoga studio where if you are faced with a difficult and stressful situation, yoga can help you calm down and deal with the situation in a better manner.
There are various styles of yoga that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation or relaxation.
If you are thinking about taking up yoga, you may wonder which type of yoga is the most suitable for your needs. Let’s explore some of the popular types of yoga poses and styles that you may often hear or see at yoga studios around you.
Most types of yoga that you commonly practice today such as Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Power yoga are included in Hatha yoga. This is because the basic movements of yoga usually focus on coordinating physical exercise with breathing.
Although it is possible in practice, the tempo or pace of Hatha yoga will feel calmer or slower. Therefore, it is suitable for those of you who have just started trying yoga classes, because practising Hatha yoga will give you the ability to recognize basic postures and names of poses or yoga movements easily.
Ashtanga yoga is very dynamic, intense, and often feels very athletic as it involves a series of poses that you must follow which is commonly referred to as the Ashtanga series.
There are two ways of practising Ashtanga: in a class led by the teacher, or in a traditional self-practice setting where the teacher is there to silently guide you
Ashtanga yoga training requires high dedication, so it is suitable for those who are looking for both physical and mental benefits. The movement involved are quite challenging, therefore if you are athletic and have a committed and highly dedicated personality Ashtanga yoga is a good choice.
This type of yoga usually flows dynamically between poses and requires coordination between the body, posture, and breath.
Vinyasa yoga usually has a faster tempo and is often referred to as “freestyle Ashtanga yoga” as it often contains the same poses but is done in a more creative, less strict sequence.
The yoga instructor always leads the class from beginning to end with a specific purpose. For example, today's session to strengthen arm muscles, in the next session, focus on backbend, or in one session you get a pose that is useful for all parts of your body. It is suitable for those who like spontaneity, and dynamism, and don't like routines.
Hot yoga is a type of yoga performed in a hot room with a temperature of 30 to 40 degrees Celsius with a series of 26 movements.
Vinyasa and Bikram are types f yoga that are often performed in this Hot yoga exercise. However, many studios have moved away from using this name after criminal allegations have been raised about Bikram Choudhury, the founder of the practice.
Practically any yoga style can be practised in a hot environment. For those of you who would like to increase flexibility and body strength, you can choose hot yoga as the temperature of the hot room will make you sweat more compared to other types of yoga exercises.
Aerial yoga or anti-gravity yoga is a combination of traditional yoga asanas, acrobatics, and dance moves while the weight of your body is supported by a silk hammock or a sling which is suspended from the ceiling.
This sling can increase flexibility and range of motion as it is usually made of elastic silk fabric. This also helps relieve pressure from certain areas of the body such as the head and shoulders.
Aerial yoga allows you to achieve more challenging poses such as headstands more easily. There is no need to fear being completely suspended in the air as the majority of aerial yoga poses only require you to take one part of your body such as a foot or hand off the ground.
The yoga poses are actually incorporated into the many different types of yoga discussed above. If you are yet to familiarise yourself with yoga, there are some yoga poses which is commonly referred to as “asana” for beginners that you can try if you are interested in this activity.
Yoga is best done with an instructor who is ready to correct wrong movements and prevent unwanted injuries. However, you can try some of these simple basic movements at home independently.
The Mountain pose is one of the simplest yoga poses. Stand still with your chest open and your hands at your sides. This movement is also used to analyze your posture, and whether your posture is correct. Don't let your shoulders tilt to one side or you bend too much.
You can start doing this movement by standing up straight. Your back needs to be completely straight. Position the hands beside the body with open arms.
In this position, the body is shaped like an inverted V, where the head is facing down. First, start by bending over and placing both hands on the mat. The position of the palm should be more advanced than the shoulder.
As for the position of your leg, place your knees on the mat. Knees should be under your hips and toes tucked. Lift your hips and press back into a V-shape position with your body. The feet should be hip-width apart.
This is one of the most relaxing poses compared to the other yoga poses. Whenever you feel overwhelmed or tired, relax your body with this child's pose. From the downward-facing dog pose you previously did, lower your butt down, and stick your knees and the backs of your feet to the mat.
Also, lower your shoulders to the floor with your head facing the floor. Stretch your arms forward as far as possible.
This is one of the easier yoga pose. Photo by Balu Gáspár on Unsplash
The tree pose yoga movement is a basic pose to train balance and improve body flexibility. The method is quite simple, first start by standing straight. Then, place both palms in front of the chest.
For the legs, bend the knees outwards away from the body and stick the soles of the feet on the thigh as shown in the picture above. Hold this movement for 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, switch legs and repeat the same action.
Cat-cow is one of the most important movements when starting yoga, especially for those of you who have back pain problems. Doing this movement regularly provides a good stretch for the health of the spine.
You can see the movement in the picture above. Place your palms and knees on the mat, then stretch your spine by bending and straightening your body. Slowly feel that your spine should always remain straight.
How to Learn Yoga?
With the advancement of technology and information, the benefits of yoga for one’s physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health have been exposed to many around the world.
There are many methods available in order to learn, practice and master yoga. However, before you start learning, stop and ask yourself why do you want to learn yoga? There can be multiple reasons for you to learn this ancient art. Your motivation to learn yoga will determine which type of yoga classes you want to join.
Take your time to ponder over your motivation to learn yoga before you move on to the next step.
You can learn yoga using the various videos on YouTube or even download suitable apps that will teach you many aspects of yoga such as meditation or breathing techniques.
If you prefer to face to face contact, you can choose to attend physical classes. Another great method to learn yoga is by hiring a yoga instructor from Superprof. This way, you can choose to attend physical or online classes online.
If we have sparked your interest to learn more about yoga, check out All about Yoga - A Beginner’s Guide
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