Hatha, ashtanga or vinyasa? And we are only getting started!
If you thought these were the names of some of delicious tasting but difficult sounding indian dishes, we don’t blame you over time, yoga has evolved into various forms of practice and many people are confused over which one should they choose in order to get the benefits they expect from it.
Most of the yoga styles yoga have evolved from the same fundamental base but are different in terms of individual poses versus pre-determined sequence of poses, length of the class, emphasis on chanting and spiritual aspect, breathing techniques and the use of props.
Some of the classes even offer a mixture of various techniques so participants can experience
one or more forms.
Some of the most widely practiced (but not comprehensive list of styles) are as follows:
Hatha yoga also called as hatha vidya is a system of yoga introduced by yogi swatmarama, a
hindu sage of 15th century and compiler of the hatha yoga pradipika. Traditional hatha yoga is a holistic path that includes disciplines, physical postures (asana), purification procedures, breathing (pranayama), and meditation. Practice of hatha is also recognised as a gentle introductory yoga for people new to yoga.
Ashtanga, which means “eight limbs” in sanskrit, is also known as classical or raja yoga. Asthanga yoga was first described in the yoga sutras of patanjali , simply as yoga. An ashtamga yoga class is normally a fast-paced, intense style of yoga. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. Ashtanga practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next. In yoga terminology, this movement is called flow.
Ashtanga is also the inspiration for what is often called power yoga. You move from one posture to another without a break, so this style isn’t recommended for beginners.#
Iyengar yoga, created by b.k.s iyengar is a form of hatha yoga known for its use of props such as belts, blocks, supporting cushions etc, as aids of performing asanas. These props enable students to perform asanas correctly, minimizing the risk of injuries and making them accessible to young and old alike. Certified iyengar yoga instructors must complete a rigorous two- to five-year training program for certification, so the quality of teaching tends to be consistently good. Instructors pay close attention to body alignment.
Like hatha, vinyasa is a general term that is used to describe many different types of classes. Vinyasa, which means breath-synchronized movement, tends to be a more vigorous style based on the performance of a series of poses called sun salutations, in which movement is matched to the breath. A vinyasa class will typically start with a number of sun salutations to warm up the body for more intense stretching that’s done at the end of class.
Bikram, an intensely physical style of yoga, includes a lot of breathing exercises. The same 26 poses are performed in the same order during 90-minute classes that are usually conducted in a room heated to 100 degrees. (the heat is intended to make it easier to stretch.) If you have high blood pressure, you are at high risk for developing heart disease, or already have heart disease, get your doctor’s permission before taking a class conducted in a room at a high temperature.
In restorative yoga, props are used for support the body so that you can hold poses for longer, allowing you to open your body through passive stretching. Restorative postures are usually adapted from supine or seated yoga poses with the addition of blocks, bolsters, and blankets to eliminate unnecessary straining.
You can get started by reading up on yoga, its evolution, types, practices in a range of books available on our website www.billythebee.com we also have a range of eco-friendly and fashionable accessories like 1005 natural yoga mats, silk and cotton mat bags, 100% natural cotton and buckwheat hulls filled cushions (zafus and zabutons)that can assist yogis at any level to get maximum out of their practice.
By anupama mittal, founder www.billythebee.com , a one stop online destination for fun, fabulous and eco-friendly yoga and meditation accessories. After all, becoming healthy shouldn’t come at a cost of harming yourself or the environment.
Let us know if you are interested in Cape Town Yoga.