I am no Yoga aficionado, to be sure, but I have dabbled in different types of yoga over the years and I especially appreciate the rhythm between aerobic exercise and stretching. Health and wellness demand that we pay attention to both.
A recent article by Kristin Appenbrink in Real Simple magazine summarized six types of yoga describing each type, its degree of difficulty, who it’s best for, and what to keep in mind if you’re trying to decide between them. Here’s a summary of the six taken from the article, which I encourage you to read yourself.
- Hatha is an umbrella term for all the poses involved in yoga, but in the United States, Hatha is associated with a slower-paced class that includes simple breathing and meditation exercises.
- Ashtanga is one of the more physically challenging forms of yoga. Classes go through a sequence of as few as 25 poses (also called asanas) that include back bends, inversions (think headstands and handstands), balances, and twists.
- Vinyasa (a.k.a. Flow Yoga) uses breathing as an integral part of movement and is close to Ashtanga in style. But whereas Ashtanga follows a set sequence, here the instructor selects the poses and pace.
- Bikram (a.k.a. Hot Yoga) started becoming popular in America in the late 1970s. Classes are held in a room heated to about 105 degrees, which helps loosen muscles and joints. The 26-pose series is designed to stretch and strengthen your muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
- Iyengar is known as the yoga of alignment, since the emphasis is on sustaining precise poses. Students use props, such as straps, blankets, wooden blocks, and chairs, to help them attain the ideal positions.
- Prepare to chant with Kundalini yoga. A typical class starts with a series of breathing exercises and chants, then segues into practicing poses. The classes are designed to release a form of energy (called Kundalini) that is believed by practitioners to be stored at the base of the spine.
Coaching Inquiries: What’s your experience of stretching, balance, and energy work? What would you like to develop further in your life? How could you get more engaged and active? How and where could you meet with others to practice your development?
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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