Yoga needs no introduction. It is one of the most popular forms of meditation and exercise all over the world. So much so that one can barely say that it has its origins in India. But, did you know that there are not 1 or 2 but actually 8 different types of Yoga? So, without further ado, let’s see which one would be the best for you.
‘Ashtanga’ translates into ‘eight limbs’ and it is popularly identified as the traditional Indian Yoga. As you move through the series of postures, Ashtanga Yoga requires you to synchronize your breath. The series of postures include Sun Salutation A, Sun Salutation B, a standing sequence, and a closing sequence. It is best done without music and verbal instructions.
Where: Ashtanga Institute – Mysore
It is the most popular form of Yoga, and postures are done in a flowing sequence or ‘vinyasa flow’. Almost like a dance, the fluid movements can be done and memorized. It is best done with pleasant music and a dim light setting.
Where: Parmarth Niketan – Rishikesh
It gets its name from Bikram Choudhury who designed it back in the 70s. A Bikram Yoga class consists of the twenty-six yoga postures and two breathing exercises. It is practiced in front of a mirror, so that the doer can correct their posture and alignment. It is always done in silence.
Where: International Center For Yoga Education and Research, Puducherry
As popular as the Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga is named after B.K.S Iyengar, a famous Indian yogi. This practice places emphasis on alignment in the asanas using breath control through pranayama along with the use of props such as blankets, blocks, bolsters, straps, etc. In comparison to other forms of Yoga, this one is done at a relatably slower pace.
Where: Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute – Pune
Power Yoga is a newer and more active approach to Yoga. A lot of core exercises and upper body work are added to the routine. Also, the poses are done at a faster pace. The sequence of the poses is not the same every time and the session is usually accompanied by upbeat music.
Where: Yoga Institute – Mumbai
This form of Yoga was born in the States, in New York City by Sharon Gannon and David Life in the year 1984. ‘Jiva’ means ‘being’ and ‘mukti’ means liberated. Just as the name suggests, Jivamukti Yoga aims to blend spirituality and physical exercise and does so by incorporating Sanskrit chanting, Prayanamas, and Asanas with a set theme/lesson for every class.
Where: Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram – Chennai
Also known as Taoist Yoga, it is a sort of meditative practice that allows your body to become comfortable in your position without actually doing any physical activity. Like Yin and Yang, Yin is done to lengthen the connective tissues in the body and Yang Yoga is done for muscle formation. They both complement each other and are done in silence with the assistance of props.
Where: Omkarananda Patanjali Yoga Kendra – Rishikesh
This Yoga takes a more holistic approach and is based on 5 principals –
All of which work together for a healthy lifestyle. The asanas practice usually consists of twelve basic postures and is done in silence.
Now that we through with the types of Yoga, let us look at some of the best places where you can practice it.
Where: Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres & Ashrams – Trivandrum and Rishikesh
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