I am still a complete rookie/newb to the "game" of yoga. The experience definitely seems more painful to think about then the actual activity itself. I only thought that there was just one type of yoga but I was completely wrong about that as I was about other things in life, so here is a brief overview of the different variations.
In Sanskrit yoga literally means “union”. It is the union of the mind and body. That’s why “doing yoga” usually consists of moving your body into a shape or holding a certain position. If your mind wanders (which it will) to anything other than that present posture/moment yoga will kindly remind you (maybe by falling flat on your face) that you must return to the moment and shift your focus within.
Yoga can be anything you do mindfully. Whether it’s running, welding, knitting or sweating on a mat in a room full of strangers trying to balance on one foot. But I believe the types of yoga that I go over in this article will improve your mental and physical state more effectively than sitting in a chair knitting. Most yoga studios teach Vinyasa, Bikram, Ashtanga or some kind of combination “flow”. The emphasis is on “yang” or muscle activation and getting your body moving. Not exactly what we all need in our constantly stressed and fast paced modern lives.
· Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by B.K.S Iyengar, is a form of Hatha yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision, and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). The development of strength, mobility, and stability is gained through the asanas.
Iyengar instructors go through 4 years of continuous study and practice with a certified Iyengar instructor to become certified themselves. So you know you aren’t being taught by someone who picked up a weekend yoga certification.
Be prepared to not do very many poses in these classes and challenge your desire to fidget. Its all about technique.
· Kundalini Yoga, also known as laya yoga, is a school of yoga that is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra. It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of meditation, pranayama (breathing), chanting mantra and yoga asana. Called by practitioners “the yoga of awareness”, it aims “to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.
· Jivamukti Yoga “On the path to enlightenment”. Jivamukti is a vinyasa style of yoga that attracts a wide varity of people including many celebrities. Meaning “liberation while living” it was created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1986. According to thesecretsofyoga.com, Jivamukti features five disciplines, which form the foundation of the practice and are incorporated into every class, these disciplines ensure that yoga is being practices for its original purpose: as a means to enlightenment and not merely as a physical exercise.
Most of us in our fast paced lives exhibit too much of the Yang principle and Yin yoga may be just what you need. So go find a studio, get on Youtube or join an online class. Start exploring yourself and you will be shocked at how quickly you can turn back the clock and start feeling rejuvenated.