Yoga is typically used to describe a type of exercise that originates from ancient Indian tradition. In today’s world, there are many types of yoga classes offered in gyms, yoga studios and even on DVDs and online such as on YouTube. However, the advantages of yoga can vary.
What is Yoga Good For?
Each different yoga workout will take a slightly different approach to the workout element of yoga, but all types will ultimately aim to stretch and elongate the body while also improving balance and incorporating meditation into each class.
In a typical yoga class participants can expect to practice a number of yoga positions, which will help increase flexibility, improve balance and even burn calories.
Popular yoga types and benefits include:
Hatha yoga is one of the most commonly practiced yoga and primarily focuses on transitioning from one position to another slowly and incorporating various yoga breathing techniques. The slow and relaxing element of hatha yoga makes it an ideal form of yoga for beginners and can also be a great choice for stress relief.
Bikram yoga or “hot yoga” has become increasingly popular in recent years, and is a yoga practice that takes place in a heated room of around 100-105 degrees. This high heat leads most participants to excessively sweat which can have positive detoxifying effects and the heat can also allow muscles to loosen up more rapidly which can aid flexibility. Students in a Bikram class can expect to transition between positions more slowly compared to other types of yoga classes due to the high heat.
Ashtanga yoga is one of the most rigorous types of yoga and participants can expect to move from one yoga pose to another extremely quickly. With Ashtanga yoga calories burned can be much higher than many other popular yoga types, making it a good yoga workout if you want to be challenged rather than a doing a relaxing stretch. However, due to this class’ fast flow, if you’re new to yoga you might want to try some gentler yoga classes before you take this invigorating yoga type on.
Iyengar is a yoga type that focuses on improving alignment and flexibility and achieves this through incorporating various props into the class. These yoga props can include blocks, bands, harnesses and incline boards. This style of yoga incorporates the whole body, so you can expect to get increase tone if you practice this yoga type regularly.
Restorative yoga is great yoga exercise for anyone that wants to enjoy yoga mainly for relaxation or if you are recovering from an injury and want to gently reintroduce yourself to yoga and exercise in general. A standard restorative yoga session will take you through basic yoga poses in which you will slowly transition from one to another. This allows for a deeper stretch and less strain on the body. Relaxing and excellent for increasing flexibility, participants of a restorative class can expect to leave feeling refreshed and utterly relaxed.
There are of course many other types of yoga commonly practiced out there, but above are some of the very most popular. The benefits of yoga are worthwhile as is a fantastic way to improve your flexibility and get a great workout. So why not give one of the above a try?