Achieving Wellness through Yoga: The Eight Most Popular Yoga Styles
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 is a cheat sheet to the various styles of yoga practiced today.
Created in 1997 by American practitioner, John Friend, Anusara yoga is somewhat 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 is based on very old yoga teachings, but it was delivered to the U.S.in the 1970s 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.
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 generic for any yoga approach that is anchored 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.
Generally speaking, the mere difference between Bikram and hot yoga classes is that the latter changes Bikram’s sequence slightly, hence it must be known by 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.
Iyengar, this style of yoga is extremely precise, with great attention poured into finding the right alignment in each 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 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.