Cheat Sheet For New Yogis: 8 Major Yoga Styles

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - OCTOBER 01: A general view of a bootcamp and yoga workout as Fitbit Local Minneapolis launches at with a free event at Target Field on October 1, 2016 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo : (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images for Fitbit)

Thinking of including yoga in your workout routine? Then you must be in confusion as to which type of yoga will perfectly fit you. Below is a beginner's guide to the different styles of yoga.

1. Anusara

This type of yoga is developed by John Friend, an American yogi, in 1997. Anusara is based on the belief that everyone possess an intrinsic goodness. This type of yoga aims to use the physical practice of yoga to encourage students to open their hearts, experience grace and allow their inner goodness to radiate. Classes are meticulously arranged by the teacher to explore one of Friend's Universal Principles of Alignment.

2. Ashtanga

Based on ancient yoga teachings, Ashtanga became popular when Pattabhi Jois (pronounced "pah-tah-bee joyce") brought it to the West in the 1970s. Ashtanga involves a rigorous style of yoga. Each style follows a specific sequence of postures.
Ashtanga is similar to Vinayasa yoga. Each style connects every movement to breath. The difference between the two is that Ashtanga often performs exactly the same poses in exactly the same order.
Ashtanga is sweaty and physically demanding type of yoga.

3. Bikram

Bikram Choudjury started a school of yoga 30 years ago. Classes are held in artificially heated rooms. A Bikram class allows its students to sweat profusely in its entire 26 poses.
Bikram class follows the same sequence the way an Ashtanga follows its own sequence. Bikram has gained controversy as Choudhury trademarked his sequences. He has also sued studios who identified themselves as Bikram and didn't teach poses the way he designed them. Bikram is a fairly popular type of yoga, therefore making it easy to find classes teaching it.

4. Hatha

Hatha yoga refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. Most of the yogas taught in the West is heath Hatha yoga. Being enrolled in a Hatha class means a gentle introduction to the basic yoga psotures. There is not much sweating in this type of yoga, but it will surely leave you feeling more relaxed and looser.

5. Hot Yoga

Hot Yoga is similar to Bikram. The difference of Hot Yoga with Bikram is that thhe latter deviates from Bikram's sequence in minimum ways. The room is, as its name suggests, heated.

6. Iyengar

Iyengar yoga was created by B.K.S. Iyengar (pronounced "eye-yen-gar"). Iyengar became popular as it introduces a meticulous type of yoga. Specifically, it pays attention to finding the power alignment of the body. A typical Iyenger studio consists of a stock of yoga stuff like blocks, blankets, straps, chairs, and bolsters. This type of yoga does not involve a lot of jumping around, therefore not causing an increase in your heart rate. Iyengar is surpassingly a physically and mentally challenging type of yoga. Teachers are required to undergo comprehensive training specifically in managing instruction to students suffering from injury or chronic condition.

7. Restorative

This type of yoga, as it implies, is a relaxing way to soothe frayed nerves. Its classes involve the use of bolsters, blocks, and blankets to prop students in passive poses. The purpose of this is to allow the body to experience the benefits of a pose minus any intense exertion of effort..

An ideal restorative yoga will charge you more than a good nap. Studios and gyms often offer their classes on Friday nights.

8. Vinyasa

Vinyasa (pronounced "vin-yah-sah") meaning "to place in a special way", comes from is a Sanskrit word referring to a sequence of poses, as in Hatha. Vinyasa is popular for its fluid and intensive movement practices. Teachers often choreograph their classes and aids theirs student to transition smoothly from one pose to another. Most often, classes are accompanied with music to keep the mood upbeat. The intensity of its exertion is similar to Ashtanga. However it is important to note tha no two vinyasa classes are ever the same. Therefore, if you easily get bored with routine and if you love challenging your physical strength, Vinayasa is the yoga for you.

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