Yoga may well be an ancient practice but this form of exercise has proved to have staying power when it comes to popularity. That’s not to say yoga has stayed firmly stuck in its traditions, however. As tastes and fashions change, so too have the different styles of yoga available, with the following trends currently riding high.
This style of yoga involves suspending yourself from the ceiling in a hammock, so that you perform yoga moves off the floor. Aerial yoga started to make a name for itself over a year ago, with its popularity continuing to catch on well into this year, and likely beyond.
Fans of aerial yoga attest that it is beneficial for people who have joint problems, as being suspended in the air takes pressure off the body when making yoga movements. It’s also thought to have positive benefits for improving balance, posture and strength. However, if you’re not a fan of heights, this yoga trend might not be your particular cup of tea.
You might also see this new breed of yoga going by the name of light therapy yoga. Essentially, it involves carrying out yoga moves surrounded by different coloured lights, scents and relaxing music. These are thought to encourage your body to become aligned with its natural circadian rhythms. For example, chroma yoga sessions held in the morning will use blue lights to help increase energy levels, while red lights are added in the evening to encourage the production of melatonin, which can promote improved sleep quality.
This increasingly popular style of yoga cleverly combines yoga with acrobatics and Thai massage. It’s ideal for someone looking for something a bit more challenging than standard yoga, but perhaps doesn’t want to join a gymnastics class. Acroyoga involves learning to lift and use acrobatic techniques with a partner, as well as a spotter to ensure you do the moves safely and correctly. Since you work in threes, joining a class with others is probably the easiest way to get started with this form of yoga. As well as promoting fitness, body alignment and strength, this unique style of yoga also hones communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal.
This relatively new style of yoga takes a three-pronged approach, where it focuses on breathing, mindfulness techniques and qigong (making slow movements and co-ordinated postures typically associated with martial arts training). With an emphasis on emotional healing, slowing things down and reducing stress, inner axis yoga is accessible for everyone.
As the name suggests, this form of yoga involves sitting on a chair, or using a chair for support, as you practise different poses. Chair yoga focuses on being in the present moment and simplifying movements rather than emphasising technique or form. It’s especially suitable for older people, those new to yoga, as well as anyone who has limited mobility or is recovering from an illness or injury.
This unusual form of yoga certainly isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but rumour has it, it’s gaining an increasing army of fans. Also known as Kumara serpent healing, this form of Kundalini yoga involves carrying out yoga moves in the company of snakes. In fact, the snakes are wrapped around the person performing the yoga, where they slowly adjust their position to match your movements. The extra weight from the snakes adds a dimension of weight training to your yoga sessions, but advocates also argue that this form of yoga encourages bonding with the reptiles.