The meaning of word ‘yoga’ originates from Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ meaning union. Several forms of yoga could be found today, but generally all lay main focus on the breathing techniques, flexibility, meditation and postures. Moreover, the practice could be spiritual, linking of mind, body and soul.
Browsing through web pages or yellow pages for good yoga center could be daunting. It could be a real hard task if one is not able to differentiate between hot yoga and Kundalini or Ashtanga and Anusara. Here is a cheat sheet to popular yoga styles taught and learnt.
Ashtanga is popularly referred to as Power yoga. It is based on the ancient teachings and a fast paced yoga type. This intense yoga style follows a specific sequence of yoga poses, each one forming base for the next pose. All the poses are divided further into three levels – primary series, intermediate series and advanced series. All the poses are required to followed and practiced in the predefined order in to gain maximum benefits. Moreover, it is based on the breathing, which makes it similar to the Vinyasa yoga style. This sweaty, hot and demanding yoga type in return offers various health benefits.
Anusara yoga is a newbie in the yoga world. This yoga style is based on a belief that all of us are filled with intrinsic goodness. Thus, this yoga practice helps practitioners experience grace, open hearts and allow inner goodness shine. Again these classes are sequenced to explore Universal Principles of Alignment that are rigorous for body as well as mind.
Hatha is referred any yoga type that includes any physical postures. Mostly, all yoga types are Hatha yoga type. While searching for yoga classes, one comes across a yoga center teaching Hatha yoga then one can expect introduction to basic yoga poses under that particular course. One may not work up sweating at a Hatha yoga class, but one is certainly going to return home feeling relaxed and calm.
Bikram yoga is practiced in artificially heated rooms. The room temperature of these rooms is increased to about 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, one can expect to sweat like never before while practicing a series of 26 yoga poses. Just like the Ashtanga sequence series, Bikram yoga too follows a sequenced series of poses. The heat around promotes in intense sweating that further helps in loosening those tight muscles of the body also facilitate cleansing of body. This yoga style has gained too much of popularity; thus, locating a Bikram yoga training center is easiest of all.
Bikram yoga and Hot yoga as basically synonymous. However, the only differentiator here is that Hot yoga studies have deviated from the Bikram yoga sequence itself, though in a very small way. Therefore, the name change. While practicing Hot yoga too one can expect to sweat, as the room is artificially heated.
Iyengar yoga style is a meticulous style and more attention is given to getting the poses right. In order to get the alignment of the pose right, the yoga centers are found to have stacked up the center with an array of props right from chairs and tables to ropes and blankets. Don’t worry, there won’t be jumping around at the classes; however, one can expect to recognize subtleties of al poses and draw attention to the musculoskeletal system and alignment of the body. This yoga style is certain to accommodate a range of fitness level.
Vinyasa literally means flow and Vinyasa lessons are popular for fluid and movement intensive type of practice. These lessons are designed such that transition of one pose to another is smooth and could be made an enjoyable experience by adding some music. The level of intensity of this yoga type is similar to that of Ashtanga yoga. However, no two classes could be found same.