Yoga Methods & Types
There are numerous interpretations and assertions about Yoga and its meanings. According to Patanjali, Yoga is the neutralization of the vortices of feeling. Yoga itself is discipline branched into many methods and types.
Yoga is the way of life, and we can say that Yoga is a discipline comprising physical and men mental practices. Yoga is Union of self, and to attain self and become self-aware, we follow and practice Different Yoga Methods and Techniques.
Also, it is good to know what type of Yoga you are practicing today. The next time you are performing a Yoga Pose or meditating, and someone asks you what it is; you should be spot on with an answer. So, What are Yoga Methods and Types? Let us find out.
1. Different Methods of Yoga
Yoga is the science and art of living, which one needs to incorporate into daily life. The Different Methods of Yoga are helpful to lead you to the way of healthy and spiritual growth.
Methods and Types of Yoga work at different disciplinary levels, helping you gain control over your mind, body, and soul.
These different Methods of Yoga Practice help you in attaining the attitude of perfection in the mind, body, and soul.Methods of Yoga Practice are: Also called the 8 Limbs of Yoga, these are:
a. Yama and Niyama (Attitude Training Practice)
Yama and Niyama are the fundamental Methods of Yoga to practice. Without incorporating them, you can’t get the desired results through other yogic practices. Yamas and Niyamas are self-imposed restrictions to govern your behavior to develop a healthy attitude towards life, aspects, and situations.
If cultivated rightly, Yamas and Niyamas can bring about mental and spiritual tranquillity in you.
Five Yamas are given as follows:
- Ahimsa-Non Violence
- Asteya –Non-stealing
Five Niyamas are:
- Soucha- Cleanliness
- Santosha- Contentment
- Tapas-Austerity or Discipline
- Svadhyaya- Self-Analysis
- Iswara parnidhana - Surrender/Devotion to the Divine
b. Asana (Posture)
The term asana is derived from the Sanskrit word 'Asi' – 'to be' or 'to sit' referring to pattern and Types of Yoga postures to stabilize the body and the mind. Through Asanas, you can establish a balance in your physical, mental, and psychological behavior.
Asanas are centered at healthy functioning of the organism leading to suppleness and ease of movement. There are scores of Yoga Poses you can practice bringing stability to your body and mind.
c. Pranayama (Controlled Breathing Methods)
The third of the Methods of Yoga is Pranayama, which is a combination of two root words. ‘Prana’- Life Force or Vital Energy and ‘Ayama’- extension or expansion. In totality, Pranayama means an extension of the life force. This method of Yoga involves respiration and breathing control rather than strenuous physical exercises.
Through practicing Pranayama, you can get control over your respiratory system, and nervous system. The primary purpose of exercising Pranayama is to control breathing and influence mental function. Pranayama is practiced more often during Meditation.
d. Mudras and Bandhas (Energy Seals and Locks)
Mudras and Bandhas are fourth of the Methods of Yoga, which are gestures of hands and fingers. Mudras and Bandhas are practiced to lock and hold semi-voluntary and involuntary muscles in the body. Mudras and Bandhas involve manipulation of internal pressure on the negative or positive side of the body.Exercising Mudras and Bandhas tones up internal organs by stimulating and decongesting them for healthy functioning.
You can practice Mudras with Asanas, and if you practice Mudras with pranayama, they become Bandhas. You can also practice Bandhas like other Mudras without Pranayama to obtain the same results and benefits. Bandhas bind and channelize nervous activities in a particular part of the body.
e. Shatkriya/Shatkarma (Cleansing Techniques)
Shatkriya is also known as Shatkarma (Six Activities) which refer to six purification techniques used as one of the Methods of Yoga. These purification techniques help cleanse the entire body. Shatkriya act as a complementary practice for Pranayama.
Shatkriya is one of the Different Methods of Yoga that is practiced Water, Air, Cotton Thread, cloth, etc. The six methods of Yoga cleanse the respiratory system and adnominal passage.
These Six practised Methods of Yoga are:
- Neti (Cleansing of Nasal Passage)
- Dhauti (Cleansing of Stomach using water, rubber tube, or plantain stocks and cloth)
- Basti (Flushing of Colon)
- Nauli (Manipulation of Abdominal Muscles)
- Trataka (Steady Gazing to Cleanse the Eyes)
- Kapalbhati (Forceful breathing to cleanse the Air passage).
f. Dhyana (Meditation)
The Last of the Methods of Yoga is Meditation, which is called Dhyan in the Sanskrit language. Through Meditation, you can control your mental functions. There are many types of Yoga Meditation techniques during which you dwell upon a single object, sound, concept, or experience.
Meditation is effective for you if you lack focus, concentration, and mindfulness. Meditation remains at the top of the hierarchy in Type of Yoga. Therefore, you need to prepare yourself for Meditation through practicing Yoga Poses and Pranayama. Once you are prepared and aware of the external environment, you are ready to develop internal awareness.
2. Different Types of Yoga
Yoga Types are defined differently by different Yoga school. The Types of Yoga are quite intertwined with methods which are ramified according to the base techniques. You can further arrange each Method of Yoga into their types based on their style of practice.
If you are a beginner, HathaYoga Type is a way to start. Hatha Yoga is physical-based Yoga with numerous styles and techniques. These Types of Yoga practices are suitable for beginner level practitioner. During Hatha Classes, you will learn about breathing and exercises.
b. Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar Yoga is the Type of Yoga that focuses on alignment as well as detailed and precise movements. As a practitioner, you have a variety of postures to perform with breath control. In general, you hold a particular position while practicing Yoga Asana for a long time. In the Iyengar Yoga exercises, you take support from props to correct your pose and form. This type of Yoga is suitable for you if you are recovering from any injury.
c. Kundalini Yoga
Practicing Kundalini Yoga is getting better physically as well as spiritually. This type of Yoga is exercised to release the kundalini energy (residing at the center of your spine in a serpent form). You need to be present and observant both physically and spiritually for these Types of Yoga Classes. Practicing Kundalini Yoga may also involve mantra chanting and Meditation.
d. Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga covers overall developmental aspects as they also form the eight base limbs. The expert-level practitioner follows this type of Yoga once they master the hierarchy from Yamas Niyamas to Meditation. This type of Yoga starts with Surya Namaskar (Five Sun Salutation A's and B's) to progress towards a series of standing and floor postures.
e. Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa is all about uniquely placing your Yoga Posture. These Types of Yoga Practices are most beneficial for athletes. Your movement is coordinated with your breathing as you move from one pose to another. You can practice many Types of Yoga Poses through Vinyasa Yoga in a sequence.
f. Yin Yoga
You can learn the slow style of Yoga through Yin Yoga. In these types of Yoga Style, you focus on seated postures and hold them for a more extended period. The usual time for maintaining a position is 45 seconds to two minutes. When you include Yin Yoga with Meditation, you find inner peace and are more relaxed being seated for long.
g. Restorative Yoga
Restorative Yoga exercises are the Types of Yoga practices that help you relax after a stressful day. The yogic styles mainly aim at your body's and mind's relaxation. You spend less time on Yoga postures and more on Meditation and breathing. Restorative Yoga is a form that is a modified version of traditional styles and that you can also practice through props.
h. Prenatal Yoga
Prenatal Yoga practices are the Types of Yoga styles to perform if you are a mom-to-be. Prenatal Yoga is performed in all trimesters that help during childbirth. Through Prenatal Yoga Practices, you can reduce the pain during delivery and contractions.
i. Bikram Yoga (Hot Yoga)
BikramYoga is also known as Hot Yoga. During this type of Yoga practice, you perform yogic steps and postures in a hot room raised to 105 degrees with 40 percent humidity. These conditions are further invigorated and can make you sweat easily. These Type of Yoga practices include a sequence of 26 basic postures. Hot Yoga is also the right choice for you if your primary concern is losing weight.
j. Anusara Yoga
Anusara is a modified version of HathaYoga and is considered most similar to Vinyasa Yoga. Your primary focus is to bring Mind-body- and heart to the state of oneness. Anusara focuses on Wheels of Life (Chakras), and these type of Yoga exercises are used to balance the heart functions as well.
If you are a beginner or expert level practitioner, there are preliminary as well as intermediary levels, to begin with. There is always a window, a path open for you to explore yourself and the universe. And to find oneness, you should be a Yogi.