A Fab Girl’s Guide to 8 styles of Yoga

19th Feb 2014 / By Guest Contributor

Are you bored of your exercise routine and want to try something new? Yoga may be the perfect alternative. Working out is about incorporating new and diverse exercises into your routine. Yoga is not only for the mind, body and spirit, there are additional benefits you may not know about. Yoga’s main component is health, which is maintained by a simple and well regulated diet, adequate sleep, some physical exercise (in this case Yoga) and relaxation. Below are 8 types of Yoga classes fit for each individual and their style of exercise.

Hatha Yoga: is a foundation for every style of yoga that exists. Hatha yoga is a holistic path that includes but is not limited to: discipline, postures, purification procedures, breathing, and meditation.

  • Pros: Increases flexibility and the lubrication of joints and tendons. It is a great way of toning your muscles and the mind-with mediation and breathing exercises.
  • Cons: If your goal is burn lots of calories, this may not be for you. Although it has many health benefits, weight-loss is gradual.

Aerial Yoga: is a fluid, acrobatic yoga-usually in a hammock. Consists of compression free inversions, is all about TRUST, and will leave you with more trust and a blissful sensation of floating.

  • Pros: Great for stretching and strengthening the body that does not overstress the joints. May be easier to perform because of the support of the hammock, which can help those who may have trouble with back and forward bends.
  • Cons: Does not focus on breathing techniques, which some may question its validity as a form of yoga.

Anusara Yoga: is a playful class filled with a strong emphasis on proper alignment and tantric yoga. Broadly categorized into the three A’s: Attitude, Alignment and Action, as well as, following the Universal Principles of Alignment.

  • Pros: Lessons in breath techniques and posture alignment. Can be very therapeutic and accommodating to people with special therapeutic needs.
  • Cons: There is truly no cons to this type of yoga, as it is accommodating to people with all types of needs.

Ashtanga/Vinyasa Yoga: is an athletic and dynamic type of yoga. Made up of six vigorous serious of postures with each pose increasing in difficulty.

  • Pros: It is a great style because it involves synchronizing your breathing with a progression of postures. This also leads to production of intense heat which causes stress, thus creating a detoxifying process.
  • Cons: More for the athletic type, can be more challenging than other styles. Memorization is key. It takes time and requires to meet developmental milestones before moving onto the next posture which can sometimes cause frustration.

Bikram Yoga: is a 90 minute class consisting of 26 postures and breathing exercises, taking place in studio heated to 105° with 40% humidity. Prepare to sweat!

  • Pros: Detoxifies your skin, increases flexibility and strength. The hot air in the room is good for your lungs, making it easier to breathe and practice breathing techniques. You ultimately feel rejuvenated after.
  • Cons: May cause dehydration which can commonly cause dizziness. Keep hydrated, well before and after the class.

Iyengar Yoga: is a restorative form of yoga and is a class emphasizing healing the body and mind through the use of supportive poses.

  • Pros: A very therapeutic style, contributing to soothing aches and pains in the body. Contains Pranaymas which are breath control exercises. Can definitely help improve a person’s posture-for all you slouchers out there!
  • Cons:Some people find the postures take too long to perform, thus leaving them bored or anxious to finish the class. Unfortunately, does not work well with all types of people.

Kundalini Yoga: focuses on the power and influence of mediation and breathing. Also considered to be a detox of the body and mind.

  • Pros: An intensified style that gives insight into a deeper state of mind and spiritual findings. Postures are similar to Hatha yoga and create a great sense of energy improvement.
  • Cons: It is not a self-taught style as it can result of improper use, causing physical problems. If you are not in a spiritual state of mind, this style may be too much to take in, ultimately leaving you with mixed emotions.

Yin Yoga: is a slower class, taking you deeper into the practice of yoga. Yin yoga is an ideal method of physical conditioning with a prolonged mediation practice.

  • Pros: Highlights deepening postures, meditation and creating greater flexibility.
  • Cons: If meditation is not your thing, a class with a series of challenging postures may be best.

Which style works best for you?

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