Given the many benefits of yoga practice, many people have incorporated yoga into their lifestyle. I am heartened to have met people who have benefited from the practice, and enjoy their yoga journey to the fullest extent. For those who are keen to start their yoga journey, it is often a challenge to figure out what kind of yoga to try. This can be easily resolved by identifying your intention of the practice.
No matter what type of yoga you embarked on, it will be beneficial to your health and well-being.
"Ha" means "Sun" and "Tha" means "Moon". Hatha Yoga is said to balance both the masculine and feminine energies. This is a beginner-friendly yoga style that emphasizes the fundamentals, encompassing some breathing techniques along with physical postures. Poses are mostly basic and students are more focused on achieving the correct alignment. It is generally slow-paced, however, it can be intensive for some students as certain poses require holding for a few breaths, which would demand some strength from the students.
This style is slightly fast-paced as it involved a series of movements. Students generally flow from pose to pose, and it is ideal for practitioners who are familiar with basic yoga poses. The most common sequence in Vinyasa Yoga is the Surya Namaskar ("Sun Salutations"). Each breath follows through a specific movement, and this style placed more focus on the overall sequence as well as the transition between poses.
This practice is considered physically demanding as it is fast-paced and intense. A series of poses are performed in the same order, and there are six series altogether with an ascending level of difficulty. For those who prefer a more systematic class with expected movements, this is the style for you!
For those who are looking to deepen your yoga practice, Iyengar Yoga gives emphasis to self-awareness and precision. More often than not, yoga props such as yoga blocks, yoga straps, and/or blankets, etc. will be used to help students attain proper alignment. The pace is deliberately slow for students to find the correct alignment. Students are also required to hold in the pose for a few breaths, focusing on healing the intended part and allowing relaxation at the same time.
A slow-paced class designed for deep stretching of connective tissues, specific poses are generally held for three to six minutes. It can be intensive for students who are not used to long holds in poses. Yin Yoga improves flexibility and helps in relieving tension around the ligaments.