It is an ancient Hindu discipline that has a history of more than 5000 years. It involves the practice of connecting the mind, body, and spirit. It derives from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means to ‘unite’. The word itself was first mentioned in the ancient Hindu text ‘Rigveda’. It is an art and a technique to achieve the highest state of self-awareness. It is a way of achieving the supreme level of perception and harmony. It is a path to connect the individual self with the universal consciousness.
- Hatha: is a style that teaches physical postures. It is considered best for beginners. It uses the mastery of the body in reaching spiritual perfection. Involves more physical movement as compared to spiritual experience.
- Improves joint mobility and metabolism.
- Improves concentration and relieves anxiety and depression.
- Bikram: was founded by Indian-born American guru- Bikram Choudhary. It is a kind of hot yoga. A study published in the international journal in 2021 showed improvements in cardiovascular endurance after 12 Bikram yoga sessions. Practiced in a hot and humid environment. Helpful for those who have cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes.
- best for detoxification
- increases lung capacity
- better bone mass
- regulates blood glucose levels
- Ashtanga: was taught and popularized by Indian guru K. Pattabhi Jois. It involves very physically demanding postures. It is not recommended for beginners.
- best for weight management
- improves strength, well-being, and a calmer mind
- Iyengar: was founded by B.K.S. Iyengar in India in 1970. It concentrates on posture and body alignment. It also uses props e.g. Blocks and belts to master poses.
- Strengthens and tones muscles
- Improved posture
- Protection from diseases
- Pain relief
- Promotes a calmer mind
- Kundalini: is meant to activate the kundalini energy trapped in the lower spine of the human body. It includes repetitive poses. Movements include chanting, pranayama, and mudras.
- Improves cognitive function
- Deep breathing exercises decrease the risk of hypertension
- Improves mood by releasing serotonin
Some other kinds are yin, restorative, prenatal, Anusara, and, Jivamukti
CONCLUSION: Since yoga originated in India it is a part of Indian culture. It can prove to be very beneficial for everyone in keeping their minds and bodies healthy. It can also be a go-to activity in today’s hectic lifestyle.