For many first-timers, they face similar struggles during their initial yoga lessons. It mainly consists of inching forward to touch their toes, stealing peeks around the room to check if they are doing it right and lastly, zoning out and wondering what in the world is a “down-ward facing dog” position. Yoga, despite being a seemingly simple exercise, requires the practitioner to execute the different poses accurately, for them to reap the benefits and more importantly, to prevent injuries resulting from an incorrect position.
Yoga itself, is not confined to one, generic form. In fact, there are various types of yoga to suit different lifestyles and preferences. Here are the details on four types of yoga.
1. Yin Yoga
Founded by Paulie Zink, Yin Yoga is a slow-paced yoga practice that mainly consists of meditating and stretching postures. It is designed to stretch out deeper layers of fascia (connective tissues around the joints) through a variety of seated postures. These postures are usually held for 3 to 5 minutes and aim to help you sit comfortably for a longer period of time. While it may not be as intense as other forms of yoga, yin yoga classes are very relaxing and are perfect for beginners or post workout.
2. Hatha Yoga
The most commonly heard of type of yoga, hatha yoga is simply a set of postures (asanas), coupled with meditation (dhyana) and breathing exercises (pranayama). It originally referred to the physical side of yoga but is now known to be slower-paced as compared to most other styles. It emphasizes still postures that open multiple channels, especially the spine, the main channel of the body, allowing energy to flow through the body freely. Hatha yoga may not be very intense but is perfect for beginners, especially if you intend to work up a sweat.
3. Ashtanga Yoga
Also known as “Eight-Limbed Yoga”, Ashtanga yoga is one of the more physically demanding forms of yoga. The main difference between Ashtanga yoga and yin or hatha, is that it involves a specific sequence of movements and poses that flows swiftly with every inhale and exhale. It is continuous and fast-paced, but can also be done at your own pace because the order of postures (asanas) are entirely predefined. It aims to purify the body by producing internal heat and is great for toning the body and getting the abs you’ve always wanted. Despite being a good form of cardio, beginners will find that Ashtanga yoga is tricky and grueling to keep up with.
4. Prenatal Yoga
As per what the name suggests, prenatal yoga is a class specially designed for mommies and mommies-to-be! Unknown to many, performing regular yoga can be very dangerous when pregnant. Postures that requires closed hip twists could be unsafe for your baby as it puts pressure on your organs and affects blood circulation. Compared to regular yoga, prenatal yoga puts less stress on your joints and pelvic area. These yoga postures also help improve sleep, strengthens the body to prevent aches, and prepares the body for labor. In fact, many postures focus on strengthening parts of the body that are especially vulnerable during pregnancy.
Join us here at Ohmsantih, where we offer classes that are suitable for both beginner and advanced yogis. We also provide prenatal yoga classes for expectant mums. Embark on your journey to a healthier you and embrace all the benefits of yoga today.