Yoga has so many benefits.   Some of the most documented benefits include increased strength, improved bone density, reduced anxiety, lower blood pressure and a deeper understanding of meditation. Unfortunately, many people ignore these benefits, as they see yoga as rigid and slow. In this piece, we are going to investigate the flexibility of yoga, as we take a peek through the different yoga styles.

Lyengar yoga

This style is the main style for individuals still learning the intricacies of correct alignment.   Some of the props used here include belts, and pillow like bolsters. These help beginners to pose with correct alignment from day one, regardless of whether they are stiff, inflexible, or recovering from injured.

Ashtanga yoga

This is a more vigorous style of yoga.  It involves a series of poses, with each pose held for only five breaths, and punctuated by a half sun salutation to maintain the pace.

Mysore style

This is basically Ashtanga yoga taught one-on-one. It is the safest and most traditional style of yoga. It involves going at your own pace on your own breath.

Vinyasa flow

Gym classes often move from pose to another without stopping, but intermittently relaying the implications of each pose. This ensures students not only get a good workout but decent yoga experience as well.  Sally at thefitnessmosaic.com says “If you are new to yoga, it is a good idea to take a few classes in a slower style of yoga so you get a feel for the poses. As your experience and competency increase you can comfortably make Yoga a more rigorous workout.

Vinyasa flow is basically an umbrella term for a variety of other styles.

Bikram yoga

This is the favourite for people who love a sweaty session.  It entails a sequence of 26 yoga poses aimed at stretching and strengthening the muscles. It also compresses and rinses the organs of the body, to facilitate the release of toxins. This yoga style is normally done in a heated room.

Kundalini yoga

This yoga style is designed to awaken the energy in the spine. Kundalini yoga classes include meditation, breathing techniques, like alternate nostril breathing, chanting and a selection of yoga postures.

Hatha yoga

Hatha yoga basically means the physical practice of yoga.  This type of yoga is deemed a gentle form of yoga as it bypasses some of the main traditions of yoga in preference of focus on the asanas that are more common.

Yin yoga

This is a yoga style that focuses on passive, seated, postures, which target the connective tissues found in the hips, pelvis and lower spine.  The poses can be held for anything between one and 10 minutes.  The aim of this yoga style is to increase flexibility and promote a feeling of relaxation and mental release.

Restorative yoga

Restorative yoga focuses on healing the mind and body with the help of simple poses, sometimes held for as long as 20 minutes.  Props like pillows, straps and bolsters are very important here too. It is similar to Yin yoga, but there is more emphasis on flexibility and less on relaxation.

Jivamukti yoga

Jivamutki yoga is a yoga style that is focused on encouraging students to apply yogic logic to their everyday living. It is a Vinyasa style practice that is often taught through themed classes. It includes chanting, music and scripture readings.

This should help you understand how diverse the practice of yoga is. All of the styles have their benefits, and the different forms target different fitness and well-being goals,

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