One of the most popular forms of exercise and fitness, yoga benefits almost everybody cutting across age groups due to its unique philosophy. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the word ‘yug’ that means to ‘unite’ and yoga serves to do just that. It serves to unite the body; mind and spirit into a single powerful consciousness that helps you achieve an active lifestyle among many other benefits.
There are six different kinds of Yoga each with its unique set of benefits:
Hatha Yoga: Ideal for beginners, Hatha Yoga is also called the Yoga of postures. It includes pranayam or breathing techniques, meditation as well as different levels of Asanas as they are referred to. It includes various sub styles which include Iyengar, Ashtanga, Jiva Mukti and Kripalu, each being the same with different interpretations. This is also the best yoga for health.
Bhakti Yoga: This form of yoga is meant for people who are looking for a path to god. Also called the Yoga of devotion, it is commonly practiced amongst ‘yogis’ in India and its goals are spiritual and not fitness.
Raja Yoga: Also called the yoga of self control, Raja Yoga is the yoga that is based on the teachings of the Eight Limbs of Yoga and is ideal for building discipline of the mind.
Jnana Yoga: This form of yoga is centered on a man’s intelligence and is also called yoga of the mind. It gives utmost importance to learning and wisdom and not so much to physical aspects.
Karma Yoga: Karma means service and Karma Yogis work towards a better tomorrow by doing good actions. This form of yoga teaches you to perform selfless service during your lifetime.
Tantra Yoga: This form of yoga is often misinterpreted as a form of sex and is much in demand. Unfortunately sex is only a small part of this yoga of rituals which is really about sacred experiences.
Each form of yoga’s benefits depends on what you are looking to achieve. It is important to find a guru well versed in the kind of yoga that you want to learn. There are many commercial courses available for Hatha Yoga but for the rest, yogis are more difficult to find. Yoga has become a lifestyle statement amongst celebrities who swear by its benefits. The truth is that yoga has a very special place in today’s stressful existence. In the modern day pressures, it is easy to lose oneself and succumb to depression. Yoga is a form of holistic healing that helps you become stronger in mind and body from within. Yoga benefits also include a fitter and more flexible body which helps you lead a more active and enriched life.
It is important to read up on the kind of yoga that you want to learn before embarking on this journey. For many, yoga is about weight loss while for many others, it’s just the latest trend. Unless your reasons for learning or following the path of yoga are honest, it will be difficult to reap the complete yoga benefits.