What is yoga?

Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual practice or discipline which originated in India. There is a broad variety of schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Raja yoga.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth.

There are many types of yoga practices, here are a few of the most popular :

Hatha Yoga

The Sanskrit term “hatha” is an umbrella term for all physical postures of yoga. In the West, hatha yoga simply refers to all the other styles of yoga (ashtanga, Iyengar, etc.) that are grounded in a physical practice. However, there are other branches of yoga such as kriya, raja, and karma yoga that are separate from the physical-based yoga practice. The physical-based yoga is the most popular and has numerous styles.

Vinyasa Flow

Vinyasa means “to place in a special way” and, in this case, yoga postures. Vinyasa is the most athletic yoga style. Vinyasa was adapted from ashtanga yoga in the 1980s. Many types of yoga can also be considered vinyasa flows such as ashtanga, power yoga, and prana.

Yin Yoga

Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with seated postures that are held for longer periods of time. Yin can also be a meditative yoga practice that helps you find inner peace

Bikram Yoga

Bikram yoga is named after Bikram Choudhury and features a sequence of set poses in a sauna-like room—typically set to 105 degrees and 40% humidity.

Ashtanga

In Sanskrit, ashtanga is translated as “Eight Limb path.” In Mysore, India, people gather to practice this form of yoga together at their own pace—if you see Mysore-led ashtanga, it’s expected of you to know the series. Vinyasa yoga stems from ashtanga as the flowing style linking breath to movement.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga focuses on winding down after a long day and relaxing your mind. At its core, this style focuses on body relaxation. Restorative yoga also helps to cleanse and free your mind.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga practice is equal parts spiritual and physical. This style is all about releasing the kundalini energy in your body said to be trapped, or coiled, in the lower spine.