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Yoga is as popular as ever and for good reason. As well as helping you to relax and sleep better, it also improves flexibility, builds muscle strength, perfects posture, increases blood flow, helps you focus and improves balance.
If you want to start practising yoga, but are confused where to begin because of all the choice, you aren’t alone. We have had a look at the main types of yoga, and are sure there will be something that will make you want to strike a pose.
Hatha yoga is one of the most popular yoga choices and is a good place for beginners to start. Hatha is known for slow-paced, gentle postures, and not only will it give you time to get to grips with yoga, but will also be a great chance for you to start to unwind and relax.
With Vinyasa (flow) yoga there is an emphasis on matching your breath with the key yoga postures like sun salutations. Postures practised during a class effortlessly flow from one to another, with deeper stretching exercises at the end of a class. Vinyasa yoga tends to be a little more demanding than Hatha because of the continuous flow of movement, but it is still a good choice at the start of your journey.
Ashtanga yoga is a faster-paced, more intense, flowing style of yoga founded by Pattabhi Jois in the 1960s. In an Ashtanga class you always performs the exact same poses in the exact same order, which makes this more physically demanding because of the constant movement.
Iyengar yoga is about bringing the body into its best possible alignment, often using yoga blankets, blocks, and straps to assist students as necessary to get the most from their class. Iyengar practice usually involves holding poses over longer periods of time rather than moving swiftly from one pose to the next, so it could be something that can be tried once the basics are mastered.
Bikram (Hot) Yoga
Hot yoga was pioneered by Bikram Choudhury and is where classes are taught in a room heated to around 95 degrees. The reason behind this is because the heat allows tight muscles to relax and encourages sweating, which is thought to be cleansing. The Bikram method is made up of a series of 26 poses and because your muscles warm up thoroughly, there should be no aches or pains the next day, just a sense of calm and wellbeing.
Kundalini yoga focuses on the breath and physical movement, and is meant to help free energy in the lower body and allow it to move upwards through all the chakras.
Oh, this sounds nice, because it is . Restorative yoga is all about relaxing the body into poses over several minutes, then holding the poses for more time than usual to enhance stretching. Seated forward bends, gentle backbends, and twists are the type of poses that can be adapted to be restorative and with the addition of props like blankets and blocks, it can be used by many people.
If you are still unsure what type of yoga is best for you, ask at your local gym or yoga centre and they will be happy to help explain more.
Team Pure Beauty