Yoga's main benefits include strength, flexibility and balance improvement. Yes indeed, yoga makes us become better lovers as it is a stress reliever and thus increase our body awareness, helping us to fully relax and surrender to the present moment.
For the past 50 years, the number of yoga practitioners has increased to such an extent that many different styles have emerged and be taught worldwide, specifically in big cities. Thus, it becomes hard to figure out which style meets our needs.
For me, practicing Hatha yoga and Kundalini yoga brings me greater sense of discipline, perseverance and self-confidence. It also helped me acquire a more accurate sensitivity to my body and its reactions. I was especially impressed by the power of Kundalini yoga as it arouses strong emotions during my first courses. Kundalini yoga is a positive and powerful practice that uses mantra, chanting, postures and breath.
You will find below a short résumé for each main yoga practices… And to prettily illustrate the subject, enjoy this photo series I’ve selected for you, shot by German photographer Björn Ewers (Studio 314): « Yoga to the Core ». These yoga postures mixed with neon messages should inspire and motivate you to practice….
Hatha: originated from the 15th century in India, this type of yoga is slow-paced, gentle, and focused on breathing and meditation. Convenient for beginners, it relieves stress, provides physical exercise, and improves breathing.
Vinyasa (Hatha Flow): covers basic poses and breath-synchronized movement. It focuses on the Sun Salutation, a series of 12 poses where movement is matched to the breath. Suitable for beginners and advanced yogis, it helps improve strength and flexibility, tones the abdominal muscles, and reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and type II diabetes.
Ashtanga: considered a form of power yoga, it is fast-paced and intense with lunges and push-ups. Designed to help improve one’s spiritual self, Ashtanga relieves stress, improves coordination, and helps with weight loss.
Iyengar: focuses on bodily alignment. Standing poses are emphasized, and are often held for long periods of time. Suitable for beginners, Iyengar helps improve balance, speeds up recovery from an injury, and builds up body strength.
Bikram (Hot yoga): practiced in a 95 to 100 degree room. Convenient for beginners and advanced yogis, Bikram is a series of 26 poses that allows to flush out toxins and to deeply stretch the muscles. It speeds up recovery from an injury, enhances flexibility, and cleanses the body.
Kundalini: remained a closely guarded secret practiced by only a happy few until recently. Highly powerful, it includes postures, dynamic breath, chanting and meditating on mantras such as "Sat Nam" (meaning "I am truth"). Kundalini helps connecting practitioners with their true identity by awakening the energy at the base of the spine and drawing it upward through each of the seven chakras.