What does Yoga mean?

The word Yoga has originated from the Sanskrit word Yuj which means to unite. According to Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, "Yoga is the calming down the fluctuations/patterns of consciousness."

What is Yoga?

Yoga is a group of mental, physical and spiritual disciplines or practices which was developed in Ancient India. There are numerous types of yoga asanas. Some philosophers believe that types of yogas and different types of yoga asanas not only have a positive effect on the body but also have the power to change the mental faculties.  

Why is Yoga important?

1) Improves flexibility and posture

Regular Yoga practice stretches and tones the body muscles. Different types of yoga poses also improve body posture when you stand, sit or walk. This helps improve body pain.

2) Lower blood sugar

Different types of yoga asanas further reduce the level of cortisol in the body and helps increase the feel good factor of a practitioner of Yoga.

3) Weight loss

All types of yoga helps burn calories. A full round of Surya Namaskar can help burn over 100 calories in one go. Yoga for weight loss is very effective.

Different Types of Yoga

The main types of yogas include:-

1. Hatha Yoga

This is the first and foremost type of Yoga. This is a really good mind, body and soul process in which you focus on breath while performing different postures and meditating. Breath is an extremely important part of your day to day life and controlling it helps in having a command over the mind. This method works on the basic poses and gets a little bit workout. It is believed that if all types of Yoga asanas are the branches of a tree, Hatha Yoga is the trunk of the tree. It is the foundational style of Yoga from which all other branches have developed. Hence, Hatha Yoga is very good for beginners to first understand what is to be done in Yoga before moving on to the other styles. With Hatha Yoga, you do the pose on both sides and understand the different types of yoga poses. Breathing exercises like Pranayama Yoga types can also be practised as a part of Hatha yoga.

2. Vinyasa

This is the second type of Yogas. This entails synchronizing your breath with movement. It is a flow class which includes more workout, more cardio, more strength training. So, for those who want to get a good workout, Vinyasa class is a good option. Meditation and Breath work is also involved in this type of Yoga. Breathing exercises like pranayama yoga types are also practised as part of this. This is also known as flow Yoga as there is a flow sequence involved. You tend to repeat a loop of poses in flow. One does not spend too long on one pose. You take a breath in moving into one pose and breathe out moving out from the pose. One also focuses on transitions from one pose to another. It is always a good idea to take training in Hatha Yoga before moving onto Vinayasa as the teacher does not have much time to correct each and every pose in Vinyasa Yoga, so a basic course in the types of yoga asanas is strongly recommended.

3. Ashtaang Yoga

This is another popular type of Yogas. This is a series of specific poses you do, syncing together. One can start as a beginner and slowly add on more poses. It is more of an advanced practice. This is similar to Vinyasa Yoga in a sense that you move through in a flowing Yoga. In Ashtanga Yoga you follow a set series of poses. One starts with a beginner series and then moves to an advanced series.  

4. Yin Yoga

This involves holding poses from 5-10 minutes, depending on the level of practice. This is more of a relaxation class which relaxes and calms the mind. It is still a challenging process as it has some intense poses. Yin is quite different than all the other types. You stay low to the ground and hold a pose. Blocks, blankets and cushions are used in Yin. The idea is to open up the body by staying in one pose for a long period of time. It releases deep joints and releases tension and hence is really good for any kind of joint pains. This types of Yoga is known for rejuvenating the mind.

5. Restorative Yoga

This types of Yoga is Yen's sister which involves the use of props to relax the body and mind completely. It tries to let the body melt in and release tension. It is a really popular Yoga class. The class is slow and meditative.

6. Bikram Yoga

This Types of Yoga involves performing a series of 26 poses (twice) in a very hot room which is around 100 degree Fahrenheit with high humidity. It is a cardio activity which improves flexibility. This is also known as Hot Yoga. It is very rigid and structural. It is very intense, physical and mentally challenging. The idea, under this Types of Yoga, is to have a heated room is to allow the body to open up and increase flexibility.

7. Iyengar Yoga

It is named after Mr. Iyenger who developed this style. This type of Yoga is closer to Hatha Yoga in which poses are held for longer and supervised by a teacher. This uses more props, bolsters, bands. It is a good practice for any person who has injuries. Emphasis is paid on precision. So one cannot get away with sloppiness or laziness. It is a slow, strong practice.  

How to fit Yoga in your day to day life?

  • Types of yoga asanas and types of yoga poses improve overall well being by both decreasing negative and increasing positive aspects of mental health. There are direct effects of yoga on psychosocial well-being (mood, affect, perceived stress, resilience, and positive psychological traits), and yoga may have beneficial effects on the development of self-regulatory skills (mindfulness and emotion regulation/anger expression) which may underlie these improvements. Pranayam yoga types help bring satisfaction and inner joy in the practitioner's life.
  • One could find time during office or even at home before lunch.

What are the benefits of Yoga?

  • Yoga is a practice which addresses multiple mental, emotional, and physical facets of the individual. Different types of yoga and their health benefits include postures/exercises, breathing techniques, and deep relaxation practices likely induce the relaxation response and downregulate stress systems. The meditation practices and different types of yoga asanas, while also downregulating the stress systems, are believed to improve the control of attention, stress perception, and emotion regulation. The acquisition of these self-regulatory skills likely accounts for the demonstrated ability of yoga practice to improve mental health characteristics in both healthy individuals and patient populations.
  • Furthermore, as an acquired skill, there is an expectation that this will serve to maintain mental health characteristics over the long term, if these practices of doing different types of yoga poses are continued.

Disadvantages of not doing Yoga

Yoga has the power to prevent and heal numerous conditions, including sciatica, menstrual cramps, stress, and more. So not doing yoga regularly would mean that you lose out on these benefits. If you do not do yoga correctly, or overdo it, you risk muscle and ligament strain or injury. So make sure you do it after getting trained properly.

  • Dos and Don'ts for Yoga
  • Do find a quiet, calm place with a lot of space to practice yoga
  • Do empty your bladder before a yoga session
  • Do yoga on an empty stomach
  • Do not do yoga on a full stomach or after a meal
  • Do not exercise strenuously after doing yoga
  • Do not start quickly and move to advanced poses without practising.

What to eat after Yoga?

Exercising must be supplemented with a healthy and nutritious diet which is rich in carbohydrates, protein and fat. Some of the options are chicken, eggs, meat, pulses and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and fibres that are also an essential part of a good diet.

Is it effective to do yoga at home?

It is extremely effective to do yoga at home however, performing it outdoors is preferred.

What to do post yoga?

Cool down exercises must be performed after yoga also followed by a healthy diet.

What is the right age to do yoga?

There is no right or wrong age for performing yoga.

What are the equipment and accessories required for doing yoga?

There is no equipment or accessories required. We hope this has thrown some light on the different types of Yoga and its benefits. Choose the type that you feel comfortable with and practise it at home regularly to improve your physical and mental well-being.

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July 20, 2022

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