Peace of mind, flexibility, glowing skin, overall good health and a disciplined lifestyle.These are only a few of the benefits one can enjoy by practicing yoga every day. There are various kinds of yoga that one can practice, for various benefits. today on International Yoga Day, we take you through the different forms of yoga practices available, and the varied benefits that they have.
Krishnamacharya was one of the pioneers who revived practicing yoga, in the 20th century. His son TKV Desikachar, studied yoga under him, and started the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. Their specialty is yoga therapy. Krishnamacharya believed that the application of yoga must be flexible enough to accommodate every individual’s requirements. Homemaker Sundari Subramaniyan, who suffered from backache gained some relief, thanks to practicing this form of yoga. “I have been going to the yoga centre for the last six months and my back pain has reduced considerably. I see a lot of foreigners here who practice yoga, too,” she says
Isha Yoga is a center that teaches the ancient science of hatha yoga in its purest form. According to Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, ‘hatha’ in different Indian languages means ‘to be adamant’. Explaining hatha in his own words, he says, “Your body says, ‘Enough, I had it.’ But you are adamant. This is hatha yoga. Your mind says, ‘I give up, I can’t do this anymore.’ But you are adamant, and you simply do it. That is hatha.” According to Ram Kumar, an IT consultant, hatha yoga has helped him concentrate better. “I used to lack the patience to sit in one place and spend time sketching. I have been practicing yoga for five years and can focus better now. My concentration has also improved,” he elaborates.
The concept of integrating one’s mind and body, was conceptualised by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. This form of yoga makes use of props (which were designed by Iyengar) such as wooden gadgets, belts and ropes, which would aid one in achieving perfection in any asana. Iyengar Yoga focuses on the therapeutic nature of yoga, and can be used to treat several illnesses and stress-related conditions. It also enhances physical, mental and emotional well-being. This type of yoga has a cure for almost everything from irritable bowel syndrome, menstruation disorders and pain, mental fatigue, migraine, obesity to physical fatigue.
Started by Baba Ramdev, patanjali yoga has emerged to be one of the most popular yoga practices today. With asanas and breathing exercises, this one is all about building your core. “I am an ardent follower of Baba Ramdev and I also follow his yoga practices. Doing so has kept me fresh the whole day, and rejuvenated my body. It is a great way to kick-start the day,” says Ramakrishnan, a retired banker.
He was also one of the greatest yoga masters of the 20th century and was the inspiration behind the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. His teachings are based on five core principles breathing, exercise, relaxation, diet, thinking and meditation. Some of the basic asanas that one gets to learn are head stand or sirshasana, shoulder stand or the sarvangasana, plough or the halasana, fish which is matsyasana, cobra or the bhujangasana, locust also known as shalabhasana, brow or the dhanurasana and sitting forward bend also known as paschimothanasana. Parthiban Arvind, an IT Consultant, who has learnt this style of yoga says that his body is flexible and relaxed now. “I never used to exercise and was putting on a lot of weight. I learnt a few asanas and started practicing them every day. I have become flexible now, and feel a lot lighter,” he says.
This one follows Vinyasa practice and is an offshoot of ashtanga yoga. It helps enhance body strength, flexibility, increases stamina and reduces stress. Matching one’s breathing patterns with the asanas, can reap quicker benefits. One of the salient features of Power Yoga is to increase internal heat which in turn cleanses the body.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
Conceived and developed by K Pattabhi Jois at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in Mysore, this form of yoga involves performing a series of asanas in sequence, keeping in mind that your breath needs to be synchronised. According to the teachers at this yoga centre, practicing this yoga can help one improve their core strength and stamina, in addition to feeling light and flexible. For Saroja Santhanam who has been suffering from asthma, this breathing exercise along with postures has helped a great deal. She says, “It has not only improved my nervous and digestive systems, but has also been instrumental in keeping my asthma in check.”
Hot, aerial and tantric yoga
It is believed that one of the quickest ways to burn calories is by practicing yoga in a heated room and that is what hot yoga is all about. It operates on a similar concept, as that of Bikram yoga, the difference being that it is done in a heated room. This increases perspiration and aids in faster weight loss. Zorba is one of the places where you can sign up for a session of yoga. In addition, they also have aerial yoga or anti-gravity yoga. Says Sarvesh Shashi, the founder, “After a quick check-up, you can sign up for a session of aerial which involves working out in a hammock for about 10 minutes. It is not as easy as it sounds.” Don’t miss their tantric yoga which aims at expanding awareness of all states of consciousness and helps identify issues influencing thoughts and emotions.
Started by Bikram Choudhury, who founded the Bikram’s Yoga College of India, this form of yoga perfectly coordinates the therapeutic values of hatha yoga through a sequence of 26 postures. These postures are designed in such a way, that they work systematically on every part of the body, thereby resulting in their optimum health and function.
Kriya Yoga is a meditation technique that accelerates one’s spiritual growth. It was first made widely known by Paramhansa Yogananda. Kriya is a technique of energy control, or pranayama.
even in yoga. We have broken the record for the largest yoga class, longest yoga chain, longest yoga class at multiple venues and longest yoga marathon.
It was the Prime Minister who requested the UN to declare June 21 as International Yoga Day.
Swami Vivekananda is credited for being the greatest proponent of Yoga in the West. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva is considered the Supreme Lord of Yoga