Practicing Yoga can help you become a more balanced individual and help you to attain excellent physical and mental health. Also if you are just starting out, Yoga is easier on your body than most other fitness activities such as running, aerobics or kickboxing. Also unlike other exercises, Yoga helps you to address all aspects of your body and well being. Apart from the asanas, breathing exercises can help you to learn to breathe better and meditation can calm your mind and help you to concentrate and focus. And of course, Yoga poses can provide life-enhancing physical benefits to people of any age by strengthening your muscles, shed excess fat, tone up your body, improve your flexibility and circulation.
Yoga has been clearly proved to have mental and physical benefits. Regular practice of yoga can help improve your concentration, as well as soothe and rejuvenate your mind and even improve your sex drive by leaps and bounds! And then there is the natural therapeutic effects of yoga as it helps yo to prevent and relieve physical ailments such as chronic back pain, arthritis and migraine among other debilitating problems that ails the general population. Let us look at the seven main types of yoga that people practice today. Although the aim of each type of yoga is the same viz. to unite your mind, body and soul – Each type of yoga has a slightly different approach.
Hatha Yoga is the most commonly practiced discipline of Yoga in the west and even in India’s main centres of Yoga Practitioners such as Mumbai and Delhi. The main goal of Hatha Yoga is to unite the mind, body and spirit through physical actions. The word ‘Hatha’ comes from two Sanskrit words ‘Ha’ which means sun and ‘tha’ which means moon. The regular practice of Hatha Yoga will help you find a balance between your sun and moon traits and balance the opposites within you – the right and left sides of your brain and also the masculine and feminine personalities within you. When you start practicing Hatha Yoga, it’s positive effects on you are almost magical and instantaneous. You will start becoming more relaxed and your mind will become calm and clear after just the first practice. As you grow in your practice, increased strenth, a radiant personality and figure and a calm and serene personality will be yours for the taking!
Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotion and love that is selfless and is the Hindu version of ‘Sufism’. Bhakti is dervied from the Sanskrit word ‘bhaj’ which means ‘to serve’. When you practice Bhakti Yoga, you hold your attention on a divine being with the help of singing, dancing, chanting and praying. Those who practice Bhakti Yoga can see the transforming effect of Bhakti and Shraddha in their lives as they begin to express their devotion and love to everything that they hold dear in their day to day lives.
The main idea behind the practice of Karma Yoga is to perform selfless service without expecting to gain anything back in return. Most importantly the service should be performed with honesty and integrity. A good example of Karma Yoga would be to volunteer or to work selflessly for those less fortunate than you.
Jnana Yoga is known as the yoga of wisdom. The word “Jnana” in Sanskrit means “knowledge,” or “wisdom.” One of the main principles of Jnana Yoga is to imbibe the difference the real and the fictional. Jnana Yoga encourages us to start thinking of ourselves as spiritual beings, who can reach the epitome of human consciousnesses and enlightenment through dedication, knowledge and reason.
Mantra Yoga uses the effects of sound to heal and centers and helps in bringing clarity to your mind. A mantra as we all know is a meditation technique in which we repeat a word or phrase aloud or silently in our minds. The most traditional mantra is the word ”om.”
Raja Yoga in Sanskrit means “royal,” and is a classical type of yoga, in which with the help of meditation you train your mind to serve your spirit. The foundation of Raja Yoga is based on eight limbs. These limbs include:
- Yama (Moral and Ethical Discipline)
- Niyama (Self Discipline)
- Asana (Poses)
- Pranayama (Breath Control)
- Pratyahara (Sensory Inhibition)
- Dharana (Concentration)
- Dhyana (Meditation)
- Samadhi (Enlightenment)
Remember that the practice of yoga must be performed under the supervision of a trained yoga instructor. If you require a personal yoga trainer in Mumbai or a personal yoga trainer in Delhi, remember to call us on 9820607875 and tell us your requirements. We will more than happy to help you fit a training routine within your busy schedule!
Tania Verma is the co-founder of Wellintra Fitness and an avid Yoga and Martial Arts Fitness Trainer and Practitioner. Tania lives in Mumbai and New York City.