Developed in Northern India, yoga has roots that trace back over 5,000 years. Yoga is a spiritual development practice designed to train an individual’s body and mind and to help them become aware of their nature. Successfully connecting the mind, body, and spirit through yoga requires matching the proper practice with the individual’s personality and physical requirements. There are several different forms and styles of yoga ranging from the intense and rigorous to the passive and meditative.
Hatha is a Sanskrit term that encompasses all of the physical postures of yoga. Most of the yoga forms practiced in the west can be classified as Hatha as they focus on physical positions and breathing control. Hatha yoga is a classic approach to breathing and exercise where students hold each pose for a few seconds before slowly moving to the next pose. Hatha yoga emphasizes mastery of the body to achieve a state of spiritual perfection in which the mind withdraws from external objects.
Based on the Taoist concept of yin and yang, the complementary forces and principles found in nature, Yin yoga focuses on the stable, unmoving, and hidden aspects of the body. Yin yoga is a slow-paced form of yoga that involves seated postures and is more passive than other types of yoga. Rather than actively engaging and flexing the muscles of the body, Yin yoga utilizes props and gravity to release the body into the posture.
Yin yoga is a meditative practice designed to target the deeper connective tissues of the body. This form primarily works the lower part of the body, restoring length and elasticity while improving flexibility. Passive in nature, Yin yoga is very challenging because it requires holding each pose for extended periods of up to five minutes or more.
Ashtanga is a Sanskrit term that translates as “having eight limbs or components” and refers to the eightfold path of yoga. Fast-paced, vigorous and physically challenging, Ashtanga yoga requires a demanding series of postures performed in a set sequence. This form of yoga entails coordinating breathing with a series of positions. Ashtanga yoga is highly structured and involves a set of standing and floor poses always conducted in the same order.
Power yoga is a vigorous, robust, and energetic style of yoga that initially resembled Ashtanga. Typically taught in a heated studio, students flow from one pose to another and synchronize their breathing, but this form differs from Ashtanga in that there is no set series of postures. The intensity of Power yoga makes it a dynamic and revitalizing form of physical fitness.
Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, involves a series of set poses performed in a sauna-like room with a temperature of 105 degrees at 40 percent humidity. All Bikram yoga classes are identical regardless of location or instructor and consist of a set of 26 postures, each performed twice, and two breathing techniques. Hot yoga is practiced for 90 minutes each session and is designed to flush toxins from the body, control weight, and improve concentration and focus. Bikram yoga was synthesized from other yoga forms and is challenging both physically and mentally.
Translated from Sanskrit, vinyasa means “connection.” Vinyasa is a form of yoga where movements flow from one pose to another in coordination with the breath. Faster paced and involving continuous movement, Vinyasa yoga is the most athletic yoga style. Vinyasa classes typically include smoothly flowing movements between poses guided by the force of inhales and exhales. Vinyasa yoga emphasizes a series of several poses in different sequences performed in rapid succession and helps the student develop a greater sense of self-awareness, balance, and harmony with themselves and their environment.
Samadhi Center For Yoga & Meditation offers a place for beginners and advanced students to grow in their practice of yoga. Offering a broad spectrum of yoga styles and classes, Samadhi’s multifaceted approach to yoga practice provides guided yoga meditation, yoga teacher training, and advanced classes and workshops. Whether you want a rigorous yoga workout or to settle into a restorative meditation, Samadhi has the Denver area’s top teachers available to help you reach your goals.
To learn more about how Samadhi Center For Yoga & Meditation can help you on the journey toward the union of body, mind, and soul contact us today.