Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices and goals in the religions of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The most popular types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Raja yoga.
Currently, there are 8 forms of yoga. Some of them are very new under the yoga umbrella. Altogether, they “feed” your body, mind and spirit.
This form of yoga was brought from India to the West by Pattabhi Jois in the ’70s, and is based on the ancient teachings of yoga. It is a very rigorous form of yoga based on breathing with a specific sequence of poses that make it similar to vinyasa yoga but with poses that are performed the exact way in the exact same order every single time. It is probably the toughest form of “physical yoga”.
It is all in the name: this particular type of yoga is more about relaxing rather than exerting oneself to do “strenuous” poses. In restorative yoga classes, blankets and yoga blocks are used to put the body in poses that relax the muscles.
3. Hot yoga
Hot yoga is similar to another type of yoga which you will read about later on in this article. In Hot yoga, the room is heated which causes you to sweat a lot but remember, the human body has its limits and should not be pushed beyond these.
B. K. S. Iyengar pioneered the yoga type that is known to be a very “strict” form of yoga. Strict in the sense that it focuses on the proper alignment of the body in the different poses. With this, you will sweat intensely but you will find that it very challenging both physically and mentally.
Similar to Ashtanga yoga, Bikram yoga follows the same sequence of poses although not the same as the Bikram and not the same in terms of intensity. As hinted earlier, Bikram yoga is similar Hot Yoga. This type of yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury.
This is the sanskrit word meaning flow. This particular type of yoga has very intense poses and is known for whipping students into shape. Yoga teacher Sadie Nardini is known for combining for Vinyasa and Batha yoga plus her wit! I always enjoy her classes.
This type of yoga is probably the youngest on the list. It was developed almost 20 years by John Friend. The philosophy behind Anusara is that we are all filled with goodness and seeks to enhance that through the use of physical practice of yoga. It challenges both the body and mind.
Some use this word as an umbrella for any yoga practice that uses physical postures. If so, vinyasa falls under this. Some are under the notion that you won’t work up a sweat in hatha yoga class but take it from someone who has been in the practice for long enough, you will.
So which one is best for weight loss?
When it comes to weight loss, you have to remember that it is not always about working out at an intense rate; it is also about relaxing so I would recommend hatha yoga, vinyasa and restorative yoga for beginners.
Build up endurance, strength, flexibility and balance before trying the others like hot yoga or ashtanga. Because if you just jump in one like ashtanga, you might get discouraged completely from yoga and might begin to hate it. That would be bad because yoga is very beneficial.