Interested in yoga but not quite sure where to start? Whether you’re looking to increase strength and flexibility, boost your overall athletic performance, or simply reduce stress and enhance your mental fitness, yoga can be extremely effective for all types of bodies and abilities. But not every style of yoga is the same. Before you hit the mat, consider what yoga style is right for you. After reading this blog post, if you are still unsure? Click here to sign up for a free class to help you decide which one is best for you.
There are actually hundreds of styles of yoga, ranging in difficulty from very easy to very advanced, however, most Westernized styles center upon the broad classification of Hatha yoga. Generally speaking Hatha yoga involves performing a series of poses (or asanas) and breathing techniques.
Each of the following yoga practices shares roots in Hatha yoga and a common focus on awareness, relaxation and conscious breathing — yet each follows its own unique yoga path:
Sivananda yoga integrates many forms of yoga, including elements of traditional Hatha yoga. More than just a series of poses, Sivananda weaves a five-point philosophy into every class: asanas (proper exercise), pranayama (proper breathing), savasana (relaxation), a vegetarian diet, and positive thinking.
Yogis of ages and abilities who are interested in mastering a familiar series of poses and wish to emphasize vitality and overall well-being.
A dynamic and vigorous form of yoga, Ashtanga emphasizes flexibility, strength and endurance. Also known as vinyasa or power yoga, it is an intense workout that uses heat to cleanse the body toxins, align bone structure, and purify the nervous system. Students perform a variety of asanas interspersed with “sun salutations” (set sequence of poses executed rapidly). The emphasis in Ashtanga yoga is flexibility, strength and endurance.
Fit and flexible yogis seeking physical and spiritual gains from yoga and enjoy fluid routines that link poses in rapid succession. It’s also great for athletes who participate in other more rigorous forms of fitness who may benefit from balancing their regular routines with increased flexibility.
Also called the “yoga of awareness,” Kundalini is derived from the Indian word kundal, which means, “lock of hair from the beloved.” Kundalini yoga practice aims to develop awareness, consciousness and spiritual strength through a vigorous series of poses, chanting and meditation. It employs several forms of breathing techniques to clear the system and allow energy to flow into the “chakras,” or energy centers located in the body.
Yogis who are interested in more than simply a form of exercise, but also an awareness that touches all aspects of one’s life.
Still unsure? Click here to sign up for a free class to help you decide which one is best for you.