What is Yoga?
One might say that Yoga is workout regime for individuals looking for more flexibility, strength and range of motion. It requires few props, can be done in the privacy of your own home or in a classroom. One of its most significant benefits is that it is great for reducing stress and creating a greater state of relaxation.
After practicing for a while most yogis begin to realize that yoga is much more than a physical practice. It is a philosophy, a passion – even a way of life for many of those involved in Yoga. It promotes a physical and mental state of well being and can change how we look at, think about and care for our mental and physical bodies.
To quote B.K.S. Iyengar
“Yoga does not just change the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees.”
Types of Yoga
There are many different types, styles, schools of yoga . Below are brief definitions of some of the most well known styles:
Hatha Yoga – a branch of yoga, one of six schools of Hinduism
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (Power Yoga) – Ashtanga means eight limbs or branches of yoga mentioned in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, of which asana and physical yoga is merely one branch, breath (pranayama) is another
Iyengar Yoga – B.K.S. Iyengar developed Iyengar yoga and is considered one of the foremost teachers in the world. By paying close attention to anatomical details and alignment of each posture Iyengar yoga is the practice of precision.
Kundalini Yoga – Kundalini yoga uses movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation and chanting of mantras to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. It is an uplifting blend of spiritual and physical practices.
Restorative Yoga – Restorative yoga sequences usually involves only a few (5-6) poses supported by lots of props to allow practitioners to relax and rest completely. Most restorative practices are based on Iyengar teachings.
Yin Yoga – Yin yoga is a passive slow-paced style of yoga with postures (asanas) held for longer periods of time (2-8 minutes). It focuses on a meditative, mindful awareness of body and mind as postures are held and an invitation to “journey inward” offered.
Kripalu Yoga – Kripalu Yoga is an approach to asana practice that emphasizes meditation and breathwork and encourages inward focus and spiritual attunement. Practicing Kripalu Yoga can initiate a gradual process of physical healing, phychological growth and spiritual awakening.