Friday, September 10, 2010

September is National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month. I have practiced yoga on and off throughout the years, and have found it to be very relaxing, both mentally and physically, and a great spiritual practice. But the meaning of yoga practice varies depending upon whom you talk to. Yoga is not always just slow movements, controlled breathing, and long poses (called asanas).
MIAMI BEACH, FL - JUNE 11:  Brittany Ganson (L), a registered yoga teacher, conducts a class June 11, 2008 in Miami Beach, Florida. As the U.S. economy continues to struggle, studies have shown that financial-related stress can lead to health issues. Some workers are turning to stress management workouts such as yoga, where Brittany Ganson says students try to find their inner peace and forget their problems as they participate in the yoga class.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Indeed, there are so many different types of yoga that you should be able to find one that fits your personality, your fitness level, and your needs. Here are just four of the many different types of yoga:

Hatha Yoga is probably the most popular type of yoga and is an excellent practice for beginners. This type of yoga stresses slow and gentle movements. There is also an emphasis on the breath during yoga practice.

Ashtanga Yoga is the polar opposite of Hatha Yoga. Called “Power yoga,” Ashtanga Yoga requires constant movement and provides an excellent cardio workout. But relaxation? Forget it.

Vinyasa Yoga is similar to Ashtanga. Vinyasa is fast paced yoga practice with a lot of different poses. But these poses are seldom held for long. Rather, each pose flows into the next, and the next, and the next…well, you get the idea.

Kripalu Yoga is a very spiritual type of hatha yoga. In Kripalu, there are a lot of breathing exercises, a lot of stretching, and a lot of gentle poses. There is also meditation and a focus on the spiritual self.

The type of yoga that I practice is Hatha Yoga. I have tried Vinyase Yoga, but it was way too hard for me. Have you tried any of these types of yoga and what did you think of them? Have you tried any other types of yoga? Will you start practicing yoga this month now that it is National Yoga Month?

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