Thursday, 6 October 2011

Which Yoga is best for me?

Q1. What are the different types of yoga?
There are many different kinds of yoga. They are:
  • Ashtanga Yoga
  • Bhakti Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Jnana Yoga
  • Karma Yoga
  • Kriya Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Mantra Yoga
  • Raja Yoga
  • Swara Yoga
    Q2. What is Hatha yoga?
    Hatha yoga is a technique that combines properly positioned poses, focus on the breath, and a sense of self-awareness that is often called mindfulness, all performed well within your own personal comfort zone. The Hatha Yoga system includes asana along with the six shatkarmas (physical and mental detox techniques), mudras and bandhas (psycho-physiological energy release techniques) and Pranayama.

    Q3. What is Ashtanga yoga?
    The word Ashtanga literally means eight limb yoga. It revolves in Pattanjali's, the developer of this style, idea that the path of purification is composed of eight spiritual practices. Ashtanga is physically demanding. Participants move through a series of flows, jumping from one posture to another in order to build strength, flexibility and stamina.
    Q4. What is Kripalu yoga?
    Kripalu yoga is a type of hatha yoga. Developed by Kripalvananda and his disciple Yogi Amrit Desai, Kripalu is a gentle, introspective practice that urges practitioners to hold poses in order to explore and release emotional and spiritiual conflicts. In Kripalu yoga, the both meditation and motion combine together throughout the class. One is not distinct from the other, and it truly is a union of the mind and body.
    Q5. What is Kundalini Yoga?
    Kundalini Yoga is the most powerful Yoga ever known and is considered as the mother of all the Styles of Yoga. This system of Yoga is concerned with awakening of the psychic centers or chakras, which exists in every individual. There are six main chakras in the human beings. In Kundalini Yoga, higher-level chakras are awakened and also the activities associated with these higher psychic centers.

    The basic method of awakening involves deep concentration on these chakras and forcing their arousal. Asanas, pranayama, mudra and bandha and other forms of Yoga such as Mantra Yoga are also used to stimulate the awakening.
    Q6. What is Bikram Yoga?
    Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury. Bikram has designed a sequence of 26 yoga postures (or asana) and two breathing exercises that are performed in a heated room. The postures are vigorous and demand a lot from the students. The heated room, typically around 95–105 °F (35–40 °C), makes muscles more pliant and encourages sweating which purportedly acts as a purifier. The twenty-six posture exercises systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to one hundred percent of your body, to each organ and fiber, restoring all systems to healthy working order, just as Nature intended. Proper weight, muscle tone, vibrant good health, and a sense of well-being will automatically follow. People of all levels, ages and body types practice together with a teacher acting as a guide, taking the class through the ninety-minute series.
    Q7. What is Iyengar Yoga?
    Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar with his intellectual and spiritual practices has masterminded the techniques which can be used by all practitioners of yoga. "Research based experience" and "experience based research" has helped him in evolving this technique which is now known as "Iyengar Yoga". The Iyengar method of Yoga is initially learnt through the in-depth study of asanas (posture) and pranayama (breath control).

    Iyengar yoga is strongly based on the teachings of Patanjali and Astanga yoga (not to be confused with Shri Pattabhi Jois' system of Hatha Yoga). Patanjali has penned the ancient Indian heritage of Yoga through his treatise the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Readings from and references to the Yoga Sutras are interwoven into the asana practice by the Iyengars and an essential part of any experienced Iyengar teachers class.

    Mr. Iyengar has systematised over 200 classical yoga Asanas and 14 different types of Pranayamas (with variations of many of them) from the simple to the incredibly difficult. The use of props, designed by Guruji , such as wooden gadgets, belts, ropes helps the practitioner to achieve perfection in any asana. These have been structured and categorised so as to allow a beginner to progress surely and safely from basic postures to the most advanced as they gain flexibility, strength and sensitivity in mind, body and spirit.
    Q8. What is Power Yoga?
    Power yoga is a style of yoga that moves quickly from one posture to the next. The foundation of this practice is 3 variations of the sun salutation, named simply A, B, and C. All of the other standing postures are thrown into modifications of these 3 series, making the practice very vigorous and challenging. Generally, non "power yoga" yoga classes are slower, softer and a bit more static.

    The problem with power yoga and the beginning student is that there is none to very little alignment instruction provided. The other problem is that a beginning student doesn't know how or when to slow down, stop or modify a posture. Both of these problems lead to yoga students hurting themselves in class by poor alignment in the postures and by over exerting themselves and going past their edge.

    Q9. What is Corporate yoga?
    Yoga is on the increase throughout the western world and is moving towards the number one choicefor fitness. Smart corporations are idenifying this and are making new policies towards staff maintainace and improved productivity with the use of yoga. Yoga gives your employees tools to deal with and eliminate tension and aches and pains created from the work setting. It can be done practically anywhere (board room, lunch room), and it can be shared by people of completely different fitness levels and ages.
    Q10. What is Mental Yoga?
    Andy Bernstein is the founder of Mental Yoga, a powerful mental workout that transforms stress into peace. Mental Yoga is based on the insight that stress that doesn't come from what's going on in your life - it comes from your thoughts about what's going on in your life. This new process dissolves stress at its source in the mind. This is a mental workout that teaches you how to transform your life from the inside out by examining your thought process.
    Q11. What is Office Yoga?
    Depending on your desk setup, clothing, and the level of comfort with your co-workers, you can practically do an entire yoga practice at your desk. No yoga mat needed--all exercises are performed while standing up or sitting down in a chair. There are various books promoting this. These exercises are aimed at to relieve pain, reduce stress, maintain your center and increase energy all at your desk!
    Q12. What is Zen Yoga?
    Zen Yoga is a synthesis of various forms of yoga. It is a combination of relaxed stretching of Shanti yoga, flowing movements of Chinese Tai chi and dynamic breathing exercises of Chi Kun (Qigong). In this type of practice more emphasis is on breathing, stretching and relaxation. Zen Yoga uses body movement to promote deeper and fuller respiration and helps to develop a better awareness of correct breathing.
    Q13. Which type of yoga is the right choice for me?
    Hatha yoga, the most widely known variation of yoga in the West, has many different branches. Each of these branches has a distinct style with different emphasis and specific characteristics. But the ultimate aim of all these different styles is that of self-realization through both the body and mind.

    In practical terms, you may find that one particular style of yoga suits you better than another, depending on the type of person you are and the kind of lifestyle you lead. When choosing a style to practice, follow your instinct and the advice of a yoga teacher whom you trust and respect.


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