Types of Yoga
Hatha originated in India in the 15th century. This type of yoga is slow-paced, gentle, and focused on breathing and meditation.
Hatha yoga also called hatha vidya (हठविद्या), is a system of yoga described by Yogi Swatmarama, a Hindu sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Swatmarama introduces his system as preparatory stage of physical purification that the body practices for higher meditation or Yoga. It is based on asanas and pranayama (breathing techniques).
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a moving meditation. The link between the sequence of postures (or asanas) is breathing. Asanas and breathing represent the thread and needle, that together create a mindful practice, beautiful and detailed like an elaborate garland: Yoga Mala.
The different series progress in difficulty, and have a predetermined order of postures. Each individual student progresses in the series, asana by asana, according to his personal practice.
The Mysore style practice, which is done in a group, is essentially an individual practice. This allows the teacher, full attention on the progress of each practitioner. Mysore classes usually last about 3 hours. The student can join the class at any time and begin his/her own practice. The teacher will offer adjustments and advice as needed.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga originates in Mysore, where it was taught by Sri K Pattabi Jois for over 70 years, until his death in 2009.
Therapeutic - Restorative Yoga
Iyengar covers all eight aspects of Ashtanga yoga and focuses on bodily alignment. Different props like straps, blankets, and blocks are used to assist in strengthening the body. Standing poses are emphasized, and are often held for long periods of time.
Purpose: To strengthen and bring the body into alignment.
Benefits: Helps improve balance, speed up recovery from injury, and build up body strength.
Good for: Beginners who want to learn the correct alignments in each pose and those with injuries, balance issues, and chronic medical conditions like arthritis.
Much like Hatha, Vinyasa covers basic poses and breath-synchronized movement.
The term vinyāsa refers to the alignment of movement and breath, a method which turns static asanas into a dynamic flow. The length of one inhale or one exhale dictates the length of time spent transitioning between asanas. Asanas are then held for a predefined number of breaths. In effect, attention is placed on the breath and the journey between the asanas rather than solely on achieving perfect body alignment in an asana, as is emphasized in Hatha yoga.
Partner yoga is a beautiful way to come closer to a loved one, or to simply practice asanas with the help and collaboration of a second party. Balance, trust, strength, humor and positive attitute, are all tested in this practice. Touching in Partner Yoga practice is not intimate. The closeness between two people may feel strange in the beginning, but the benefits of this type of practice are truly wonderful, as is the experience of giving up a bit of personal space. Beginners are welcome and no need to come to class with a partner; you will be paired up with someone if you come alone.
Partner yoga is often combined with Acroyoga, a combination of yoga asanas and acrobatics! Sounds intimidating, but you will be surprised at how safe and completely doable most of the asanas are, in this playful sequence. Guaranteed physical and mental work, combined with some serious laughs!
Many forms of meditation result in clearing your mind, which promotes a sense of calm and heightened awareness. During meditation, your brain’s activity alters significantly, as shown scientifically with instruments like the electroencephalographs (EEG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.
Some disorders that meditation can be used to help, include:
High blood pressure
Pranayama practice increases life. As per the yoga philosophy, longevity depends on your breathing rate. Lowering of breathing rate is likely to increase your life. For example, a turtle takes four to five breaths in a minute and it lives up to 200 years or more.
Additionally, blood circulation improves with Pranayama practice. As a result of breathing, the freshly oxygenated blood (during inhalation) travels from lungs to the heart. The heart pumps it via the arteries and blood vessels to every part of the body, where in turn, it seeps into every tissue and cell.
Pranayama is beneficiary to a healthy heart. Our heart is the most industrious organ of our body. The heart beats 100,000 times a day. It is pumping blood, day and night, non-stop all our lives. The health of your heart determines your life expectancy and quality of life in old age.
Yoga for Children
Yoga for children is any form of yoga adapted or designed specifically for youth of all ages. It takes into consideration the peculiarities of every age and adapts the traditional yoga postures and routines so what kids can do, safely. Yoga can be done by children of any age, the only limitations and restrictions being the children's inability to be attentive for a long time. It is imporant to keep a children's yoga class creative and fun! Typically yoga classes designed for children incorporate interactive poses and games intended to hold the children's attention. Practices such as meditation, are mostly suitable for adolescents 12 years of age or older. The main goal of yoga for children is stimulation of their physical, mental and emotional abilities. Yoga is also successfully used as a form of therapy for children with various physical and mental ailments.