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Nowadays there is an impressive range of different methods. There's bound to be a type of yoga that's just your cup of tea!
1. Gentle or Relaxing Yogas
Who are they for?
Gentle and relaxing yoga is suitable for anyone, of any age, for maintaining fitness and flexibility as you grow older! It is great for active youngsters or retirees looking for well-being activities, for mums who need space to breathe, or for people who have stopped doing sport but want to get back into it gently without risking injury.
What types of Yoga are there?
Hatha yoga: this is the most common form of yoga in the West. It's perfect for gently relaxing your body after a day's work, relieving stress, and helping you sleep. It is based on focused breathing (pranayama), standing or seated poses (asanas), and twisting.
Nidra yoga: this is the most relaxing type of yoga, similar in many ways to sophrology. It is a very effective stress buster. It mainly involves concentration and breathing exercises
Restorative yoga: this discipline places plenty of importance on achieving different poses. They are held for a long time, to music, in a darkened room. This type of yoga is very beneficial for recovery, and helps to gradually make your body more supple. It is ideal for people who are undergoing physiotherapy, as well as for pregnant women.
2. Dynamic Yogas
Who are they for?
As the name suggests, dynamic yogas are physically demanding and therefore designed for younger people in good health.
They are particularly good for people who already do another sport such as running, diving, surfing or dancing and who need a high degree of concentration, flexibility, endurance, resistance, etc. Indeed, yoga is an excellent complement to other activities and it is becoming increasingly common to see high-level athletes using it to boost their performance.
Young people just entering the world of work and teenagers are also fans of these disciplines because they get rid of stress and help them regain their energy. What types of Yoga are there?
Ashtanga: this type of yoga is based around a series of poses that are linked together at a faster pace. It uses different breathing techniques (Ujjayi + Vinyasa). As it is very dynamic, it helps purify the body and rid it of toxins.
Hot yoga: inspired by Bikram yoga, named after its founder, sessions last around one-and-a-half hours and take place in a room heated to 40°C. These classes tend to attract people who want to move around, improve their flexibility, and sweat, as well as people aiming to lose weight.
Iyengar: this is a very physical and postural yoga that requires a strong focus on breathing. In order to achieve perfection in their poses, yogis use straps, bricks, walls, etc
You are now familiar with the main types of yoga available for you to choose from.
Clearly these are just a small selection of the different disciplines, but there are far too many methods to name them all, and they are only continuing to grow! Now it is up to you to consider which yoga best suits your needs!