You may have noticed that we like our yoga here at Mystical Mayhem Hippy HQ. The reason that we love it so much is that is has an exponential amount of benefits for both body and mind.
In one of our previous articles we went through some of the benefits that we think are a wonderful reason to give yoga a try and we thought that as there are actually many different types of yoga that you can try, we would give you a list of 6 popular styles and their main benefits. Here goes;
Before I start actually, I had better explain some of the words that you hear and what they mean.
Asana – posture/pose/movement
Pranayama – breathing control
Yaya – moral codes
Niyama – self purification
Pratyahara – sense control
Dhyana – meditation
Dharana – concentration
Yogi – qualified yoga teacher, not the bear.
Hatha -this type of yoga is wonderful for beginners as it focuses on posture and the basic poses that you will find in varying forms across many different styles. Call it the umbrella in which most basic practices fall. Not fast paced at all and is perfect for unwinding after a long day and great for practicing in the home. Helps balance and purify the body and mind. A lovely and gentle form of yoga that is very unlikely to leave you in a sweat however, you will feel loser, longer and oh so relaxed.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
– Helps to calm and de-stress
– Helps to tone your spine and strengthen your posture
– Helps to eliminate toxins from the body like cortisol which is the stress hormone
Ashtanga – a tough and very structured style which has the ultimate goal of purifying the body and the mind. Ashtanga is yoga series with each series having specific requirements that you must complete before you can move to the next series (or challenge some would call it). With different practices to master, this yoga is not for the fainthearted and requires commitment and daily practice. A very sweaty and physically demanding practice as each movement flows into the next without break. Each styles links to a movement and each movement links to a breath. Time to get your game face on!
Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga
– Helps develop your strength and flexibility
– Helps to tone muscles
– Aids weight loss
– Helps to distress and relax
Power – a popular style for those who like a challenge. Similar in challenge to Ashtanga yoga however power yoga is one long continuous movement from one asana to another in a long flow. You will find no gaps in between the poses which makes for an excellent workout. Vigorous and fast paced you will find that no two teachers run the classes the same as there is no set patterns to follow. Tests both physical and mental strength but is hugely rewarding.
Benefits of Power Yoga
– Build Stamina
– Increases Muscle Mass
– Boost metabolism which helps with fat burn
– Increases flexibility and strength
Kundalini – is said to be an energy that is coiled at the base of each person’s spine. This yoga practice helps to uncoil and release the kundalini energy. The aim is to build vitality and increase consciousness. Kundalini yoga is an uplifting yoga which incorporates regular dhyana, pranyama, mantras and asanas.
Benefits of Kundalini Yoga
– Brings great balance to the body, mind and to the soul
– Expands lung capacity
– Releases toxins
– Relaxes and defogs the mind
Iyengar – a great yoga which uses many props. A very meticulous style which is intent on ensure the correct posture and movements. There isn’t much jumping around and setting your heart rate
on fire however, you will know you have participated in the practice of Iyengar yoga as it is both physically and mentally challenging for all. A great style for those who are recovering from injury as each yogi capable of teaching Iyengar yoga will have been through rigorous and very specific training. Uses props such as straps, chairs, blocks and blankets. The props are used to make it easier to complete each asana without over stretching and putting too much strain on your body.
Benefits of Iyengar Yoga
– Helps reduce blood pressure
– Aids faster recovery from injuries
– Helps to improve stamina and balance
– Helps to improve concentration and awareness
– Improved balance
Vinyasa – very similar to Ashtanga yoga however it is a little more relaxing and flows from pose to pose. A smooth transition between asana and breath. A lively practise where it is kept light-hearted and fun. No two classes are the same.
Benefits of Vinyasa
– great cardio workout so fab for the heart
– Brain and body workout
– Promoted happiness and inner well being through fun
There are more yoga styles than I have listed here however, these should give you a good place to start if you are unsure of what one would be best for you.
Although I have listed benefits of each one, to be honest more often than not the benefit of one is the benefit of the other and you should try a couple of different classes before you settle in to one style. Have a chat to your local yogi and they will be able to help you and work out what style would be better suited to your needs and requirements.
Don’t forget to have fun and you will feel amazing in no time!
If you like this article you may want to read a similar article;
Yoga- What is it & Why is it So Good for You