Which Type of Yoga is Best for Me?

There are lots of other types of yoga, of course, which I will cover later, but as the stigma of this venerable art form is blasted away, people are now seeing yoga in a totally different light. One that is pointed towards getting in shape and looking and feeling great. Yes, there will be some a lot, should I say, of people entering yoga with a very different mindset, based on more traditional beliefs. However, for this website I shall be focusing on yoga for sport, as a sport and for people with a sporting background as this is my strong point and something that I know a lot about. Alongside this, I shall be looking into yoga for back pain and yoga for men.

There are actually an increasing number of men, like myself, who are taking up the sport (I know there will be some people who will tell me off for describing yoga like that), I say sport because for me and this is relevant to the question of this post, I took up the practise of yoga to get fitter and improve my back pain. I also know about the benefits that yoga can have on the mind. It can improve one’s mood and self-esteem both of which for me were low at that time.

The Different Types of Yoga

Type

Brief Description

Is for it for me?

Iyengar

Based on Hatha Yoga, it’s focus is on precision, detail and alignment with an involvement of posture and control of breathing.Ideal for people with structural damage or back pain. People can gain mobility, stability and strength. Uses props such as blankets and blocks.

Ananda

Attention is too gentle postures which are thought to move energy up to the brain in preparation for mediation.This type of yoga is good for people who stress a lot and find it difficult to relax or concentrate.

Kripalu

This is yoga of consciousness, with the focus on developing concentration and inner awareness at the same time of performing gentle isometric (static) poses.This goal-oriented style is perfect for those looking to release emotional and spiritual blockages.

Yin

Also known as yoga for the joints, not the muscles. This type of yoga looks to work areas deeper than superficial muscle, such as the connective tissues like the ligaments and tendons.The postures whilst ultimately will assist those with joint problems, the poses are held for long periods so can be very challenging. Worth noting is one is worried about ongoing joint pain, this may make it worse.

Hatha

Very common style of yoga in the west, it is easy to pick up the basics (so they say!). This method incorporates postures with controlled breathing.An ideal way to start out in yoga, it is a perfect style for those looking to combine postural movements whilst de-stressing at the same time.

Sivanada

A more traditional type of yoga that focuses on a mixture of breathing, dietary restrictions, chanting and meditation.Probably not a great way to start yoga if you are looking for an emphasis on strength and flexibility improvements.

Bikram

A total workout that will work on all components of fitness; cardiovascular flexibility, muscular strength and endurance.Carried out in a heated environment (95-105 degree). Ideal for those looking to detox at the same type.

Kali Ray Tri-Yoga

This more precise practise of yoga was developed by Kali Ray in the 80s. The foundation of this type of yoga is flowing, dancelike movements.Good for people looking to combine breathing (or Pranayama) and meditation. A relaxing controlled type of yoga very similar to tai-chi.

Power

Yoga with a combination of strength training, stretching and meditative breathing. There’s a similarity with power yoga and callisthenics, which are essentially gymnastic movements.Well suited to those looking for an intense aerobic workout. In power yoga there aren’t any pauses, each posture or pose flows into the next.

Ashtanga

Also known as Astanga, this style of yoga is physically demanding as an emphasis is placed on the synchronisation of breathing with continuous postures. The focus is to rid the body of toxins through sweat.Ideal for those looking to detox (you’ll probably find it very popular in the new year!). Exercises look to produce an intense internal heat to sweat out toxins. An athletic type of yoga, not really suited for beginners.

Kundalini

A type of yoga focusing on the awakening of energy at the base of the spine and drawing it upwards. A class will incorporate breathing exercises with chanting and meditation.Ideal for those looking to build an inner awareness and seek to produce relaxation from within.

So off you go, pick one and go for it….! No only joking whilst in an ideal world that would be the thing to do. Speaking from experience, it is worth taking some time to research the best style of yoga to practise. It is worth setting yourself some goals or targets and then relating those to something that sounds enjoyable to you. The table above is also not a definitive list, there are other types out there, some that promote healing and restoration, for example. Once you have spent some time information gathering then the next step (if you are serious about taking up this amazing discipline) would be to find out where you can get started and what you need to get going.

This will be my next post, I’ll provide you the knowledge you need to get started with yoga with a complete breakdown of what to wear, what to expect for your 1st session and more. If you would like to follow me on this yoga journey, please do…it could be life changing, just fill in your details in my subscription box. I would love to encourage as many people as possible like they say a marathon starts with the first step. I will post twice a week, usually, Monday & Thursday’s. Thank you for taking the time to read this post,

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