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Types of Yoga: Ashtanga, Mantra, Bikram, and More

There are many types of yoga and it can be confusing to figure out which version you should follow. Well, having a brief but concise background knowledge about the famous types of yoga can be beneficial for you to come up with the best and most suitable version or “school” of yoga for you.

Ashtang Yoga

Also known as “astanga”, Ashtang Yoga was established by Sri K. Patabhi Jois. In an overall sense, Ashtang method includes tough physical demand as it requires progressive, synchronized breathing with frequent yet systematic changes in postures and positions. The result? A very powerful heat combined with sweat that is believed to be toxins that come from muscle and internal organ detoxification. During and after this method, users report that they have more stamina, a stronger body and a better blood circulation. But, hold your horses. If you are a beginner in yoga, it may not be suitable for you since it is described by many as an “athletic” type.

Mantra Yoga

Mantra is defined as a word that is sacred and is believed to uplift the physical, mental, and spiritual levels of a person. In mantra yoga, mantras are chanted in the belief that doing so causes the formation of positive vibrations, which then bring the person closer to the power of divinity inside of him. It aims to unite the body, mind, and the spirit through repeating mantras throughout the exercise program. This type, therefore, mainly utilizes meditation through chanting of mantras.

Bikram Yoga

From the improvement of muscular strength to a significant weight loss, Bikram yoga is a comprehensive fitness workout that aims to enhance the muscular system as well as the cardiovascular system. Founded by Bikram Choudhury, this system makes use of the 95-104-degree temperature, an intense heated environment for a faster and more efficient way of body detoxification.

Hatha Yoga

One of the most basic forms of yoga, Hatha yoga includes performing foundational yoga poses and styles. Regulated breathing or “pranayama” is accompanied by postures or “asanas,” as well as meditation or “Dharana & Dhyana,” It is a basic but complete system that delivers the user to the brink of self-actualization.

Iyengar Yoga

About 60 years ago, B.K.S. Iyengar, a well-acclaimed yoga master created the Iyengar yoga. This type improves the flexibility, balance, strength, and endurance of the person by way of yoga poses and synchronized breathing patterns. It is also known as a slow-paced version which is suitable for elderly, disabled and/or sick people.

Kundalini Yoga

One of the traditional types, Kundalini, makes use of a combination of chanting, synchronized breathing, and meditation to awaken the energy that is believed to come from the base of the spine. The aim of this method is to draw the energy towards the upper part of the body.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga includes the synchronization of breathing and movement in a fast-paced manner of execution. Unlike other types of yoga, breathing is more emphasized in Vinyasa yoga. Another notable feature of this type of yoga is the achievement of a balanced movement through a counter pose.

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Introducing Social Media to Your Yoga Practice—Pros and Cons

The world around us is constantly growing and living in an ever-changing environment requires adaptability. Embracing change and letting go of stubborn routines is essential to yoga philosophy, and it is beneficial to your mind, body, and spirit.

One of the most pervasive forces affecting our lives, is the eruption of technological advancement. Technology can provide wonderful benefits and joys to our lives, but it can also disrupt certain harmonies. Social media, for example, can provide a plethora of benefits if used correctly. However, it can also provide potential harms to your yoga practice. Read on to discover how Instagram, Facebook, and meditation apps can harbor both pros and cons when integrated into your yoga practice.

Following Yoga Aficionados on YouTube and Instagram

Pro: Can provide visual instruction of how to properly execute poses as well as provide inspiration to set goals.

Con: Can stimulate self-doubt and envy.

Are you following people who provide inspiration to your practice? Or is this fostering self-doubt and loathing? Watching talented individuals execute advanced flow sequences and hold poses for impressive bouts of time can be entertaining to watch and informational. If your reaction to seeing these videos is genuine awe, then social media can be a convenient channel to better understand, study, and interact with the depth of yoga. However, if you begin to compare yourself with those you follow online, watching yoga videos can quickly become a feeling of envy for another person’s abilities, or self-loathing concerning your own limitations. This is, of course, unhealthy and can undermine the true nature of yogic philosophy.

Discovering New Yoga Products Online

Pro: Convenient way to find apparel and/or props that can better assist you in your practice.

Con: Can fall subject to marketing that influences you to be a compulsive consumer.

Finding out about the latest yoga apparel online can be of interest to individuals who may not otherwise seek out a product they need. Also, it can often lead you to coupons and discounts for particular products that are not available at retail stores. However, it is important to ask yourself how social media is influencing your consumer decisions. If you feel irrationally pressured to buy a particular product or if you develop an obsessive need for a product rather than a desire, then it might be time to stop scrolling and focus back on the goals of your practice.

Meditation Apps

Pro: Can provide a daily source for meditation.

Con: Can become a chore itself and distract from meditation.

Daily meditation apps can be a fantastic go-to source for focusing mediation. The danger appears when the app begins to feel like another chore you need to squeeze into your day, rather than a positive suggestion for meditation. If the app feels like a chore, it has the possibility of creating a negative association with meditation itself, which can hinder your personal yoga development.

When approached with mindfulness, social media can be a beneficial tool to assist in the growth of your yoga journey.

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Finding The Right Yoga Studio

Getting the Best Yoga Studio

The most important thing when joining yoga classes is your comfort. The connection that you get from your environment is an important factor if yoga is to be of benefit to you. There are many yoga studios that you can choose from but what are the main factors that you should consider for your own benefit? Ensure that you consider the most important features.

Visit the Yoga Studio Personally

People are different and what someone may have liked about a certain studio may not be appealing to you. You may realize that a studio is better than what you thought, the teachers are more dedicated than the reviews indicated and the studio is strategically located. When you are there personally, you will be able to make a more informed decision. You should not visit only one studio. It is advisable you visit a few of them for more options.

Get Referrals and Research Online

Referrals are a great source of information. You probably know someone who practices or has practiced yoga before. It could be your workmates, a friend or a relative. Ask them if they can refer you to a good studio. Another way you can find a good studio is through the Internet. If you would like to learn more about yoga studios or any information about yoga, the internet is a great source for all your needs.

Why do You Want to Practice Yoga?

Why do you want to practice yoga? Ask yourself this question. There are many reasons people practice yoga. Some take pre-natal yoga while others engage in therapeutic yoga. When you are aware of your goals and what keeps you motivated, you will find the most appropriate yoga studio. One of the things that you should know is that you need to join the most appropriate yoga classes and for the right reasons. If you have no idea what your goals are or what motivates you, consult an expert or join classes for beginners. 

Make a List of the Studios and Shortlist Them

If there are some specific features that you need in a yoga studio and you happen to find some with them, make a list of these studios. If you are confused about which one to pick, you should consider all the other features that make each standout. Check the availability, the prices, the type of classes they offer, how accessible they are and their record. You will narrow down on the most suitable.

You can find the yoga studio that you most desire when you carry out thorough research. Checking out the classes offered, how affordable the rates are, the location and asking the right people can assist you with this. Visiting the studio personally and doing a proper background check will help you settle for the most appropriate. You should not settle for less as your comfort matters most.

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