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Achieving Wellness through Yoga: The Eight Most Popular Yoga Styles

Skimming through your gym’s class schedule for a good yoga class is sometimes a feat. How do you know the difference between Hot Yoga and Ashtanga? Vinyasa and Restorative Yoga? The following is a guide to the several styles of yoga being taught these days.


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.


Pattabhi Jois over four decades ago. 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 single difference is that Ashtanga is always performed in the same exact order for the the same exact poses.


At least thirty years back, Bikram Choudhury built this 26-pose school of yoga, where classes were done in rooms with artificial heating. Just like Ashtanga, a Bikram class sequence never changes, but these yoga sequences are very unique from each other.


Hatha yoga is a general term that means any type of yoga that focuses on physical postures. Hatha yoga is what most Western yoga classes teach. When you see class labeled as Hatha, it usually means that it teaches most fundamental yoga postures.


In general, the one difference between a Bikram and a hot yoga class is that hot yoga departs from Bikram’s sequence in some minor way, and so it has to be called by a new name. The space will be heated and you will sweat profusely, so the mats and accessories to be used should be particularly intended for hot yoga classes.


Created by BKS Iyengar, this yoga style is highly meticulous, with extreme attention given to finding the correct alignment in every pose. Helping Iyengar students find proper alignment are a whole stock of yoga props, ranging from bolsters to blocks to chairs and everything else.


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 well-picked restorative class is more refreshing than a nap.


Vinyasa classes are popular for their smooth, movement-intensive style. Vinyasa teachers conduct their classes while ensuring smooth pose to pose transitions, with the intention of connecting breath to movement. It certainly gets puzzling to select the best yoga class when there’s a ton of options available to you. But by understanding each one and assessing your own needs, deciding should come much easier.

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