Eight Major Styles of Yoga for Wellness

Scanning your gym’s class schedule for a good yoga class is sometimes confusing. What on earth is the difference between Hatha and Ashtanga? Bikram and Iyengar? The following is a guide to the several styles of yoga being taught these days.

ANUSARA

John Friend in 1997, Anusara yoga is fairly 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

Pattabhi Jois over four decades ago. It’s a demanding style that adheres to a specific posture sequence and is like vinyasa yoga, with each style connecting each movement to a breath. The only difference is that Ashtanga always follows the same poses in the same order.

BIKRAM

At least thirty years back, Bikram Choudhury built this 26-pose school of yoga, where classes were done in rooms with artificial heating. Just like Ashtanga, a Bikram class sequence never changes, but these yoga sequences are very unique from each other.

HATHA

Hatha yoga is generic for any yoga approach that is anchored on physical 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.

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

YENGARIYENGARIYENGAR

Iyengar, this style of yoga is extremely precise, with great attention poured into finding the right alignment in each pose. Helping Iyengar students find proper alignment are a whole stock of yoga props, ranging from bolsters to blocks to chairs and everything else.

RESTORATIVERESTORATIVERESTORATIVE

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-picked restorative class is more refreshing than a nap.

VINYASA

Vinyasa classes are popular for their smooth, movement-intensive style. Vinyasa teachers ensure classes include smooth transitions between poses, and the intention is to connect breath to movement. It sure becomes confusing to pick the right yoga class when you’ve got all these choices in front of you. But when you understand every one of them and especially your own needs, making a wise decision shouldn’t be so difficult.

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