Monday, July 09, 2007

The Many Styles of Yoga

Hatha? Vinyasa? Ashtanga? Is it all Greek to you? With so many styles of yoga available, it can be very confusing to find the right one for you. Here a quick guide to 6 of the most popular styles to help you demystify the different variations of this practice so you can fit one into your everyday life.

Hatha Yoga is a general term that encompasses many different styles of physical yoga. It includes postures, called asanas, breathing and stretching.

This is a fast paced, intense style of yoga with constant movement from one pose to the next. This is a more vigourous workout that builds strength and stamina. Power Yoga is based on Ashtanga.

Vinyasa Yoga involves Hatha-based movements that are matched to the breath. It often includes Sun Salutations (a set series of movements used to warm the body and prepare it for practice).

Based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar, yoga poses are held over a long period of time with the primary focus on body alignment. Iyengar also uses props such as blocks, blankets and straps.

Pioneered by Bikram Choudhury, this style is usually referred to as "Hot Yoga" as it is performed in a room that is between 95 and 100 degrees. This promotes sweating which is a form of cleansing. There are 26 poses in the original practice.

This is spiritual form of yoga used to release Kundalini energy (found at the base of the spine). This is done through rapid and repetitive poses, chanting and intense breathing exercises.

Now say "Om".

Stay Healthy,

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