In India, yoga is a way of life in its own right that is based on several principles: social and personal behavior, diet, hygiene, physical exercises, breathing work, meditation, spiritual goal ... All these elements are intended to search for harmony of body and mind. Let's find out why to do yoga and what type of yoga to choose to enjoy all its benefits!

Why do yoga?

The Benefits of Yoga

Perform the yoga postures requires controlled management of one's breathing. To be performed properly, many must be done by opening the rib cage to breathe in and out more deeply.

Yoga also allows increased concentration, since certain postures are quite complex to perform and require a certain balance.

Regardless type of yoga you choose, it requires focus, calm, deep breathing, as well as attention to both your body movements and the emotions you are feeling. Practiced daily, yoga helps naturally reduce stress and anxiety, paying attention to something other than our current hassles!

Improve your posture and rebalance your body

Yoga posture

To carry out the postures and the sequences, the yoga practice requires perfect alignment of the body. As the sessions progress, the back strengthens, becomes supple, and the posture improves naturally.

Many yoga postures also work on balance. Over the months and your practice, you will find that your movements become more and more precise, and that you can naturally turn to more demanding postures or types of yoga. With improved balance and flexibility, the risk of injury or falling is reduced.

Do yoga to tone up

To do yoga is also an interesting physical activity if you want to tone your body globally!

Indeed, the sequence of postures makes work all the muscles, allows to strengthen in depth the back and sculpt the silhouette. Yoga will be particularly advised to help reduce back and neck pain, although certain postures will have to be performed with care in case of major disorders.

In terms of health, a study carried out in 2009 also highlighted the benefits of yoga practice to help increase bone density. Yoga practiced regularly would also help lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, and maintain an adequate bodyweight.

What type of yoga to choose?

Hatha Yoga, suitable for everyone

Hatha yoga posture

Most practiced type of yoga in the West, hatha yoga is a gentle yoga, based on listening to the body and the mind. It is practiced slowly and adapts to all practitioners, regardless of their physical condition or their age.

A hatha yoga session generally lasts between 1h and 1h30. The choice of postures can be made on several levels. In hatha yoga: no competition! Everyone is listening to their body and practice according to his physical condition, without any judgment.

Generally, a hatha yoga class always ends with a relaxation session or meditation for 10 to 15 minutes, lying on the mat.

Ashtanga Yoga, for more dynamism!

Ashtanga yoga posture

More dynamic than hatha yoga, ashtanga is a type of yoga which is based on 8 principles : discipline, observation, practice of postures, breathing, control of the senses, concentration, meditation and self-realization.

More than a traditional yoga, ashtanga yoga is offered to us as a true art of living daily. This type of yoga is practiced by performing a fixed sequence of different postures, composed of six series. The first series is the easiest, and the sixth most difficult.

Vinyasa Yoga, creative and focused on breathing

Vinyasa yoga posture

Variant of ashtanga yoga, the vinyasa yoga is inspired by the realization of series of dynamic movements, where breathing allows the impulse of the body. It is however freer in terms of choice of postures, and encourages the creativity of each practitioner.

Thus, in this type of yoga, to each breath corresponds a movement. The sequence of postures defined according to the experience of the yogi is done at a dynamic rate and symmetrically by poses and counter-poses.

Bikram Yoga, a type of yoga with extreme conditions

Bikram yoga

Also called “hot yoga”, the bikram yoga is a relatively recent type of yoga. It differs from other practices by performing 26 postures and different breathing exercises performed for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

Bikram yoga finds its specificity in the practice environment, where the room temperature must be heated to 40 °, with a humidity percentage of 40%. Sweating thus facilitates the mobility of muscles and joints, while promoting the elimination of toxins from the body.

References :
- Lemay, V., Hoolahan, J., & Buchanan, A. (2019). Impact of a yoga and meditation intervention on students' stress and anxiety levels. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 83(5).
- Pascoe, MC, Thompson, DR, & Ski, CF (2017). Yoga, mindfulness-based stress reduction and stress-related physiological measures: A meta-analysis. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 86, 152-168.
- Yoga for Osteoporosis: A Pilot Study - Fishman, Loren M. MD, BPhil (Oxon) - Topics in Geriatric Rehabilitation: July-September 2009 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - p 244-250.

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