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25 forms of yoga

J

Jahnavi Patwardhan

April 17, 2022

General
25 forms of yoga

25 Forms of Yoga

  1. Mobility flow
  2. Flexibility flow
  3. Backbending flow
  4. Warrior flow
  5. Detox flow
  6. Balancing flow
  7. Core yoga
  8. Calorie crusher
  9. Hatha yoga
  10. Ashtanga inspired yoga
  11. Power flow
  12. Moon series
  13. Surya namaskar and variations
  14. Tibetan rites
  15. Hip opening flow
  16. Yoga with a Belt yoga
  17. Yoga with Sculpts yoga
  18. Yoga with a Brick yoga
  19. Yoga with a Wall yoga
  20. Yoga with a Chair yoga
  21. Yoga for focus (Insight inspired Yoga)
  22. Restorative Yoga
  23. Yin yoga
  24. Stress relief deep stretch flow
  25. Pragya inspired yoga

Vinyasa

The word “vinyasa” is translated as “arranging something in a special way,” in this case, yoga postures. Vinyasa means to move your body in a synchronized yoga flow with breath as the key. Vinyasa Flow is the world’s most popular yoga form to develop a stronger mind-body connection, to strengthen the body and improve flexibility. It teaches us to cultivate an awareness that links each action to the next one on the mat and in our lives. It focuses on the flow between movements, rather than individual poses.

This popular, flowing style of yoga developed is a sort of "free-form" offshoot of the more methodical Ashtanga Yoga system. Ashtanga Yoga is a powerful and dynamic style of yoga developed in the 20th century by the guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Ashtanga incorporates the sequence of linked poses called a vinyasa, but where Ashtanga has a strict structure and precise set of rules, Vinyasa Yoga is creative and exploratory.

Vinyasa Yoga contains many, if not all, of the poses included in the Ashtanga Yoga series, but it does not require its students to perform them in the same sequence. For example, in Ashtanga, students of Ashtanga are not allowed to move to the next series of poses without first mastering their current one. Vinyasa Yoga breaks those rules, often including poses from various Ashtanga sequences in one class.

__What a vinyasa class is __

  • The alignment and awareness of breath and movement is key in a vinyasa class
  • The intensity and pace of a vinyasa class can vary
  • A vinyasa flow can be designed to focus on specific aspects i.e. strength, mobility, flexibility etc
  • A vinyasa flow can incorporate different props i.e. bricks, yoga wheel etc
  • A vinyasa class can also be designed with a specific theme in mind e.g.: chakra balancing flow, back bending flow, twisting flow etc
  • It is a complete class that keeps your entire body and system active and aware

__Physical Benefits __

  • Spinal Strength
  • Stamina
  • Joint Mobility
  • Intensive Muscle Strength

__Mental Benefits __

  • Awareness in motion
  • Improves concentration
  • Confidence
  • Self awareness

Characteristics of Vinyasa Flow Yoga Vinyasa Yoga connects one posture to the next using the breath. “Transitions” are what connect one posture to another in Vinyasa. They are the in-between part. To move in a more graceful, connected way, allot just as much time developing skill in the transitions as you do in the asana. Move with breath. Breath initiates the movement of Vinyasa which is why you’ll hear it referred to as a “breath-synchronized” practice. Ujjayi breath is the breathing technique used. It is done by inhaling and exhaling in a rhythmic manner through the nose. The overall sensation is one of relaxation.

Vinyasa practice generates heat and can add a cardiovascular component not always present in other forms of postural practice.

The most interesting part of Vinyasa Flow classes is the variation in sequence from class to class. (A sequence is any time two or more postures are strung together). No two classes are alike. Vinyasa flows or vinyasa classes can be designed around different themes/ focused on different parts of the body/based on different goals and so on.

1. Mobility Flow

Mobility is an umbrella term for the many elements that contribute to movement with full range of motion, including restricted muscle tissue, joints, joint capsules, motor control, and your soft tissue. Essentially, it is the ability to generate force through your whole range of motion – even at the edge of your flexibility. If you’re trying to keep your leg straight and lift it 90 degrees, that’s mobility.

The mobility flow focuses on postures that can be done dynamically and focus on joint movements. This flow can be focused on certain joints- eg: hip mobility and so on or can be a full body mobility flow. In this flow, you can include small joint mobility exercises and then move onto postures like utkatasana, utkatasana, malasana, parsvakonasana and so on.

2. Flexibility Flow

Flexibility is the range of motion in a joint or group of joints or the ability to move joints effectively through a complete range of motion. Flexibility training includes stretching exercises to lengthen the muscles. Improving your flexibility can help you move more comfortably throughout the day. In a flexibility flow, you can include suryanamaskars as warm up and move on to a full body stretch sequence that includes holds in different positions like trikonasana, parsovottanasana, bhujangasana and so on.

Benefits:

  • releases muscles tension and stiffness
  • improves mobility and range of motion
  • prevents pain caused by tight muscles
  • gets deeper into yoga postures
  • improves posture and balance
  • decreases risk of injuries
  • increases blood flow to the muscles
  • relieves back pain
  • calms the mind, releases stress and anxiety

3. Backbending flow

Practicing backbends opens up the front body, increases your hip flexibility, and improves the mobility of your lumbar and thoracic spine. Backbends need to be balanced with an equal amount of quantity and intensity of forward bends.

1. Traction Where the body is bending with gravity and the muscles on the front of the body are active, helping to control the range and rate of movement. These are poses such as Camel Pose (Ustrasana) or dropping back to Wheel (Urdhva Dhanurasana). 2. Leverage Where the strength of the arms or legs are used to deepen the backbend, Poses like Bow (Danurasana) or Cobra (Bhujangasana). 3. Contraction Where the muscles on the back contract to overcome gravity. These are generally poses where you are lying on your front such as Locust (Salabhasana).

Benefits

  • Strengthens the back muscles
  • Alleviates back pain
  • Stretches the hip flexors
  • Improves posture
  • Activates prana
  • Increases circulation
  • Boosts mood
  • Opens up the shoulders and chest
  • Stimulates the heart chakra and brings in positivity
  • Improves breathing

4. Warrior flow

This flow focuses on creating a sequence using different warrior poses. It cultivates strength, balance and has a positive effect on the mind by instilling confidence.

Some warrior poses include:

  • Warrior I / Virabhadrasana I.
  • Warrior II / Virabhadrasana II.
  • Warrior III / Virabhadrasana III.
  • Reverse Warrior / Viparita Virabhadrasana.
  • Humble Warrior / Baddha Virabhadrasana.
  • Retreating Warrior.

5. Detox flow

Detox flow is specially designed to release all the toxins from the body through the practice of a unique combination of asanas, pranayamas, and kriyas.

Detox flow can be done in many styles of yoga. It takes inspiration from Hatha, Ashtanga and can include a Vinyasa style of teaching using therapeutic yoga postures to increase blood circulation in the internal organs responsible for detoxification.

The flow includes several twisting asanas which creates a “squeeze-and-soak” action regulating the synovial fluids of the spine which is connected to the nervous system.

Organs get squeezed in a twist, releasing waste or old blood and blockages out, and help gush the newly oxygenated blood into the muscles, joints, and organs. Twists also stimulate circulation; release tension in the muscles of the spine, abdomen and rib cage; and help to create heat.

It also includes many asanas that massage the internal organs and regulates the glandular and digestive system resulting in complete detoxification of the body and mind.

The systems are very well equipped on their own. But to help the body keep up with the demands of our stressful lifestyles, our natural detox system needs some help. That is where detox yoga helps.

One of the many benefits of yoga is the detoxification of the body and the mind. The three primary systems in our body that are crucial to the elimination of waste are the circulatory system, the lymphatic system, and the digestive system. The circulatory system pumps and filters blood throughout the body, and in doing so, it delivers oxygen to the organs and collects the waste from the cells. The digestive system processes the food we eat and separates the waste from the nutrients that get circulated through the blood and into the liver, thereby eliminating what the body doesn’t need straightaway. Theses poses can spark lymph and blood circulation to drain fluids from the legs and pelvis and initiate new blood flow to provide energy to organs that help with detox, including the liver and kidneys.

The lymphatic system collects intracellular fluids from the body and transports them to the lymph nodes, removing anything that is harmful before the fluid returns to the bloodstream.

During yoga, every part of the body is pulled, pushed, and twisted causing the elimination of carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and lymphatic fluid from deep within, where other forms of workouts fail to reach.

Pranayama or breathing techniques like ujjayi and Bhastrika also help in cleansing our energies and providing oxygen to our blood stream.

In addition, kriyas like Kapalbhati can help you not only release stress and toxins from the mind and body, it can also help release negative emotions, shake off sluggishness, and energize.

Physical Benefits

  • Breathing efficiency
  • Back strength
  • Detoxification

Mental Benefits

  • Mental refreshment
  • Balance of energy
  • Mental clarity
  • Self awareness

6. Balancing Flow

A balancing flow comprises postures that require stability of the body, aligned with breath. The key components to balance include the steadiness of the breath, activation of the core and tranquility of the mind. This form of yoga is challenging as well as fun and always reflects the state of your mind.

Balancing flow can be done in many styles of yoga. It takes inspiration from Hatha, Ashtanga and can include a Vinyasa style of teaching.

Balance Yoga is designed to heighten your senses, by improving your intermuscular coordination working with the gravity by balancing the body weight proportion keeping the center of gravity intact.

To balance the eyes the joints and the muscles work together, they send signals to the brain and the body moves as per the information, hence balancing the body. The practice of balance yoga makes you more attentive and aware, as your senses are completely focused in attaining the posture first and then maintaining the balance.

Balancing posture helps to improve focus and concentration by engaging the mind into the posture, helps maintain balance by taking control over body weight and by establishing stability in the body.

Core activation and core stability are key to achieving a good balance. Balance in yoga posture or yoga flow is all about maintaining your center of gravity through active intermuscular coordination.

Balancing is not limited to a posture/ asana. It also includes balancing the energy channels/nadis in the body through pranayama, meditation and so on. The Ida Nadi represents the left side of your energy body, which is the lunar energy, the cool calm energy, which can be visualized as light blue.

The Pingla Nadi represents the right side of your energy body, which is the solar energy, the warm vagarious energy which can be visualized as bright yellow or orange like the sun.

The Yoga asana practice, specially the balancing asana helps to stabilize the Ida and Pingala energies of the body. The breathing techniques and guided relaxation also helps the energies follow freely removing any blockages. It also refers to the 7 chakras or energy sources in our body. A balance between the chakras leads to a stable state of mind and leads to achieving higher consciousness.

The right side of the body represents the Pingala Nadi, hence all asana starts with the right side first. The left side of the body represent the Ida Nadi, hence all asana practice with the left side. This results into activation and deactivation of the energies of the body resulting into energy balance, hence one feels energized and rejuvenated after a yoga asana practice.

Physical benefits

  • Multitasking
  • Body Balance
  • Body Stability
  • Intermuscular coordination

Mental benefits

  • Inner Peace
  • Mental Clarity
  • Focus
  • Self Awareness

Moderate & high intensity classes

7. Core strength yoga

The core of the body refers to the abdominal regions, including the lumbar or the lower back. Having a strong and stable core is very important to make sure your entire body is balanced. Apart from that, a strong core helps you avoid back pain, reduces risk of injuries and keeps your body stable and aligned.

This class is made of postures that focus on the core region to bring strength as well as toning to the body. Even the breathing exercises should be focused on the core region, eg: Kapalbhati.

List of core postures

  • BOAT POSE
  • SIDE PLANK POSE
  • SIDE PLANK WITH A TWIST
  • DOLPHIN PLANK POSE
  • BRIDGE POSE
  • WHEEL POSE
  • CHAIR POSE WITH A TWIST
  • WARRIOR III
  • BAKASANA

8. Calorie crusher

This is a high intensity, weightloss focused class that includes cardio and strength poses and practices. This class is characterized by fast yogic movements that use the body and breath sync.

Some ideas for this class

  • yogic burpees
  • dynamic lunges
  • boat to low boat
  • downward facing dog to upward facing dog
  • chair squats
  • warrior II to skandasana

This class is all about sweating it out and having fun with creative and interesting postures and moves.

9. Hatha Yoga

Hatha is a Sanskrit term and can be broken down into two parts; ha meaning the sun and tha meaning the moon.This traditional form of yoga establishes tranquility by balancing the solar and lunar energies in the body. Hatha,through breath control (pranayama) and body control (asana) brings about purification and stability and achieves the perfect union between mind and body.

Thus, hatha yoga is the balance that we should strike between these two powerful elements within us. Hatha yoga is derived from the ancient Vedanta orientation of Hatha Pradipika also called Hatha Yoga Pradipika compiled by Svatmarama in the 15th century CE.

The Hatha Yoga Pradipika contains precise and detailed instructions on:

  • Asanas (postures)
  • Breath practices (pranyama)
  • Purification techniques (kriyas)
  • Symbols and energy locks (mudras and bandhas)

Apart from Hatha Yoga Pradipika, some other texts on hatha yoga are Gheranda Samhita, Hatharatnavali and Shiva Samhita.

The word ‘hatha’ means willful or forceful which leads us to understand that hatha yoga is a practice of determination and fortitude.

In Yogic science, the body is divided into two parts, the right side is considered as the Sun side, responsible for the heating element of the body, it represents the life of human beings. The left side is considered as the Moon side, the cooling element in the body, it represents emotions and feelings. This practice of hatha balances the Sun and Moon energy by controlling Nadis or the energy channels. These energies are directly associated with the health and wellbeing of a person.

Most Hatha Yoga practices begin with Kriyas or purification techniques, cleansing and preparing the body for the asana practice. The asanas strengthen and stabilise the body and allow the energies (pranas) to flow freely.Once the prana starts flowing freely, we must regulate it with the practice of pranayama accompanies by energy locks or bandhas.

10. Ashtanga inspired yoga

Ashtanga Flow is a traditionally structured flow to overcome the odds, designed along the path of internal purification for revealing the universal self-contained within.

The root of Ashtanga Yoga is from an ancient text named Yoga Kournta written by the great sage Vaman Rishi. Guru Swami Rama Mohan Bhramachari studied this ancient text and imparted the knowledge derived to Sri T. Krishnamacharya. This knowledge was then passed on mainly to 3 sadhakas Sri K Pattabi Jois, Sri Iyengar and T. K. V. Desikachar.

B. K Iyengar spent a shorter stint with Sri Krishnamacharya, however adopted the teachings as a sick student by using various props to assist him through his practice, hence developing a deep understanding of yoga, anatomy and use of props to achieve the benefits of all asanas.

Sri Pattabi Jois spent a longer stint with Sri Krishnamacharya and had adopted the vigorous asana practice from his teachings. As per Sri Pattabi Jois the 8-fold path cannot be practiced without disciplining the senses which can happen only through methodical and disciplined yoga practice. Hence, he came up with 6 series of asanas each of which starts with 5 rounds of Surya Namaskars A and B respectively along with the standing sequence.

These asanas are to be practiced as per the order and one cannot move to the next asana until they can perfect all the asanas as per the order.

The 1st series is designed to restore, detox, realign the body, strengthen the musculoskeletal system and cleanse the vital systems i.e. the nervous, the respiratory and the digestive system.

The Primary Series is mainly designed to make your lower limbs strong and the trunk of the body supple and flexible. It moves on to forward bends and twisting asanas to make the trunk of the body strong and flexible, working on the digestive system and glands situated around the abdominal region. The ending sequence consists of core strengthening and a few inversions to massage the thyroid gland. It also impacts the pituitary gland, increase blood circulation towards our nervous system and calm the nerves by stimulating the parasympathetic system.

Ashtanga yoga emphasizes certain main components, namely Tristhana which refers to the union of "three places of attention or action: posture, breathing system and looking place”. These three are very important for yoga practice, and cover three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and mind. They are always performed in conjunction with each other"

Ashtanga yoga focuses on 4 key factors

1. Breath The breathing technique performed with vinyasa is called ujjayi (victorious breath), which consists of puraka (inhalation) and rechaka (exhalation). "Both the inhale and exhale should be steady and even, the length of the inhale should be the same length as the exhale". Over time, the length and intensity of the inhalation and exhalation should increase, such that the increased stretching of the breath initiates the increased stretching of the body. Long, even breathing also increases the internal fire and strengthens & purifies the nervous system. 2. Drishti Drishti is the location where one focuses the eyes while practicing asana. In the ashtanga yoga method, there is a prescribed point of focus for every asana. There are nine dristhis: the nose, between the eyebrows, navel, thumb, hands, feet, up, right side and left side. 3. Vinyasa Vinyasas are flowing sequences of movements to connect each asana with the next. Modern vinyasa yoga in addition coordinates the breath with the vinyasa transition movements between asanas. 4. Bandhas Bandhas are one of the three key principles in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, alongside breath and drishti. There are three principal bandhas which are considered internal body locks: • Mūla Bandha; or root lock at the pelvic floor (drawing in the perineum) • ḍḍīyāna Bandha; drawing back the abdomen, 2 inches below the navel • Jālaṅdhara Bandha; throat lock, achieved by lowering the chin slightly while raising the sternum.

11. Power yoga

Power Yoga is a composite of fast paced synchronized Yoga postures with intense fitness workout that unite the mind and the body.

Benefits

  • It helps to build tolerance and stability within your body and mind
  • Power Yoga workouts also improve a person's concentration
  • It helps to maintain your body weight proportion
  • Makes your body more flexible
  • Increases strength
  • Builds tolerance and stability build tolerance
  • Improves concentration

Who can do? Ideal for people who are looking for weight management and develop muscle tone.

Who should avoid As a practice, anyone who has undergone recent surgeries (within the last 6 months) shouldn’t practice this. Caution is advised to those with chronic pain. Here, those with knee pain, neck pain, or any joint pain must be careful.

12. Moon series

Lunar Phase Flow is a series of calming and cooling posture technique that focuses on movement and breath.

Benefits

  • Lunar phase flow is a series of calming and cooling posture technique that focuses on movement and breath
  • Strengthens of back muscles
  • Strengthens spine
  • Improve the breathing efficiency
  • Increases body awareness
  • Purification of mind and the vital energy

Who can practice it? Those who want to grow inwards and know themselves at a deeper level must indulge!

Who should avoid As a practice, anyone who has undergone recent surgeries (within the last 6 months) shouldn’t practice this. Caution is advised to those with chronic pain. Here, those with knee pain, neck pain, or any joint pain must be careful.

13. Surya namaskar

In Surya Namaskar, Surya refers to “the sun,” and Namaskar means “bowing down in respect.” or salution. This has been the most popular yogic kriyas for many decades now, as it combines 12 yoga asanas in a yogic sequence. Practicing Surya Namaskar daily helps in balancing three constituents of your body, i.e., Kapha, Pitta, and Vata, which will help you lead your life in a greater way and influence your creativity and intuitive abilities. It’s simple yet powerful poses are what make it possible for people of all age groups and all sizes to perform it, anytime, anywhere.

Types of Suryanamaskars Ashtanga vinyasa suryanamaskars A, B and C

14. Hip opening class

Yoga is great for helping to relieve tension in the hips. Working on hip flexibility and stability can also improve lower back pain, balance, posture and prevent injuries in later life.

While most yoga poses involve the muscles around the hips and pelvis in some way, hip openers are a specific group of asanas whose main anatomical function is to maintain and develop a healthy range of motion in the hips.

Hip opening classes can be different each time, they can range from intense to calming to emotional even. A lot of our fears, insecurities and upsets get stored as emotions in our hips. That is why a hip opening class can even be cathartic for some people, so much so that you might find yourself crying in the middle of a posture.

These hip opening classes are fun to design and can have several short term and long term benefits.

15. Tibetan rites

Tibetan Yoga comprises 5 simple, dynamic yogic poses known as The 5 Tibetan Rites. They are yogic routines based on a ritual of exercises done by the Tibetan Lamas, which helped them to live very long and healthy life.

Benefits

  • This is a rejuvenating Yoga style that increases the sense of well being
  • Rejuvenation and looking & feeling younger
  • Relief from joint pain and arthritis
  • Relief from back pain & Spondylitis
  • Increased sense of well-being
  • Sound sleep
  • Improved memory

Who can do? Ideal for those who seek relief from joint pain, arthritis, and spondylitis.

Who should avoid People who suffer from chronic joint pain. People who face disequilibrium should avoid this form

How to do the 5 Tibetan Rites

1. Twirling a. Stand with your feet a little apart and your arms shoulder height, palms facing down. b. Begin to spin in a clockwise direction (as if you were standing on a clock) trying to keep your breath steady as you twirl. Tip: Speed is not important here (the direction is) so don’t whirl so quickly that you fall over! If you feel extremely dizzy when you stop spinning, bring your palms together and look at your thumbs. Breathe deeply.

2. Leg raises a. Lie on your back on the floor with your palms by your sides and your legs straight. b. Engage your lower belly, inhale and raise your legs in the air whilst at the same time, lifting your head. Exhale and lower everything back down to the floor. Move between the two positions steadily and with control. Tip: If this is too strong, place your hands underneath your buttocks or bend your knees. You shouldn’t feel any pain in your back or neck whilst doing this exercise.

3. Dynamic Camel a. Come to a kneeling position. As you inhale, arch your spine, slide your hands down the back of your thighs and tip the head slightly back. b. Exhale back to an upright position and tip the chin forwards towards the chest. Tip: Keep the lower belly pulled in and up to protect the lower back. Only take the head back as much as feels right for your neck. Place padding under the knees if they’re sensitive.

4. Moving tabletop a. Come into a seated position with your legs stretched out in front of you, palms flat on the floor. b. Breathe in, press into the hands and swing the hips forward and upwards so that you come into a ‘tabletop’ position, feet flat on the floor. You can keep the chin pointing upwards or take the head back if it feels okay on your neck. Exhale, swing the hips back and return to the original position as you exhale. Move between the two positions steadily and fluidly. Tip: You can start from a bent-kneed position with the hips slightly forward from the hands until you build up the strength in your arms. You could also try placing your palms on blocks to give you a little more height.

5. Downward Dog to Upward Dog a. Come into a Downward Facing Dog pose, spreading your fingers wide and pressing your palms into the floor. Draw the thighs up and back and create length in the spine. b. Inhale, roll over the toes, bring the shoulders over the wrists and come into Upward Facing Dog. Keep the neck long and the collar bones broad. As you exhale, press firmly into the hands, draw the hips up and back, and return to a Downward Facing Dog pose.

Types of prop class

16. Belt

A prop that is inspired from the iyengar practice belt can be a useful tool to use and can help achieve proper alignment and deeper stretch and range of movement in an asana.

Benefits

  • Provide support and form alignment
  • Straps are life savers for people with tight hamstrings and shoulders
  • A strap can safely achieve poses previously inaccessible
  • You’ll find yourself getting into a deeper stretch, without compromising your form
  • It helps Improve posture and alignment

Use the strap to address your tight areas. Help yourself to stop reaching into poses, tensing your shoulders and rounding your back—big no-nos. Or strap yourself in to restorative poses like Goddess and feel your lower back release. Get an incredible stretch Stretching becomes more effective and enjoyable when a strap is involved.

There are countless ways to use the strap for your advantage. In seated poses, yoga straps can be used around the feet to hold poses, especially for those with tight hips. In standing poses where balance is key, the strap can also be looped around your foot to increase your flexibility without losing your form.

Yoga straps can also be great to get a more intense stretch for your shoulders and chest (eg- cow face pose below). Lastly, for arm balance poses like downward dog, the strap can be used to keep your elbows from going out.

Some of the precautions one need to take

  • Make sure one is not overextending themselves, specially in mobility movements.
  • It's important to see the back alignment while using belt.

17. Wall

Wall yoga is a way to incorporate support and stability into your yoga practice and bring in better alignment and flexibility as well. Wall yoga is also an excellent way to work on the spine by incorporating twisting poses which can be very beneficial for your spine. Wall yoga is a good way to strengthen your core, and prepare you for balancing postures like sarvangasana, halasana, shirshasana and also use it as a preparation for hands stand.

The best part about wall yoga is that it suits all types of body and can be practised by all ages.

Benefits

  • Supports the body to help achieve previously inaccessible poses
  • Improves posture and alignment, as it supports and divides the body weight
  • Wall is best used for strength,flexibility, balance and inversions

Some basic precautions

  • One should not put all the weight on the wall, the wall is just for support and alignment, the key is to learn to use the muscles and joints better and properly through the wall.
  • In balancing pose, one needs to be extra careful not just during the pose but also while getting into the pose.
  • Avoid complex poses like arm balance and inversions especially for beginners.

18. Sculpt

Sculpt yoga is using the 1 kg weights in both hands while doing yoga. If one doesn't have 1 kg weight, they can use 500 ml or 1 liter water bottle in both hands depending on their strength. This helps tone muscle and build strength workout along with many mental benefits of yoga.

Sculpt yoga is an excellent way to strengthen the musculoskeletal system of the body. It is filled with dynamic movement in different yoga asanas which can flow in a vinyasa style as well. Adding resistance to your yoga routine through the incorporation of light weights forces muscles that may have otherwise remained static to work through short bursts of energy. These bursts of energy, which alternate with short periods of rest, lead to increased expenditure of anaerobic energy and a subsequent jump in calorie burn.

Benefits

  • Great cardio-vascular exercise
  • Boosts oxygen intake
  • Massaging effect to the liver, intestines and other organs
  • Stimulates and detoxes the skin
  • Fantastic for reducing low bone density conditions like osteoporosis
  • Improves balance and coordination

Some of the precautions include

  • Keep the wrist in check
  • Extra attention to alignment to avoid injury
  • People with severe spine issue or any recent injury or surgery should avoid this completely

Some of the common weight bearing movements are as follows:

Upper body

  • Rotations
  • Over head press (shoulder)
  • Triceps kick backs
  • Bendt over rows
  • Lateral delt raises
  • Upright rows (face pulls)
  • Plank rows
  • Front raises
  • Reverse flys
  • Bicep curls

Lower body

  • Lunges (Reverse/Static/Front)
  • Gobblet Squat (goddes squat )
  • Curtsy lunge
  • Dead lifts ( Single leg with or without support/rdl/stiff leg )
  • Calf raises
  • Lateral lunges
  • Glute bridge
  • Donky kicks with weights
  • Liying or standing single leg lateral raise
  • Squats

All of the above is added in a yoga asana and flow which is very transient and dynamic.

19. Chair

Chair yoga was developed by BKS Iyengar and his wife Geeta to build a helpful practice specially for people with injuries or inability to achieve certain poses. Chair yoga is a means to achieve the end resulted which is unsupported asana practice with proper alignment, stability, precision and staying longer in the asana.

This form was developed to help perform difficult postures independently, and help achieve correct alignment during the asana practice. Chairs are best to stay longer in challenging asanas in order to attain the full benefit of the pose. Its excellent to investigate asanas in depth.

Chair yoga is an ideal exercise for those suffering from health conditions, such as chronic pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoporosis, and multiple sclerosis. It may also benefit people over a certain age who have trouble moving through the up and down motions of traditional yoga. Chair yoga allows them to stay stabilised. Yoga offers a myriad of benefits.

Benefits

  • Helps increase flexibility
  • Helps in mobility of joints and increases range of motions of the joints and spine
  • Helps improve mental state
  • Excellent for individuals with injuries or aches and pain especially in the knee joint

Some of the precautions include

  • Keep the chair against the wall whenever body weight is being put on the chair
  • Use a sturdy chair during practice.

Some for the common poses used in chair yoga are:

Standing Asanas

  • Tadasana (2 variations- chair in fron, chair behind)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Raising the palms, Chair inverted)
  • Ardha Uttanasana (Outer wrists on the backrest, Resting the forehead on the bolster)
  • Uttanasana (head resting on the seat, Shoulder girdle on the seat)
  • Utthita Trikonasana (Chair behind, Chain in front)
  • Virbadharasana 1 & 2
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • Ardha chandrasana (Chair behind)
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (Twisting to face the chair, foot in between the leg/inverted chair)
  • Parivrtta ardha chandrasana (Chair behind, leg on the wall)
  • Parivrtta parsvakonasana (Seat on the chair, Twisting to face the chair)
  • Virabhadrasana III (Outer wrist on backrest, one leg on the wall)
  • Parsvottanasana (Leg in between the leg of the chair/inverted chair)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana I (hip on the wall arms on the seat of the chair)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana II (knee bent, knee straight with belt)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana I (forward, with belt and blanket)
  • Utkatasana (edge of the chair)
  • Garudasana (edge of the chair)

Seated poses

  • Dandasana (chair behind, with block)
  • Paschimottanasana (chair in front with belt)
  • Janu Sirsasana
  • Virasana (chair behind)
  • Baddha Konasana (chair in front)
  • Half Lotus fold
  • Parsva Sukhasana
  • Bharadvajasana (on the chair/ on the floor)
  • Marichyasana 1 & 2

20. Brick yoga

Another prop which is one of the most popular props which was introduced by BKS iyengar is Brick/block. A yoga block can be used as an extension of the hand, or to support the back,hip,head, feet etc. One can use a very fat book instead of a block if they don't have one available.

Benefits

  • Make perfect postures alignment
  • Increase Strength, balance & flexibility
  • Increase energy
  • Reduce stress
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Gain a stronger sense of calm

Who can do? This form is truly beneficial for people who suffer from diabetes, back pain, asthma; varicose vain problems.

Who should avoid? Caution is advised to those with chronic pain, especially those who have had recent back surgery and abdomen surgery.

21. Insight yoga

Insight Yoga provides you visual desertion that helps you to monitor your movements precisely which results in calmness of mind that reflects in your action.

Benefits

  • Helps develop will power and improves mind body control and coordination
  • Clear vision over movements
  • Improves body and mind co-ordination
  • Improves memory and will power
  • Helps to conquer social ego

Who can do? Those who want to grow inwards and know themselves at a deeper level must indulge.

Who should avoid? People who face disequilibrium should avoid this form.

Low intensity forms

What is low intensity? Although some particular exercises are commonly categorized as "low", "moderate" or "high" intensity, what really distinguishes them from each other is their effect on your heart rate and the overall effort that they require on your part.

One way to determine whether an exercise is low, moderate or high intensity is to use the rate of perceived exertion, which measures how difficult the exercise feels to you while you are doing it. To measure perceived exertion, observe your breathing patterns and other outward effects, like sweating.

Low-intensity, steady-state cardio, or LISS is a common term used in the fitness industry these days.Yoga can count as low-intensity cardio — as long as ther heart rate remains steady at around 50-70 percent of your maximum heart rate for the duration of the workout.

Benefits

  • Blood pressure: Breathing techniques help reduce stress and improve blood flow, which may lower blood pressure.
  • Bone disease: Weight-bearing exercise has been shown to be beneficial to bone remodelling Yoga accomplishes this in a non-impact manner that is less harmful to joints.
  • Diabetes: In people with diabetes, yoga has been found to lower blood sugar levels, encourage weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Strength: Each pose is typically held for several long breaths, which promotes strength, balance and flexibility, particularly in the abs, hamstrings, quadriceps, arms and lower back. Another bonus: better posture.
  • Flexibility: Yoga poses stretch your muscles, allowing you to move more freely and feel less stiff. It also increases lubrication of the joints, ligaments and tendons.
  • Mood: Yoga helps decrease tension, fatigue and anxiety while increasing energy and feelings of well-being.

Some of the forms of low intensity class includes

  • Restorative yoga
  • Yin yoga
  • Stress relief deep stretch
  • Hata Yoga
  • Hip opening
  • Pragya yoga

22. Restorative yoga

Restorative Yoga is a contemplative practice that uses props like chairs, blocks, straps, sandbags, bolsters, and blankets to totally support the body, enabling the release of mind and body tension.

It is a slow-paced practice that works to release deep tension passively, without active stretch.

It is a powerful practice and can help a student to restore the body back to its normal flexibility and mobility.

The practice was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar in order to help people with injuries or illnesses, enabling them to experience the profound healing benefits of yoga without placing their bodies under too much.

Iyengar encouraged the use of props and modified asanas to allow the body to relax into poses.

Restorative yoga doesn’t do force. It’s about releasing, surrendering and compassion toward ourselves.

Benefits

Relaxes your mind and body: Yoga is linked to reduced stress and anxiety, and lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. Soothes the nervous system: Restorative yoga helps shift the balance from your fight-or-flight response (sympathetic nervous system) to your relaxation response, or the parasympathetic nervous system. Enhances your mood: Yoga promotes relaxation and deep breathing, which, according to research, may reduce depressive symptoms. Reduces chronic pain: Research has shown that yoga may help reduce pain associated with headache or back pain, as well as osteoarthritis. Improves sleep: Studies have shown that adding yoga to your daily routine may help boost the quality of your sleep. Improves well-being: In addition to lower levels of stress, research has also found that doing yoga regularly may result in less fatigue, more vigor, and improved well-being. Gentle on your body: Restorative yoga is generally safe and often recommended for people with acute or chronic injuries. Safe to perform during pregnancy: Restorative yoga is easy to modify and safe to practice during pregnancy.

23. Yin yoga

Difference between a restorative and yin class Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga are often considered to be similar practices, but there are many differences between the two.

Usage of props-Both styles may use props, however, in Yin Yoga, they are used to either help you come into a more beneficial alignment, to deepen the pose or on the other hand side to prevent you from going too deep into the stretch. In Restorative Yoga, props are used to completely support your body. Usually, Restorative Yoga will use far more props than Yin Yoga, which may include straps, blankets, blocks, sandbags and especially bolsters.

Poses-Yin Yoga poses are held for about 3-5 minutes, sometimes even 7 minutes if students are experienced. In Restorative Yoga, poses are held for anywhere from 5-10 minutes.

Stretch- In Yin Yoga, there is an active stretch but not however in Restorative Yoga the goal is to be 100% supported and passive with no active stretch.Yin has the 80% rule to stretch the deeper yin tissues one mustn’t go beyond 80% of their capacity in the pose, basically staying in mild discomfort instead of rest or distress

Benefits

  • Calms and balances the mind and body
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Increases circulation
  • Improves flexibility and fascial health
  • Releases fascia and improves joint mobility
  • Balances the internal organs and improves the flow of chi or prana
  • Stress relief deep stretch

24. Stress relief deep stretch

Flexibility refers to the ability to move your muscles and joints through their full range. In this class, you try to achieve this full range with mindful movement and breathing.

We create a space to relax, de-stress, and let go of anxiety with postures and breathwork in this class.

The class is designed to increase the range of motion and release any stiffness or tightness in the body. We take the energy through our breath to the targeted area which help muscles, tissues, joints, etc. work more efficiently, increasing flexibility and feeling calm and relaxed.

Benefits It helps realign any disorganised muscle fibre and helps relieve your chronic muscle tension or malformations. Stretching does not only work on the physical body but also helps calm the mind and helps gain perspective, opening the mind to new ideas and free thinking. Stretching can also be therapeutic and can help cure sciatica and chronic joint pain if done right. Anxiety and stress can result into tight muscles and joints. Many people store stress in particular parts of their body for example neck and shoulders, a stress relief deep stretch class is ideal to decompress, unwind and release tension from the body which translates into the mind.

Posture alignment and correction is a basic by product of this class, which is so essential in todays sedentary lifestyle.

What really happens when we stretch? In the musculoskeletal system (Muscles + Bones) bones give structure to the body and muscles help movement of the body (by flexing and extending). Muscles also helps connecting the body through ligaments (Joints) andtendons (Bones)

There are different types of muscles which serves different functions, they are mainly classified into 3 types

  • Skeletal muscle – the specialised tissue that is attached to bones and allows movement.
  • Smooth muscle – located in various internal structures including the digestive tract, uterus and blood vessels such as arteries.
  • Cardiac muscle – the muscle specific to the heart.

Muscles are put together with the help of multiple connective tissues called fascia, these tissues are also surrounded around all organs and all body parts. It is like a common denominator throughout the body.

Fascias are layers of these connective tissues which plays a very integral part in the movement of the body. The fascial planes were completely ignored during surgeries in previously, however today surgeons are paying attention and trying to maintain the integrity of these connective tissues and fascial planes.

Fascia is the key element in all the movements of the body and a major player in all types of muscle and bone injuries.

These are layers of connective tissues which are almost transparent and is wrapped around all the parts of the body including muscles, separating them helping them glide smoothly.

It is very strong and can bear 2000 pounds of pressure and yet are slippery and moist. Covered as a sheath over the muscles it refrains muscles from over stretching and is like an emergency break to avoid injuries. It also helps in balancing the body in all positions. It has the ability to feel impact and responds, it can contract individually and can move without conscious command.

Why is understanding fascia important ? Unfortunately, most people do not focus on the health of Fascia and lack of movement can cement the fascial fibers. Stress can also cause thickening of Fascia. Poor form and structure along with sedentary lifestyle cause the fascial fiber to form complex patterns which are difficult to get rid of.

Deep stretch yoga with long holds helps remove the adhesions which are built due to long periods of immobility.It helps stretch the chronically tight muscles which have become rigid. It helps release compression of the nerves of the muscles and opens the muscles up.

It helps make the fascial planes smooth and moist, increasing the tissue flexibility, sipping water in between practice also helps keep the fascia moist.

How do we incorporate fascia flexibility into our practice?

  • Put in gentle stretches that can be held for longer time from 3 to 5 minutes as the fascia stretches better with longer holds.
  • A warmup is imperative as the heat helps open the fascia better and increases the blood circulation towards the muscles and joints.
  • Prone and supine poses are a must as pressing of muscles against the floor acts like a massage to the muscles and can deep stretch the muscles.

25. Pragya yoga

Pragya Yoga is a device to sharpen spiritual prudence, insight and intuition. It elevates inner consciousness within & creates an atmosphere of happiness and peace.

Benefits

  • Stimulates the gland of the endocrine system
  • Helps in digestion
  • Improves the heart functioning
  • Increase body awareness
  • Reduces chronic stress patterns
  • Improvement in concentration

Who can do? Those who want to be one with themselves, mindful of their decisions and want to gain wisdom through practice should join.

Who should avoid? As a practice, anyone who has undergone recent surgeries (within the last 6 months) shouldn’t practice this. Caution is advised to those with chronic pain. Here, those with knee pain, neck pain, or any joint pain must be careful.