Yoga Styles

 

Yoga is a form of activity with hundreds of poses wich effect and stimulate specific parts of the body.There are many different styles of yoga being taught and practiced today. Although all of the styles are based on the same physical postures (called poses or asanas), each has a particular emphasis. Here is a quick guide to the most popular types of yoga that can help you decode the schedule at your gym and figure out which class is right for you.

 

 

Hatha Yoga

Hatha is a very general term that can encompass many of the physical types of yoga. If a class is described as Hatha style, it is probably going to be slow-paced and gentle and provide a good introduction to the basic yoga poses. Hatha is most common form of yoga combining asanas with Pranayama (breathing regulation). Most modern yoga styles are Hatha based.

 

Vinyasa Yoga

Like Hatha, Vinyasa is a general term that is used to describe many different types of classes. Vinyasa, which means breath-synchronized movement, tends to be a more vigorous style based on the performance of a series of poses called Sun Salutations, in which movement is matched to the breath. A Vinyasa class will typically start with a number of Sun Salutations to warm up the body for more intense stretching that's done at the end of class.

 

Ashtanga Yoga or Power Yoga

Ashtanga, which means "eight limbs" in Sanskrit, is a fast-paced, intense style of yoga. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. Ashtanga practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next. In yoga terminology, this movement is called flow. Ashtanga is also the inspiration for what is often called Power Yoga. If a class is described as Power Yoga, it will be based on the flowing style of Ashtanga, but not necessarily keep strictly to the set Ashtanga series of poses.

 

Kundalini Yoga

The emphasis in Kundalini is on the breath in conjunction with physical movement, with the purpose of freeing energy in the lower body and allowing it to move upwards. All asana practices make use of controlling the breath. But in Kundalini, the exploration of the effects of the breath (also called prana, meaning energy) on the postures is essential. Kundalini uses rapid, repetitive movements rather than poses held for a long time, and the teacher will often lead the class in call and response chanting.

 

Sivananda Yoga

The first Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center was founded in 1959 by Swami Vishnu-devananda, a disciple of Swami Sivananda. There are now close to 80 locations worldwide, including several ashram retreats. Sivananda yoga is based upon five principles: 1. Proper exercise (Asana, focusing on 12 poses in particular) 2. Proper breathing (Pranayama) 3. Proper relaxation (Savasana) 4. Proper diet (Vegetarian) 5. Positive thinking (Vedanta) and meditation (Dhyana)

Power Yoga

Combination of ashtanga and Ki yoga. High energy. Varied.

Bhakti Yoga

Yogic worship, devotion. Thoughts and actions are for a higher cause.

 

Bikrams

26 postures done in an interior heated room (40 degrees Celcius).

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