Common Yoga Practices

During quarantine we all find ourselves picking up new hobbies that we would otherwise have never taken part in. For some that might be yoga, and if so it is important to distinguish the different styles and practices that come with it as well as the varying benefits and target points of each type. Below is a list of five of the most common yoga practices, a little bit about each, and some of the most practiced movements. 

Vinyasa Flow

Vinyasa Flow was created by philosopher Vinyasa as a means to develop a more balanced body. We enter into a pose, stay there for a while, and leave. Vinyasa Flow is characterized as “power yoga”, and consists of unlimited postures and movements, no two classes ever the same. Some of the most well-known movements being Panca, Sat, and Sapta. 

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga was created through the teachings of a B.K.S. Iyengar, and unlike Vinyasa Flow, only consists of about five to six poses, which are held for several minutes each and use props like yoga mats, yoga blocks, and yoga straps. Restorative yoga is used mostly for preventing stress and anxiety as well as weight loss. Some of the most well-known restorative yoga poses are the child’s pose, seal, and the pigeon pose.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga mainly focuses on the deep connective tissues that are exercised through slow meditation, aiming to help you sit for longer periods of time while being more comfortable. Just like the other two practices, Yin yoga consists of long, slow poses that target your ligaments, bones, and joints. Based on ancient Chinese traditions, it is believed that by practicing yin yoga you will be able to find a pathway to your qi. Through deep stretches and meditation, it is possible to open up possible blockages in our energy and let it flow more freely. Some of the most well-known yin yoga poses are savasana, melting heart, and butterfly.

Yang Yoga

Yang yoga is, predictably, the complete opposite of yin yoga. While yin is focused on long, slow movements, Yang is a more fast-paced and active form of yoga. Yang yoga leads to better fitness and flexibility than other styles of yoga such as yin yoga might. yang yoga also leads to calming restless thoughts, mental clarity, improved circulation, and feeling more recharged and energized. Some of the most well-known yang yoga poses are Mountain poses, warrior lii squat pose, and standing wind release pose. 

Bikram Yoga

Most commonly referred to as Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury in the ’70s and takes place in sweltering hot studios for ninety minutes with the same handful of poses, focused on sweating out toxins, stretching out muscles, and improving circulation all through the body. Because yoga is so low impact, it is still a grey area on whether it should be considered a workout or not. It is shown that Bikram yoga also boosts strength, flexibility, and weight loss. Some of the most well-known poses of Bikram yoga are ustrasana, pranayama, and garudasana. 

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