Did you know that Yoga is the oldest science of life? Yoga is originated in India many thousands of years ago.
For us, Yoga is not the typical staged photo you see of the perfect postures on the beach, flat tummies and toned bodies, maybe all of this is collateral damage to your Yoga Sadhana (daily spiritual practice, personal and individual sacrifice). Yoga is not fitness.
Yoga is union, union with life, with energy, with the universe, with your consciousness and awareness, with yourself.
Yoga helps you to minimize stress and brings your body back in a fit, flexible and healthy condition. The physical exercises in combination with breathing and relaxing you can learn at any age and body condition. Yoga and its big wire of possibilities can help you to get healthy and stay healthy, physically and mentally.
Initially, the sole purpose of practicing yoga was to experience spiritual enlightenment. In Sanskrit (the ancient language of India), yoga translates as “yoke” or “union,” describing the integration of mind and body to create a greater connection with one’s own pure, essential nature.
Today there are many different styles of yoga being taught and practiced. Although all of the styles are based on the same physical postures (called poses), each has a particular emphasis.
To discover which type of yoga is most suitable for you, it’s helpful to begin with a list that clearly prioritizes what needs you want to fulfil: do you want to focus on getting fit, or does a gentler, more meditative approach sound more appealing? Try attending a few different types of classes, and you’ll quickly discover the right match to suit your needs.
Here is a quick guide to the most popular types of yoga that can help you to figure out which type of yoga is right for you.
Hatha – Hatha is a very general term that can encompass many of the physical types of yoga. Hatha yoga is a physical discipline which focuses mainly on asanas (postures) and breathwork in order to prepare the body for spiritual pursuits.
Vinyasa – Derived from hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga differs in some important ways from its predecessor. Vinyassa yoga is often faster paced, and the assanas (postures) are linked together in a series of movements that are synchronized with the breath. Much emphasis is placed on the breath and the transition in and out of the assanas. Generally speaking, upward movements correlate with inhalations of the breath, and downward movements with exhalations.
The continual movements, from one pose to another, gives you an added cardiovascular benefit, which more traditional forms of yoga do not have. The routine practice of vinyasa yoga can increase muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, and reduce levels of stress.
Ashtanga – For those who want a serious workout, Ashtanga may be the perfect yoga. Ashtanga, which means “eight limbs” in Sanskrit, is a fast-paced, intense style of yoga. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. Ashtanga practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next. In yoga terminology, this movement is called flow. It’s not for beginners or anyone who’s been taking a leisurely approach to fitness. The so-called Power Yoga is based on Ashtanga.
Iyengar – Based on the teachings of the yogi B.K.S Iyengar, this style of practice is most concerned with bodily alignment. In yoga, the word alignment is used to describe the precise way in which your body should be positioned in each pose in order to obtain the maximum benefits and avoid injury. Iyengar practice usually emphasizes holding poses over long periods versus moving quickly from one pose to the next (flow). Also, Iyengar practice encourages the use of props, such as yoga blankets, blocks and straps, in order to bring the body into alignment and making the postures accessible to both young and old.
Ananda – Ananda Yoga is a classical style of hatha yoga that uses asana and pranayama to awaken, experience, and begin to control the subtle energies within oneself, especially the energies of the chakras. Its object is to use those energies to harmonize body, mind, and emotions, and above all to attune oneself with higher levels of awareness. One unique feature of this system is the use of silent affirmations while in the asanas as a means of working more directly and consciously with the subtle energies to achieve this attunement. Ananda Yoga is a relatively gentle, inward experience, not an athletic or aerobic practice.
This is just a selection of the most common yoga styles. There are many more types and styles of yoga that we might describe in a future post in our blog….
In our website you can find a large selection of yoga retreats and holidays suitable for beginners who want to familiarize themselves with yoga, as well as for those wishing to deepen their yoga practice and get to know different styles of yoga. Yoga Holidays aim to provide an understanding of the foundations of Yoga. The programs are designed to help you integrate Yoga into your daily life and/or build-up a base for self-practice.
Hereby our TOP 3 selection of Yoga Retreats:
SHANTI SOM WELLBEING RETREAT
The Shanti Som Yoga Retreat in Spain focuses primarily on the movement and spirit of Yoga through the use of breathing techniques, exercise and mediation. At Shanti Som they believe Yoga helps improve health and happiness by resetting the mind, so you are no longer preoccupied with everyday stress.
¨Yoga is a beautiful flow of energy. Through the movement of our body it extends to our minds and the way we interact with the world. How we treat others and spread energy around us – with kindness, patience and respect. All of this comes from focusing on our breath, mindfulness and the practice of gratitude.¨
The Shanti Som Yoga teachers offer a variety of practices including Vinyasa and Hatha yoga. Group classes are limited in size to ensure each participant gets personalised attention and reinforcement both on and off the Yoga mat.
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert, the Shanti Som Yoga Retreat is especially created for those who want a short break from the stresses of the world and to reconnect with their inner self. They take a careful gentle approach to ensure their guests always feel secure and comfortable with the movements and ideas.
Join this Yoga Retreat and leave feeling lighter, grounded and at peace!
MASQI THE ENERGY HOUSE
A relaxing program of yoga and meditation awaits you at MasQi, with daily Yoga and meditation classes in the beautiful Yoga dome surrounded by nature. You will also enjoy massages, energy therapies and a delicious amd healthy bio gourmet cuisine. Everything that you need to add strength, health and balance to your life.
Are you a yoga lover? Have you ever tried meditation? Sonia Ferre presents MasQi´´´s Flagship Program – the Yoga Wellness Retreat.
A few days in which the practice of different styles of yoga will enable you to deepen their benefits as well as discovering what best suits you. In addition, you´ll have the opportunity to learn to meditate in different ways, such as through the vibration and sound of the ancestral gong or harmonic bowls, mindfullness, Anapanasati and Nidra Yoga. Allow yourself to be surprised by the purifying power of the bio gourmet cuisine, based on the macrobiotic. This will help improve your health and rejuvenate your appearance, and thanks to the range of energy therapies and massages, you can heal the weak points of your physical, mental and emotional state. A diverse program of energy and health.
Relax, exercise and connect with yourself with The YOGA RETREAT at Alamos Retreat. If you are looking to relax and reconnect with your essence in the midst of nature, Alamos Retreat offers you the perfect place, a boutique hotel which has been beautifully and respectfully designed in the heart of the Algarve. This program at Alamos Retreat is aimed at guests looking for a relaxed and healthy yoga break with 2 yoga sessions per day, whether you are already an experienced yogi or a complete beginner curious about implementing it into your daily routine.
Multiple instructors offer different styles of Yoga including antigravity Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Yin Yoga, Meditation and Vinyasa Flow.
Alamos´ formula gives you the freedom to enjoy and explore the natural beauty of the Algarve coast. Its cosy and beautifully decorated rooms promise the most comfortable beds in the Algarve! A simple formula for a truly peaceful and healthy yoga holiday.