If you want to start with yoga, it can be difficult to choose a species. Yoga is much more than just moving and relaxing. It involves body posture, breathing, concentration, meditation, awareness. And every yoga form offers something different. Do you want to sweat a lot and do an intensive workout? Or are you going for technical perfection or long intensive poses? See which yoga form suits you best.
The most practiced form of yoga in the Netherlands is Hatha yoga. In the name Hatha the Sanskrit words ha (sun) and tha (moon) come together. The sun stands for action, the moon for internalization. Within the Hatha yoga the two come together in the form of asana, physical exercise, and pranayama, control of breathing.
Both the postures and the breathing consist of four parts. In the posture they know how to prepare, accept, hold and observe the moments. Breathing consists of inhaling, holding, exhaling and retention. Within the Hatha there are many different breathing techniques.
In a lesson, dynamic and quiet attitudes alternate. You observe with attention what happens in your body. Through the combination with the breathing you learn to release muscle tension. The teacher mainly gives direction and energy and will not say so quickly whether you are right or wrong. At Hatha you have to make things happen and be a spectator.
With Yin yoga positions are held longer, giving you more time to push and explore your limits. The attitudes are mainly focused on strengthening and relaxing connective tissue and joints. You use the postures to make your body feel better. The Yin yoga class has a relatively quiet character: you take the time for your body.
Most sports aim to relax and relax your muscles, with Yin yoga you let them go as much as possible. You focus on the connective tissue and the joints in the area where you feel stretched. The connective tissue and joints are Yin because they are rigid and non-elastic. The muscles are yang: elastic and soft. Because Yin yoga is entitled to the flexibility of the connective tissue and the joints, it is very suitable for people with a sedentary profession. By sitting a lot you mainly burden your back and pelvis and during the Yin yoga you let go.
You can practice Yin yoga in the morning when the muscles are still stiff. You achieve the greatest effect when you combine Yin yoga with a yang yoga form such as power yoga. Yin yoga can also complement other sports such as running.
Ashtanga literally means eight limbs and refers to the eight branches that are distinguished within yoga. Each branch has its own theme, for example breathing, awareness or social behavior.
In the case of Ashtanga yoga, postures are performed in a smooth movement, furthermore it is a bit like Hatha yoga. The postures, asanas, are an expression of the merging of body and mind. The symbol for this is the vinyasa. This word from Sanskrit means flow or flow.
You use a certain breathing technique called Ujjayi. Furthermore you send your energy during breathing to certain places in your body: the bandhas. Every posture is also connected to a viewing direction, the drishti.
Ashtanga yoga is a powerful dynamic form of yoga for a strong and energetic body. The lesson is especially suitable for people who like both mental and physical challenges. The dynamics are attractive, but can also be a pitfall. People soon want to go too fast, so that you misrepresent attitudes. Power yoga is also a form of Ashtanga yoga.
Hot, hot, hot. In the room where bikram yoga is given, it is 38 to 40 degrees Celsius. That must be from the creator: Bikram Choudhury. The originally Indian American once got heavily injured on his knee and came back with yoga. He devised a fixed set of two breathing exercises and 26 postures that you perform in a fixed sequence. The postures are based on those from hatha yoga. You can only call a lesson ‘bikram’ if you strictly follow that series and have followed a course at Choudhury yourself.
Because you practice the bikram yoga in a well-heated room, your circulation is stimulated. This would make you smoother more quickly, so that injuries can be prevented or corrected. Bikram yoga requires a lot of your body; you sweat a lot. Some people have trouble breathing through the heat in the beginning.
These are the most well-known forms of yoga. But of course there are more. Less known but interesting to try out. Those you will see in part two.