Sunday, March 11, 2012

Know your Yoga

I get asked often..what is the difference in the many styles of yoga. Here is a brief summary of some of the more common styles. Although it can be overwhelming to see that there are so many styles it is nice to know that if you do not prefer one style that there are many others to explore! What style is best for a new yogi..any style that matches what you are looking for! Click on the title of this article for a quiz on finding the yoga to match your personality!

Hatha Yoga:
This generally refers to a slower-paced class that teaches you how to align your body and work with your breath. Really, all styles of yoga branch from Hatha but as it is seen today...this style in most often not "flow" based like some others.

Vinyasa Yoga:
These classes are generally more challenging than others. Sequences of poses are linked together and followed by what is called a vinyasa flow (Sun Salutation) or a certain sequence of poses. This type of yoga is a spin off of ashtanga yoga in the fact that the same poses can be used but not in the prescribed order. The main focus of vinyasa is linking breath to movement. This is a faster paced class. Sometimes you may hear of Power Vinyasa classes, these are normally longer in duration, more challenging and poses may be held for longer. Most power classes are heated.

This is a physically demanding practice that is traditionally 90 minutes. The primary series is the most common one that is taught and it is a prescribed set of poses that a student works with in a certain order until mastery. This type of yoga is heavy on sun salutations, chaturangas, pick ups and jump backs. Many students study just the primary series for their entire lives. Some studios will teach the second series.

Yin Yoga:
This yoga is characterized by long holds of several minutes. Poses are generally seated or supine. This type of yoga is heavily influenced by Chinese medicine and their energy channels. This is a very restorative and relaxing class.

Hot Yoga:
This is most generally vinyasa,power or Bikram types. This yoga is set in a heated room that can vary from 80 degrees to 105. The heat is thought to detoxify you and allow you to go deeper into the poses. This is normally a faster paced and challenging class. Bring a towel and water!

Bikram Yoga:
Prepare to feel as if you have stepped into an oven my fellow yogis. Rooms are heated to 105 degrees. These classes are a sequence of 26 poses (half standing and half on the floor) that take you 90 minutes to get through. This is a challenging class and prepare to sweat!

Iyengar Yoga:
This is the best class to learn alignment!You will learn the fundamental building blocks of alignment in the poses and how to effectively use props to avoid injury. Although you will feel your muscles burn this is a slower paced class. This type is based on B.K.S. Iyengar, one of the father's of modern day yoga.

Anusara Yoga:
Flowing with Grace is what this yoga's name means. This is characterized by a mix of challenging poses, well articulated alignment and life affirming teachings. This is a faster paced class.

Kundalini Yoga:
Come here to experience chanting, movement and breathing. You will explore practices that combine mantra, breathwork, and rapid movements, often repeated for several minutes. The class finishes with meditation, relaxation and song. This yoga is said to awaken the energy channel that leads to spiritual elevation.

If I am leaving out a style you are curious about...just let me know. I just included the most common styles!

No comments:

Post a Comment