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Eight Major Styles of Yoga for Wellness

Scanning your gym’s class schedule for a good yoga class is sometimes confusing. What makes Anusara different from Hot Yoga? Iyengar and Vinyasa? The following is a guide to the several styles of yoga being taught these days.

ANUSARA

Started twenty years ago by American yogi John Friend, Anusara yoga is reasonably new. Hinged on the belief that we all have intrinsic goodness, Anusara seeks to utilize yoga as a medium for learners to open their hearts and let their inner goodness overflow.

ASHTANGA

Pattabhi Jois. It’s a very strict yoga approach that keeps to a particular order of postures and is similar to vinyasa yoga, where every movement is attached to a breath. The only difference is that Ashtanga always follows the same poses in the same order.

BIKRAM

Around three decades ago, Bikram Choudhury created this 26-pose school of yoga in which classes were conducted in artificially heated spaces. Just like Ashtanga, a Bikram class sequence never changes, but these yoga sequences are very unique from each other.

HATHA

Hatha yoga is a general term that means any type of yoga that focuses on physical postures. In most cases, yoga classes in the U.S. are actually Hatha yoga. When you find a class is marketed as Hatha, it means it is a class that will introduce you to the most basic yoga postures.

HOT YOGA

In general, the one difference between a Bikram and a hot yoga class is that hot yoga departs from Bikram’s sequence in some minor way, and so it has to be called by a new name. The space will be heated and you will sweat profusely, so the mats and accessories to be used should be particularly intended for hot yoga classes.

YENGARIYENGARIYENGAR

Invented by B.K.S. An Iyengar studio helps student look for the proper alignment by stocking a whole range of yoga props, such as blocks, straps, bolsters and more.

RESTORATIVERESTORATIVERESTORATIVE

Restorative yoga is an effective way of relaxing those nerves. Also termed yin yoga, restorative classes rely on blankets, blocks and bolsters to help students into passive poses, providing them the benefits of a pose without requiring any effort. A great restorative class is more revitalizing than a nap.

VINYASA

Vinyasa classes are well-known for their liquid, movement-heavy approach. Vinyasa teachers order their classes such that they can seamlessly transition from one pose to another, while linking breath to movement. It certainly gets puzzling to select the best yoga class when there’s a ton of options available to you. However, when you understand each one of them, and your own needs, it should be easier to make a decision.

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