Are you tired of the same flow at your Vinyasa studio? Are you still trying to figure out what yoga style speaks to you? Or maybe you are new to yoga and looking for “your style” or perhaps you have been practicing for a while and just are looking to get out and try something different. There are so many amazing styles of yoga out there just waiting for you to check out. Check out these lesser known, but equally as awesome yoga styles! Some of them are pretty out there, but don’t let that scare you. The crazier the yoga, the more amazing it ends up being!
1. Laughter Yoga
Did you know that your body can’t tell the difference between fake or real laughter? Well it can’t. So Dr. Madan Kataria from India developed this concept for well-being that has taken the world by storm! It helps you to instantly change your mood by releasing endorphins as you laugh the hour away. It can help manage stress, strengthen your immune system and bring more of a positive energy to your life! In class you will do short, goofy skits, poses and make silly faces at the other practitioners. Spending an hour laughing your ass will not only help you become more lighthearted, but it will help you to have more of a positive outlook on life. On of the goals of Laughter Yoga is to help make the tougher things in life easier to deal with. If you can learn to laugh about the tough stuff, it makes those difficult things seem more manageable.
This style of yoga includes asana, pranayama, engaging of the bandhas, sounds-- including chanting, meditation, personal rituals and the study of ancient texts. The name Viniyoga comes from the Sanskrit term implying differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application for the individual practitioner. The purpose of this differentiated approach is to make the process of self-discovery and personal transformation much more authentic. Teachers of Viniyoga help to bring out the very best in each person during the practice. You want to work with an actual chair as part of your practice of chair pose...not a problem in this awesome style of yoga!
3. Unnata Aerial Yoga
Unnata (pronounced “ooo-NAT--ahh”) is the Sanskrit term for “elevated” and it refers to elevated in a physical sense as well as spiritual. In Unnata Aerial Yoga the practitioner uses a circus hammock to support their body in the traditional yoga poses.The purpose of the hammock is to help the yogi achieve results quicker and safer. It is also helpful in gaining a deeper understanding of one’s body and yoga. in Unnata, the practitioner will achieve greater physical flexibility as well as mental flexibility and a calmer, more relaxed state of being.
4. Wall Yoga
The Yoga Wall principle has been around for decades and originally designed by BKS Iyengar in the form of ropes, which were attached to wall hooks to assist students in various yoga asana (poses). Now studios use padded belts, straps with recessed connections for a more comfortable and safer practice. There are many advantages of using the Yoga Wall. Some of which include the practitioner being able to hold the poses for longer, improved flexibility, and helps the practitioner progress faster in their asana practice. The Wall is also great tool to help the practitioner work on new poses safely and securely without the risk of injury. Building confidence on the wall will translate to more confidence on the mat! Haven’t we all just wanted to hang upside down while doing a seated forward fold?