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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Types Of Yoga

Yoga, the ancient practice of integrating the mind, body and spirit through a series of postures, breathing work and meditation, is making its mark on Americans who are eager to gain its mind and body benefits. There are many different types of yoga and the awareness of this issue is very low. Each has its own features, qualities and advantages. The key is to learn the basics about each of the separate most major types of yoga so as to be able to determine which is going to work best for you.

1. Hatha Yoga – This is the most common form of yoga today. ‘Ha’ here means ‘sun’ and ‘tha’ means moon. In other words, Hatha yoga brings together the energy of the sun and the moon towards a complete balance in the body. Hatha yoga uses different postures combined with breathing exercises to purify both body and mind and thereby controlling and reversing a number of diseases. This type of yoga can be practiced by anyone.
2. Iyengar Yoga - It/emphasizes more on the correct alignment and form of the body, and a real emphasis is put on holding each pose for a long period of time, rather than moving constantly from one pose to the next.
3. Ashtanga Yoga - It's a fast moving, intense style of Yoga practice and is based on a progressive set sequence of asanas, synchronized with the breath.
4. Power Yoga - Similar to ashtanga, with a fast pace. Power yoga is for those looking for a vigorous workout and body toning.
5. Jnana Yoga – Jnana means wisdom is Sanskrit language and hence this type of yoga concentrates on learning. Jana yoga is one of the most difficult of the yoga practices as this involves the study of the ancient scriptures besides practicing yoga physically. This type of yoga concentrates on the development of the intellect of an individual and his/ her connection with the larger universe as a whole.
6. Vinyasa Yoga - Vinyasa means breath synchronized movement and is another fast paced type of Yoga, with an emphasis on breathing. A practice typically starts with sun salutations and moves on to more intense stretching.
7. Karma Yoga - Karma means action or deed, and the result of that action. Karma yoga dedicates actions to God. It is the performance of actions in union with the Divine. It also involves selfless service.
8. Bhakti Yoga - Bhakti yoga involves devotion, attachment and love for God. Bhakti yoga history stretches back to before the origin of hatha yogi.
9. Kundalini Yoga - It is meant to awaken a powerful energy that is located at the base of the spine. The energy, once released, is said to bring a great sense of well-being and awareness.
10. Vini Yoga - A gentle yoga practice in which breathing is synchronized with the poses.
11. Bikram Yoga - A series of 26 poses are performed in a heated room (the temperature can be anywhere from 90-100 degrees F) to make your body sweat.
12. Bharata Yoga - It helps to align the spine to increase mobility and improve posture.
13. Jivamukti Yoga - A physically intense yoga series that also involves chanting, meditation, and spiritual teachings.

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