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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