If you are a fitness freak or a health nut, you may have already got a gym membership. But if the sweaty and rigorous workouts at the gym don’t suit your palate, chances are you’ll probably need an alternative workout regime which is equally beneficial but not so arduous. A fine form of exercise is the Yoga which has its roots in circa 5th century B.C. India’s pre-Vedic age. It is an amalgamated practice of the spiritual, mental and physical disciplines.
The word “yoga” has been derived from the Sanskrit “Yuj” which means “to add” or “to unite”. Philosophically, the definitive goal of yoga is “moksha” or “liberation from the cycle of life, death and rebirth”. Pragmatically, it is effective in restricting heart disease, schizophrenia, cancer, asthma and many other diseases. If you wish to pursue a healthy regime of yoga, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are several schools of yoga to choose from.
This is a specific school of yoga developed by Indian yoga guru Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and coined and propagated by his son T. K. V. Desikachar. This school adapts yoga to meet individual needs and conditions of the practitioner. In order to get the best results, you need to have clear overview of your present condition, what you expect out of the regime, how much you can dedicate yourself to the discipline and what are the resources available.
Although viniyoga has gained immense popularity in many countries outside India, it is not the only form of yoga you can discipline yourself with. Some of the other forms of yoga are listed here.
Most of the yoga styles practised now fall under the wide category of Hatha Yoga. This branch of yoga usually merges “asanas” (yoga postures) with “pranayama” (breathing exercises). It is a step towards deeper disciplines like meditation. This form of yoga has been diluted to such an extent in India that it is accepted generally as the choice of yoga for beginners.
Another general form of yoga, Vinyasa, is a synchrony of rapid fluid body movements with your breathing. The body movements encompass sun salutations in a continuous flow from one posture to another.
To make yoga more appealing and accessible to the western students, Power yoga was conceptualised and practised. Although it is a rigorous form of Vinyasa yoga, instructors actually have a lot of freedom to teach what they want. The credit of inception of power yoga go to Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest, American students of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois.
Bikram Choudhury invented and named his style of yoga consisting of a set of twenty six copyrighted postures along with two other breathing techniques. Bikram yoga consists of ninety minute sessions of yoga in a steady heated temperature of 105 °F and 40% humidity. There is no variation to this style of yoga, irrespective of time or place.
Once you understand the underlying concept of the different forms of yoga, it is very simple to understand the basic differences between Viniyoga and other yoga forms.
- Importance is given to the function of the yoga postures rather than on their form.
- Repetition of postures is a key to viniyoga.
- The form of asana depends on breathing techniques and adapting those patterns to various effects.