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Achieving Wellness through Yoga: The Eight Most Popular Yoga Styles

Scanning your gym’s class schedule for a good yoga class is sometimes confusing. What makes Anusara different from Hot Yoga? Bikram and Iyengar? Here’s a quick rundown of the multiple yoga styles commonly practiced nowadays.

ANUSARA

Developed by American yogi. 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.

ASHTANGA

Ashtanga is inspired by ancient yoga teachings, but it was presented in the West by K. 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 sole difference is that Ashtanga adheres to the same poses and repeats the same order.

BIKRAM

Around three decades ago, Bikram Choudhury created this 26-pose school of yoga in which classes were conducted in artificially heated spaces. 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

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.

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 studio will be heated and you will sweat so much, so it’s important to use appropriate mats and other accessories specially made for hot yoga classes.

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 an effective way of relaxing those 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 great restorative class is more revitalizing 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. However, when you understand each one of them, and your own needs, it should be easier to make a decision.

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