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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. How do you know the difference between Hot Yoga and Ashtanga? Iyengar and Vinyasa? Here’s a quick rundown of the multiple yoga styles commonly practiced nowadays.


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.


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.


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 yoga is an overall term that refers to any kind of yoga that concentrates on physical positions or postures. Almost all types of yoga classes held in the West teach 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.


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 area will be heated and you will sweat a lot, so using mats and accessories particularly designed for hot yoga classes is a must.


S.Iyengar, this school of yoga is very punctilious, with huge attention devoted to finding the best alignment for a pose. 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.


Restorative yoga is a nice way to relax and smoothen out your nerves. Also called yin yoga, restorative classes make use of bolsters, blankets, and blocks to assist students into passive poses, allowing the body to enjoy the benefits of a pose not having having to put in any effort. A well-chosen restorative class is more revializing than a power nap.


Vinyasa classes are popular for their smooth, movement-intensive style. 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. However, when you understand each one of them, and your own needs, it should be easier to make a decision.

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