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Eight Major Styles of Yoga for Wellness

Checking out your gym’s yoga class schedule isn’t always easy. What on earth is the difference between Hatha and Ashtanga? Iyengar and Vinyasa? Here’s a quick rundown of the multiple yoga styles commonly practiced nowadays.

ANUSARA

Started twenty years ago by American yogi John Friend, Anusara yoga is reasonably new. Inspired by the thought that we all have inherent goodness, Anusara wants to use yoga to help students accept this fact and let their inner goodness reveal itself.

ASHTANGA

Ashtanga is built on early yoga principles, but it was introduced in America by K. 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 single difference is that Ashtanga is always performed in the same exact order for the the same exact poses.

BIKRAM

At least thirty years back, Bikram Choudhury built this 26-pose school of yoga, where classes were done in rooms with artificial heating. Similar to Ashtanga, a Bikram class always moves in the same sequence, although a Bikram sequence is most certainly distinct from an Ashtanga sequence.

HATHA

Hatha yoga is a general term that means any type of yoga that focuses on physical postures. Hatha yoga is what most Western yoga classes teach. 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

Overall, the sole difference between Bikram and hot yoga studios is that with hot yoga, Bikram’s sequence is modified somehow, therefore, it should get another name. The studio will be heated and you will sweat so much, so it’s important to use appropriate mats and other accessories specially made for hot yoga classes.

YENGARIYENGARIYENGAR

Invented by B.K.S. To assist students in finding the proper alignment, an Iyengar studio provides an entire variety of yoga accessories, including blankets, chairs, bolsters, blocks and so on.

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 well-picked restorative class is more refreshing 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 does get confusing to choose the right yoga class when you have all these options available. But by understanding each one and assessing your own needs, deciding should come much easier.

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