Yoga is a practice known to improve physical, mental and overall health for more than 5,000 years and nearly 11 million Americans practice some form of it. It may be a current trend, but most Westernized yoga classes are designed to focus on learning physical poses called asanas. They also include some form of breathing techniques and meditation technique also. If you are new to yoga or just want to expand your yoga practice, knowing which class is right for you can help you gain the health benefits of improved flexibility, strength and balance.
Ananda Yoga: Focuses on gentle postures designed to move energy to the brain, and prepare the body for meditation. Classes teach proper body alignment and controlled breathing.
Anusara Yoga: A newer form of yoga established in the late 90’s, it combines the principles of alignment with a playful spirit. More challenging, the postures teach a message of an open heart to connect with the divine in yourself and others.
Bikram Yoga: This method is a workout that combines all components of fitness including: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular flexibility and weight loss. Founded by gold medal Olympic bodybuilder Bikram Choudhry in 1963, a disciple of Bishnu Ghosh. Practiced in 95-105 degree temperatures to promote increased flexibility, detoxification and to reduce injury. The only yoga that uses a heated environment.
Hatha Yoga: An easy-to-learn basic yoga that has gained popularity in the U.S. in recent years. The foundation of all Yoga styles, it incorporates Asanas, regulated breathing, meditation, and kundalini for a complete system used to achieve enlightenment and self-realization. An ideal way to practice poses.
Iyengar Yoga: Developed by Yoga master B.K.S Iyengar, this yoga promotes strength, flexibility, endurance and balance with poses that require a precise body alignment. Through coordinated breathing, poses are held longer than in other styles and traditional postures are used. Because of the slow pace of this practice, it teaches attention to detail, the use of props, and is especially good for those recovering from injury.
Power Yoga: A yoga workout with muscle, this yoga discipline combines stretching, strength training, and meditative breathing. Many poses resemble calisthenics routines and may include toe touches, side bends and other asanas that improve muscle strength, and produce sweat. Teaches power building and provides an intense aerobic workout.
Restorative Yoga: A yoga class designed to relax muscles. Classes include spending long periods of time lying on blocks, blankets and bolsters.
Watch this short video to see basic yoga postures (asanas):
Interested in Trying a New Yoga Class? Find a class that’s right for you in your area.