Yoga Style Guide

Article by Diana Castaldini from Whole Body Magazine

Yoga Style Guide

Whether you’re into sweating, chanting, or just lying back and relaxing, use this glossary of 11 common forms of yoga, some ancient, some modern, to find just the right class for you.

ANUSARA: A traditional style rooted in the Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness. After a chant, heart-opening postures emphasize proper alignment to harmonize inner and outer worlds.  See John Friend’s Revolution Mat.

ASHTANGA: Means “eight limbs,” referring to the tenets outlined in Yoga Sutras. Traditional but high-energy and known for fast-paced poses. Recommended mat for Ashtanga Practice: Mysore Practice Rugs.

BAPTISTE: This vigorous form of power yoga swaps chanting for intense movement. Its goal is to renew inner and outer personal strength.

BIKRAM: In this “hot yoga” style, studio temps reach 105 degrees to facilitate deeper stretching, build stamina, and rid the body of toxins.

HATHA: A classical style, popular in the West, that focuses on physicality but may include chanting and meditation. Postures are often basic, slow, and relaxing. Good for beginners.

IYENGAR: Commonly practiced in the West, this school focuses on precise alignment and holding postures often for several minutes at a time. See firm Foam Blocks and Practice Straps.

JIVAMUKTI: This style, which originated in New York City, combines spirituality and an intense aerobic workout. Incorporates chanting, music, breathing practices, and ancient scripture.

KUNDALINI: A practice that stimulates and releases energy believed to sit dormant at the base of the spine. Includes deep, fast, rhythmic breathing and chanting.

POWER: Derived from Ashtanga with a wider variety of postures, this fitness focused style is prevalent in gyms.

RESTORATIVE: A modern form that includes deeply supported poses held for minutes at a time so the practitioner can experience total relaxation.

VINYASA: A continuous flow of breath-synchronized movement that incorporates postures from various styles, though it evolved from Ashtanga.

Bikram Poses

Posted under Styles of Yoga

This post was written by Barefoot Yoga on October 12, 2011