Roll out your yoga mats and take a deep breath, stretch, and celebrate National Yoga Day on June 21st!
People tend to prioritize strengthening the body and end up neglecting the practice of enhancing the mind. However, Yoga is a practice that heals both the body and the mind. Yoga is a Hindu-theistic spiritual and aesthetic discipline which includes breath control, meditation and the practice of different bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. Yoga comes in many different forms, with each kind of practice varying the focus on the lesson and body. Here's a list of five kinds of yoga that yogis of all skill levels can partake in as we get ready for National Yoga Day!
Vinyasa in Sanskrit means "to place in a special way," and is often referred to as a power yoga or flow yoga in studios such as Yoga Loft and Yoga Downtown Tampa. The movements in Vinyasa yoga changes with the flow of inhales and exhales. Each pose flows into the next, the breath connected to the movements. Vinyasa allows for focus and alignment between the dynamics of the breath and poses. Most Vinyasa yoga classes follow a specific sequence of poses, which includes the famous downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) in a Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara). Vinyasa is supposed to help with the flexibility and strength of muscles, as well as creating an awareness of connecting breath and movement to link each action to the next.
Similar to Vinyasa, Ashtanga focuses more on the practice of asanas (body posture). Ashtanga in Sanskrit translates as "having eight limbs or components." Ashtanga yoga practices to enhance eight different components; the Yarma (ethics), Niyama (self-discipline), Asanas (the poses and body posture), Pranayama (breath control), Pratyahara (sensory transcendence), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (ecstasy). Ashtanga helps with strengthening the core and toning the body whilst creating heat from within the body.
Bikram / Hot Yoga
Bikram yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury. Bikram classes are held in artificially heated rooms and practice a series that flows through 26 different poses, that will make yogis sweat, stretch, relax and build mental concentration. Bikram and Hot Yaga are similar, but Hot yoga studios tend to vary the 26 different poses or practice different sequences. Tampa's hot yoga studio, Gaze Hot Yoga, uses hot yoga to increase flexibility, strength, and mental acuity. Bikram and Hot Yoga encourages a healthy body and strong mind.
Yin Yoga consists of long-held poses and slow-paced classes. A relaxed and deep stretching practice that focuses on the lower part of the body, such as opening the hips and relaxing the lower spine. Alongside stretching the lower body with floor poses, Yin yoga creates a quiet and meditative environment that relaxes the body. Bella Prana offers long Yin classes that will help open up the body and relax.
Hatha translates into "force," and is a generalized term for any form of yoga that teaches physical postures. Hatha is a physical practice that usually ends with meditation. These yoga classes will not make you come out of a class drenched in sweat, but it will make you feel loose and relaxed. Hatha classes are great for beginners as they include the basic poses and sequences.
Tampa offers different classes with a wide range of forms at multiple locations! Yoga can also be a great opportunity to get involved with a community just like Tampa's Yoga in the park on Sundays at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park that's open to everyone and free of charge!