Choosing The Correct Yoga Styles For You

by admin on October 8, 2013

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Choosing The Correct Yoga Styles For You


The term Yoga generally refers to variations of the Hatha Yoga practice of physical postures (asana) for health and experience of well-being. In the west, generally, there tends to be less of a spiritual approach and the focus is more physical with stretching, strengthening and breathing.

There are many different styles of Yoga available. Most are variations in aerobic quality, sequencing of postures, breath control, room temperature, alignment, use of props or in some cases meditation, philosophy and chanting.

Most classes consist of a series of static postures or asanas. Some postures are practiced standing, laying down or are inverted. One posture, Salutation to the Sun, is a dynamic aerobic stretching series of movements.

Using the guide below, you can learn about and choose a style or styles that seem to fit with your personality, level of fitness, your goals and your overall condition (Pre/Post natal, injuries, medical concerns). An attempt has been made to differentiate the styles from one another for comparison sake, however all styles have much in common.


Hatha: Good All-Around Approach

Hatha Yoga is the most popular form of Yoga. Usually a Hatha Yoga class is a good entry into learning the postures and starting a practice and is not particularly aligned with any specialized style described elsewhere in this guide. Hatha Yoga classes are generally thought to be a gentler than others. Many locally taught classes will fit into this category, as well as ones taught in Gyms, Healthclubs and Adult schools.


Ashtanga: Aerobic, Vigorous

The Ashtanga Yoga style features several set sequences of postures, flowing at a vigorous pace, designed to build flexibility strength and stamina. Yoga practitioners synchronize their breath with the postures and focus on continuity of movement and elimination of toxins through body heat. Introduced to the west by Patabhi Jois.


Iyengar: Correct Alignment of the Postures

The Iyengar style Yoga is primarily focused on precise posture alignment, held for longer periods of time, along with mental discipline to experience the full benefits of yoga. Assistive props are frequently used to help hold the postures for beginners. Iyengar principles are used by other styles. Teachers undergo especially rigorous training and may also be certified in yoga therapeutics. The Iyengar style was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar.


Power: Aerobic, Vigorous

Power yoga is a derivative of Ashtanga and is similar except the sequences may vary widely for each class, but they maintain the emphasis on strength and flexibility with breath, and are a bit less focused on alignment.

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