Om Sweet Om
We watched the whole of Times Square flex their bodies, and closer to home we had Narendra Modi leading the yoga brigade. But, for those who are inspired to join the movement and are confused about the various types of yoga, here’s your cheat-sheet to figuring out exactly what you need. Check out what your favourite celebrity’s choice of yoga is, quickly unroll the mat and get your downward dog on!
1. Bikram Yoga
Quick read: Colloquially it’s called Hot yoga because it means working out in a room well above your body temperature (it is usually 40 degrees C). It consists of a set of 26 set poses and 2 breathing exercises. (Read more here)
Benefits: The high temperature helps you to stretch to the maximum. Also, because you tend to sweat a lot, toxins are flushed out of your body promising good health.
What to expect: Expect to sweat a lot. Hence, make sure you are well-hydrated before, after and during practice to avoid dizziness.
Celeb quotient: If you watched Dil Dhadakne Do and were still so shocked at Anil Kapoor’s ‘reverse ageing’, well Bikram yoga is to thank for that. Other celebs who swear by this technique are Sonam Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Andy Murray, George Clooney, Ashton Kutcher and Beyonce.
2. Vinyasa Yoga
Quick read: Known popularly as Power yoga, Vinyasa means breath-synchronized movement. The poses will help you move while you inhale and exhale.
Benefits: Physically, it will help you release toxins, and the continuous breathing will help you improve your mental state of mind.
What to expect: You will be breathing and moving simultaneously from one pose to another. Also, this form includes a whole lot of sun salutations.
Celeb quotient: Kareena Kapoor was the poster girl for Power yoga which also helped her achieve the infamous ‘size zero’. Shilpa Shetty also used this form of yoga to shed her post-pregnancy weight and achieve a toned physique. In the international space, Lady Gaga has been the frontrunner for this technique.
3. Ashtanga Yoga
Quick read: This is a vigorous practice that includes 8 strenuous poses. There are three series that need to be achieved. And only when progress is made in the first, will you be able to move ahead. This is the oldest and most athletic form of yoga.
Benefits: This technique is best for weight-loss. It also helps you practice cardio and build muscle without the use of weights.
What to expect: This is a very hard core form of yoga. Expect a lot of strain on your muscle, hence you should practice a slower form of yoga first and then gradually move up to this technique.
Celeb quotient: Madonna popularised this form of yoga. Rumour has it that she even practised her poses in the aisle of a flight. Others who follow this yoga are Gwyneth Paltrow and Alia Bhatt.
4. Hatha Yoga
Quick read: This is the most basic form of yoga. It includes simple exercises and focuses mostly on breathing techniques.
Benefits: These exercises help to relieve stress. They also provide a deeper relaxation along with physical exercise.
What to expect: This is good for beginners. You can expect slow and easy movements. It will also help you master basic learning poses.
Celeb quotient: Ricky Martin and Miranda Kerr.
5. Anusara Yoga
Quick read: If you enjoy partnering with the others in the class and clapping for your yoga mates, this is the perfect stress buster. It is relatively easy and the best part is, there are no cookie-cutter positions. You are guided to move and stretch only to your best ability.
Benefits: This will help you learn proper alignment and is good for uplifting your mood.
What to expect: You are asked to ‘let your heart shine’ while moving into these positions. Be prepared for a lighter and more relaxing form of exercise.
Celeb quotient: Gisele Bundchen is usually updating her Instagram account talking about her love for this form of yoga. And if she can work a body like that, it is all the inspiration we need.
6. Kudalini Yoga
Quick read: This is an invigorating form of yoga. The idea is, that there is a coiled serpent at the base of the spine. This technique helps to awaken this energy.
Benefits: The breathing will help you gain a good amount of energy. The postures help in improving your focus.
What to expect: This technique includes tapping the energy from your 7 chakras. More than just a workout, this helps you become aware of your mind, body and soul.
Celeb quotient: Russell Brand, Cindy Crawford, Paula Abdul and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
7. Jivamukti Yoga
Quick read: Jivamukti means ‘liberation while living’. It’s a technique that pushes you to the egde while focussing on the spiritual elements of yoga.
Benefits: It is best if you want an all-round yoga experience.
What to expect: You will find yourself in a state of enlightenment if done properly. Also, expect Sanskrit chanting and references to ancient scripture.
Celeb quotient: How could we forget British artist Marc Quinn’s sculptures featuring Kate Moss in unimaginable yoga poses! Others who practise Jivamukti yoga are Uma Thurman, Sting and Maggie Gyllenhaal.