What is the best kind of Yoga for you?

There are different forms of yoga. This type of exercise can leave you toned and supple or you may even be spiritually enlightened according to some teachers. Yoga is the latest thing. It has reshaped some of the greatest stars all the way from Madonna to Sting.

Some forms of yoga are more physical than other forms of yoga and some are highly spiritual. Yoga is extremely good for fatigue, depression, arthritis, aging, stress-related illness, migraine, PMS, back pain and mobility problems.

You must first decide why you wish to start yoga and then go about choosing the appropriate form for you.

The principles of yoga are quite simple – relax, tune out everything and stretch and you will feel better.
If you are looking to get fit these types of yoga are for you:

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga is a type of yoga that was introduced by Yogi Seatmarama. This was a yogic sage that lived in India in the 15th century. This is the most popular form of yoga and is based on controlled stretching. An emphasis is placed on developing a flexible spine. This type of yoga is excellent for all levels of fitness.

Several other styles of yoga originated from this type including Bikram Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Power Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga. The word “Hatha” comes from two Sanskrit terms: “ha” which means “sun” and “tha” which means “moon”. Thus, the Hatha branch of yoga unites pairs of opposites.

Hatha Yoga strives to achieve a balance between the body as well as the mind. It tries to free the spiritual elements of one’s mind through Asanas or physical poses, meditation, and breathing techniques or Pranayama.

Asanas are different body positions that are designed to improve one’s health and remove diseases in the body. These positions were originally meant for meditation because these postures tend to make you feel relaxed for long time periods.

By regularly practicing Asanas, you will gain muscle flexibility, bone strength, the development of concentration, willpower, and self-withdrawal.

Pranayama is the science of breath control. This is an integral part of Hatha Yoga. The yogis of ancient times believe that in order to control one’s mind you had to control the breathing. This practice can also help unleash any dormant energies that are lying deep within your body.

When you practice Hatha Yoga, you are able to recognize your hidden mental and physical potentials. As you continue your performance of Asanas, you will gain more strength and flexibility and learn to stay relaxed during stressful situations.

Vini yoga

This type of yoga is gentle, safe and is very good for older people. It is taught by a teacher called a Desikachar and is usually taught on an individual basis. Vini yoga is more relaxed than some other forms of yoga.

It is therapeutic, restorative and is based on one’s individual breath. This means that the length of a movement is determined by the ability of the individual to inhale and exhale fully.

It seems that many postural imbalances are due to breathing restrictions. Vini yoga is based on the premise that the body’s energy is more balanced if you are able to balance your breathing.

When you improve your breathing you not only improve your posture, but you improve your overall energy and develop the sense of being centered.

Yoga Studio with yoga ball and mats on floor