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Exploring the different types of yoga

Exploring the different types of yoga

As part of our Month of Mindfulness, we are exploring all the ways you can relax and look after your mental health. In this blog, we are looking at Yoga! Did you know this ancient form of exercise and spiritual tradition has been practised for over 5000 years? There are several types of yoga which offer multiple benefits. Join us as we explore the different types of yoga and find the best one for you and your needs.

From traditional forms of yoga, like Hatha to the more contemporary styles such as goat yoga, there are many different types to consider if you’re thinking of taking up yoga. Our little guide can help you decide which style is best for you.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is the classical form of yoga which includes most physical styles of yoga. A hatha yoga class will be slow-paced and teach a sequence of poses, focusing on stretching, posture and breathing to help ease the body and mind. Hatha yoga improves your strength, balance and physical fitness, while also helping you cope better with stress and anxiety.

Aerial Yoga

Hang tight because we’re about to look at aerial yoga! In an aerial yoga class, you would perform the same poses as you would on a mat, but you’re in a silk hammock suspended from the ceiling. Aerial Yoga offers a wealth of health benefits especially for people who suffer with a bad back. Hanging freely allows your spine to lengthen and eases tension in the spinal cord and hip joints.

Power Yoga

Power yoga is an athletic, fitness-focused type of yoga which provides a challenging workout including a series of rhythmic poses that will build strength and improve flexibility. Power yoga has many benefits for your body and will help improve your balance, posture and cardiac health.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram or hot yoga is a type of yoga practised in a studio heated to 40 degrees. A Bikram yoga class lasts around 90 minutes and consists of a set of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. The room is heated to replicate the climate of India where this type of yoga was created, this is said to improve flexibility and blood circulation.

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Goat Yoga

As ridiculous as it sounds, I kid you not, goat yoga is actually a thing! As you probably know by now, yoga is a great way to exercise, especially for those looking for some Zen. So how does adding a goat to the mix help? Well, goat yoga combines yoga with animal therapy which is said to reduce stress and induce feelings of happiness. Interacting with animals boosts our serotonin and dopamine levels which are those happy chemicals in our body.

Mindful Yoga

Mindful yoga combines the physical poses of yoga with Buddhist-style mindfulness practice. In mindful yoga, there’s less of a focus on perfecting your poses and more of an awareness on your body movements and mind. In a mindful yoga class, you’re combining exercise with meditation which is effective for reducing stress.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is all about slowing down and focusing on your breathing and body while stretching. In a restorative yoga class, you’ll only perform 4-5 poses using props like blankets, blocks and bolsters to support the body. These props allow you to hold your poses for longer so you can completely relax your muscles and rest. During a class, lights may be dimmed and soft music might play in the background and as its name suggests, this type of yoga restores your muscles and brain function.

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At General & Medical, we understand the importance of staying fit and healthy which is why we have teamed up with Nuffield Health to offer you 20% off their gym membership which includes access to their gym facilities and group exercise classes including yoga. Find out how little private health insurance could cost you by getting a free quote online.

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