What are the various types of Yoga?

Various types of Yoga
Yoga during pregnancy

In this articles, we will talk about the various types of Yoga. Yoga is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and deal with various pregnancy symptoms. Always consult your Yoga expert or doctor to help choose the right postures for you.

How do Yoga types differ from each other?

Every Yoga type has four main elements:

One Yoga type is different from another because of the different emphasis laid on each of these three elements. Ashtanga is widely considered to be the purest form of Yoga. It is no wonder that most Yoga sessions are based on Ashtanga.

In pregnancy, Yoga usually doesn’t start before your second trimester. A Yoga session is adapted for all stages of pregnancy. The focus is on improving your health and well-being, and nurturing your growing baby. Yoga not only helps you relax and stay calm but also teaches breathing techniques to prepare you for labour. A yoga class is also a great place to meet other moms-to-be. So it is recommended to join one after your first trimester has finished.

Various types of Yoga
Yoga during pregnancy

Which Yoga type can I safely practice during pregnancy?

The following Yoga types are considered safe during pregnancy.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha (“Force” in Sakskrit) is a system of physical techniques. It is a fairly gentle and slow-paced. It is widely popular among beginners since it is easy to learn.

Ananda Yoga

This is a system of Yoga for higher awareness. Ananda Yoga emphasizes on awareness and energy control. It is similar to Hatha Yoga because they both focus on physical and spiritual elements. It prepares your body for meditation with a series of postures. Here, you meditate with focus on different parts of your body, one-by-one. The focus is on breathing. It is fairly popular among moms-to-be as it is simple and safe.

Integral Yoga

This type of Yoga combines its techniques from diverse types of Yoga. As is evident from the name, it is a combination of Asanas, Pranayama, Meditation, and chanting. Your Yoga expert can easily modify the techniques to your specific needs and stage of pregnancy. This it is popular among moms-to-be.

Are there other types of Yoga I can try?

Yes, you can also try the following Yoga types if you want something more than a regular Yoga class.

Sivananda Yoga

It is more of a lifestyle course, focusing on how one lives. It combines Asanas, Pranayama and Meditation with a vegetarian diet, positive thinking, prayers, and ample rest. The focus is on preserving the wellness and health. This type of Yoga is built around 12 basic postures that cover every aspect of Yoga.

Vini Yoga

It is derived from viniyuj (Sanskrit – “to do”, “to use”, “to employ”). The focus here is on application or use of Yoga. Your Yoga expert can modify the postures and breathing techniques as per your stage of pregnancy.

Bhakti Yoga

The aim is to unite you with the divine spirit.  This is done by cultivating love and devotion. It is spiritual in nature, as you may have guessed. It involves meditation, chanting, and exercises.

Kundalini Yoga

The focus here is to awaken kundalini energy which is stored in the base of your spine. This is done by doing asanas, pranayama, meditation, and mantras. The aim is to help you uphold your values, be compassionate and speak the truth. Some exercises may make you tired and feel hot. Always consult a Yoga expert if you can do those exercises.

What types of Yoga should I avoid when I am pregnant?

There are various types of Yoga where you have to work out really hard. They are usually not suitable when you are pregnant.

Iyengar Yoga

It emphasizes on alignment, detail, and precision of asanas and pranayama. The focus is to develop strength, stability, and mobility. You should avoid this during pregnancy as the movements are strong and precise.

Power Yoga

The asanas are done in quick succession. It is intensive and very demanding. It generates a lot of heat. You should avoid this during pregnancy.

Bikram Yoga

This is a type of ‘Hot Yoga’ conducted in rooms with ambient temperature (up to 40 degree Celsius). It can make you overheat, hence it is not safe during pregnancy.

You should also avoid the following positions and postures:

  • Back bends
  • Lying on back after 16 weeks
  • Upside-down positions
  • Lying on your tummy
  • Strong movements or twists
  • Difficult positions
  • Breathing exercises with short and forceful breaths

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey and a wonderful experience. The aim of Yoga is to make it even better for you (in terms of physical, mental, and emotional health). Every pregnancy is different and you must follow your Yoga expert’s advice before starting a regime.