Types of Hatha Yoga
Hatha Yoga is the most common type of yoga in western world. It is also known as Hatha Vidya. Hatha Yoga aims at attaining the union of mind, body and spirit through physical actions. The word Hatha comes from combining the two Sanskrit terms “ha” meaning sun and “tha” meaning moon. Hatha Yoga finds a balance between your sun and moon traits and balances the opposites within you –from the right and left sides of your brain to the masculine and feminine sides of your personality. Hatha Yoga will give you immediate relaxation just after one practice. Hatha Yoga increases strength, flexibility, improves structural balance and it improves the overall health and well being. Here in this article let us see the various types and benefits of hatha yoga.
TYPES OF HATHA YOGA AND BENEFITS
Ashtanga Yoga, Developed by K. Pattabhi Jois is also called as Power Yoga. It is the most athletic type of Hatha Yoga. The Ashtanga yoga benefits are so many. Ashtanga Yoga balances the body energy flow and it emphasizes intense stretching and aligns the musculoskeletal system of the body. Ashtanga Yoga involves a series of postures in synchronization with breathing exercises that are performed to increase body temperature and sweat out toxins. While practicing Ashanga Yoga the room temperature should be around 70 to 75°F to keep your muscles supple.
Bikram Yoga, created by Bikram Choudhury is a popular type of yoga and it is also known as hot yoga. The benefits of Bikram Yoga are many. Bikram yoga will detoxify and cleanse the body. The Bikram Yoga practice consists of a 26 sequence postures with 2 breathing exercises, and each posture is held for approximately 20 to 30 seconds. The ideal room temperature in which Bikram Yoga is practiced is 105°F and humidity level varies between 40-60%. The heated room helps in warming up your muscles for a deeper stretch and to detoxify your body.
Integral Yoga, started by Swami Satchidananda is also referred to as supramental yoga. Integral Yoga involves poses, breathing techniques, meditation and deep relaxation. Integral Yoga also emphasizes the importance of eating a healthy diet and service to humanity. Internal yoga benefits are many such as promotes peace, tolerance and gentleness. In Internal yoga the purpose of a pose has more importance than perfecting a pose.
Iyengar Yoga, established by B.K.S. Iyengar is commonly practiced in western world. Iyengar Yoga makes extensive use of props, such as blocks, blankets, chairs and straps, to make sure the body is perfectly aligned during a yoga pose. Iyengar Yoga also places emphasis on building strength, stamina and endurance, encouraging relaxation, increasing flexibility, improving structural balance and relieving ailments.
Kundalini Yoga, also referred to as the “mother yoga”, was started by Yogi Bhajan. Kundalini yoga stimulates the nervous system and it helps in keeping the mind sharp and brisk. When practicing Kundalini Yoga, you practice poses, breathing, chanting and meditation to move “Kunalini” energy through your body, specifically through your spine. In Kundalini yoga there are several breathing techniques such as alternate nostril breathing, slow-diaphragmatic breathing, and a dynamic breathing technique called the breath of fire.
Kripalu Yoga was inspired by Kripalvananda. Kripalu comes from the Sanskrit word “kripal”, which means “compassion”. Kripalu yoga is described as “meditation in motion”. It emphasizes the importance of your mind and body being treated equally. Kripalu yoga involves three stages. In the first stage, you must focus on alignment, breathing and movement, without concern for how long you can hold a pose. In the second stage, meditation is done to help you remain in a pose for longer duration. The third-final stage involves using meditation to allow your body to move instinctively from one position to another, depending on what feels right to you at the time.
Viniyoga was developed by Shri Krishnamacharya in 197o’s and carried on by his son T.K.V. Desikachar. Krishnamacharya taught several well-known yoga gurus, including B.K.S. Iyengar. In Viniyoga, you practice poses that are gentle and relaxed. Viniyoga has a more relaxed approach to placement of the body than Iyengar Yoga. Instead of trying to achieve perfect form when you practice poses, you only need to practice to meet your needs and capabilities.
Sivananda Yoga, created by Swami Sivananda is a non-proprietary form of hatha yoga that mainly focuses on health and wellness. Swami Sivananda was a medical doctor, yoga master and world spiritual teacher. Sivananda Yoga is a holistic and classical approach to Hatha Yoga that tones and stretches the complete body. It consists of a series of twelve poses: Headstand, Shoulderstand, Plow, Fish, Seated Forward Bend, Cobra, Locust, Bow, Spinal Twist, Crow, Standing Forward Bend and Triangle. Sivananda Yoga is based on five main principles: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet and positive thinking and meditation.