There are many different forms of yoga, these are the yoga styles that are used to help aid in meditation and a spiritual life.

Yoga is a Hindi religious practice that has helped Yogi achieve enlightenment for thousands of years. Raja-yoga, Bhakti-yoga and Mantra-yoga are styles that are based on the idea of spiritual growth. Raja-yoga aims for liberation through meditation, it is a style of yoga that is for those who are able to concentrate for a long time. For beginners it can be difficult to jump right into, but it is the best way to surround yourself in the spiritual side of the yoga lifestyle. Bhakti-yoga is also known as devotional yoga, and emphasizes the surrendering of yourself to the Gods, or God, whatever your particular theological beliefs are. Mantra-yoga focuses on the chanting of the healing sounds and helps to achieve enlightenment through the repetition of sounds.

Some of the more common forms of yoga are gentle and focus on flowing movements of the body to promote positive health.

Iyengar yoga is perfect for those who have not worked out in a long time, it eases you into the yoga lifestyle by using chairs, blocks, straps and even sand bags to help those with weak joints and lack of flexibility approach yoga slowly. Hatha yoga uses flowing movements; practitioners are encouraged to move at their own easy flowing pace, focusing on their own breathing and meditation. A simple and calming form of yoga. For most yoga styles, the poses are held for a considerable amount of time to help control your breathing, however, Kripalu yoga is a gentle yoga sequence that is done rapidly. Kripalu yoga focuses on meditation and breath control, but because of the rapid movements in the beginning most novices have a difficult time maintaining a clear mind until later in the routine when the poses are held for longer intervals. A shorter sequence of poses is a characteristic of Sivananda yoga, based on the Sun Salutation pose. Chanting mantras and meditation make for a more spiritually based form of yoga for those who see yoga as a new way to meditate. Viniyoga yoga is a style that is aimed at the young, senior citizens and those suffering from chronic pain. It may be a more gentle form of yoga, but it still promotes strength and flexibility in a way that can help ease students into the practice of yoga.

Yoga is a proven effective workout for those who are looking to build muscle and loss fat.

Ashtanga yoga, otherwise known as power yoga, increases strength and endurance and is perfect for those who are looking to yoga as a new exercise routine. Ashtanga yoga is designed to have students flow as easily as they would in any other style of yoga but at an accelerated pace that uses body weight to create resistance as you move from standing, kneeling and other poses that challenge every muscle in the body. An even more intense workout for experienced yoga students and very fit people is Bikram yoga or hot yoga. Typically done in a room that is elevated to over 100 degrees to simulate the heat of India, this style of yoga focuses on 26 poses done in a specific order to promote a rapid increase in strength, flexibility, endurance and breath control.

Is there really such a thing as a yoga diet?

Yoga is more than just a series of poses that stretch and tone your muscles or help empty your mind, yoga is a lifestyle that originated in India as a religious practice. The yoga diet is based on the idea of creating a clean body as a temple, and should be treated as such. The yoga diet is a form of vegetarian diet that focuses on pure, organic foods. Yogis believe that man is an herbivorous animal and that eating any meat is not suited for the human digestive system. Over many decades, research has shown that an exclusive diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and other non-meat products can help promote better health and increase endurance. Now this is a yoga diet for those who are looking to dive right in to the lifestyle and dedicate themselves to becoming a yogi. However, there are people reading this who are not interested in becoming a yogi and are looking to use yoga as a part of an exercise routine to build muscle. With this in mind a low-fat, high protein diet is the best way to build lean muscle. Using protein supplements and other weight gain powders is a great way to help build that lean muscle. But remember, an overconsumption of protein can lead to a quick build-up of fat within the body, as unused protein turns into fat.

Yes, yoga really is beneficial to all areas of your health.

It’s well-known that yoga can increase flexibility and strength, but it can also lead to better posture as well, as almost all yoga styles incorporate a stretching of the spine and alignment of the hips, as well as increasing strength of your legs, all leading to better posture. The positive effects it has on your mental state are also very clear, through the practices of meditation, chanting and concentrated breathing promote less stress and anxiety on those who practice yoga, as well as a sense of peace and serenity. Yoga also helps those with asthma and chronic pain because the constant and gentle flowing movements stimulate the muscles and nerves to relieve pain. Finally a little known fact is that research has shown that yoga can help increase memory and aid in learning new skills and information.

References:

http://www.shapefit.com/yoga.html#4

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rwy/rwy11.htm

http://www.webmd.com/balance/the-health-benefits-of-yoga