Yoga is a practice that has been around for thousands of years, making its way from India to the West and back again.
While it started out as an exercise for monks, yoga is now practiced by millions worldwide who use it for both physical and spiritual purposes. Despite being practiced in different ways depending on the school of thought, all forms of yoga share at least one commonality: they’re meant to be done slowly and gently.
Yoga Styles For Stretches And Stillness
Here’s a look at six such poses:
#1 Hatha Yoga
It’s a gentle, physical, and mental discipline that involves the synchronization of breath with movement.
In this yoga style, you learn to focus on your movements and breathing to achieve stillness. Hatha yoga is often rooted in traditional practices but has been modified over time to accommodate people who may not be as flexible or mobile. These modifications allow for greater ease when performing certain poses, making it an excellent option for beginners or onesd recovering from injuries.
One way you can benefit from practicing Hatha yoga is by increasing flexibility through stretching exercises such as forward bends (forward bends involve forward flexion at the hips), backbends (backbends involve backward flexion at the hips), side stretches (side stretches involve lateral flexion), or twists (twists involve rotation).
Other benefits include improved muscle tone, increased lung capacity, reduced stress levels, better sleep quality, increased energy levels, improved moods, and a clearer mind.
#2 Sivananda Yoga
Sivananda Yoga is one of the most well-known styles of yoga. It was developed by Swami Sivananda in the 1930s and focuses on postures, breathing techniques, and meditation.
The Sivananda style of yoga has been adapted to suit people of all levels. It’s suitable for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners. It’s also great for those with mobility issues or injuries who may struggle with difficult poses such as headstands or backbends.
#3 Restorative Yoga
Restorative yoga is a gentle form of yoga that focuses on relaxation and stillness. Unlike other forms of yoga, which may involve a lot of movement and stretching, restorative yoga is also done in a supine position.
The purpose of this practice is to allow you to release tension by focusing on deep relaxation. You can perform this yoga to open up your upper or lower body and relieve your muscles of any built-up tension.
This style can be practiced anywhere — on the floor or even on an office chair. That makes this style of yoga extremely convenient for a fast-paced lifestyle. You can perform this yoga while on the run, before bed, or even between meetings.
#4 Gentle Yoga
This style of yoga focuses on stretching and stillness. It’s suitable for all levels of experience, from beginners to advanced practitioners.
This method can be particularly beneficial for those with chronic pain or injuries that prevent them from practicing some styles of yoga.
#5 Integral Yoga
Integral yoga combines Hatha, Raja, and Bhakti Yoga. It was developed by Sri Aurobindo.
Integral yoga has elements of both dynamic and restorative practices, as well as asanas; but it doesn’t emphasize physical postures like other forms of yoga. Instead, it focuses on seated meditations with eyes closed to deepen concentration on breath and sound.
That helps relax the body while calming the mind so you can focus on yourself without outside distractions.
#6 Kripalu Yoga
It’s gentle and meditative form of yoga. The focus is on the breath and the body, with poses held for longer periods to allow practicioners to experience each pose.
Kripalu Yoga encourages practicioners to find their own path by exploring different variations in the poses, letting go of expectations about how they should look or perform.
It’s important to note that each of the aforementioned styles offer a unique experience. It’s up to you to decide which one may work best for you. Some might be beneficial for your body type or lifestyle, others may not offer the right amount of intensity. The key is finding what suits you.
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