As a chiropractor, I regularly recommend stretches to patients to relieve tension and pain in areas that cause problems. Patients often ask if yoga will help. And, depending on the patient's condition, the answer is usually yes. Because there are so many different types of yoga, it's not as simple as just "doing yoga". Some styles are better for beginners, while other styles benefit those with certain conditions. Yoga is an activity that many find to be relaxing and stress relieving, so let's take a moment and review the top seven styles of yoga to help find the best one for you.
1. Vinyasa: This style of yoga is the most well-known in the United States. Vinyasa is based on maintaining continuous movement between poses. This style of yoga is more physically demanding, as it requires you to switch fluidly from one post to the next.
2. Restorative: I usually recommend restorative yoga to my new chiropractic patients. It is a great style for those with lots of stress, and if you're in a lot of pain, you are likely suffering from high stress levels. Restorative yoga is typically the most relaxing and gentle style and is usually done with props, so there is less strain put on your body as you unwind during the yoga session.
3. Yin: This style of yoga is also great for beginners because of its slow pace. Though the poses in Yin yoga are held for longer periods of time, most of the postures are seated. This is also a great yoga style if you are recovering from an injury.
4. Hatha: This is the kind of yoga that most people think of when imagining yoga. Also great for beginners, Hatha yoga is slow-moving, breath-oriented, and very relaxing. It is more of an introduction to physical poses.
5. Bikram: Also known as hot yoga, Bikram yoga classes are held in a 105 degree room. Practitioners repeat the same 26 poses twice, and hot yoga is known to lead to great skin and healthy organs.
6. Iyengar: Iyengar yoga is another style that incoporates props like yoga blocks, belts, harnesses etc. which helps practitioners get into the best position for them. It is also a great choice for those recovering from structural imbalances or injuries. In this style of yoga, the poses are held for longer than usual.
7. Prenatal: We work with many expecting mothers in our practice, and recommend prenatal yoga frequently. Prenatal yoga helps maintain muscle strength so they can adapt after giving birth. It is designed to be safe and effective for pregnant mothers.
There are plenty more styles of yoga to choose from, so take the time to find a style that is the best fit for you. Before you go full force into a new exercise regimen, consult us and we'll help you make the best choice!