6 Popular Yoga Styles to Start Your Yoga Practice

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You have finally decided to start practising yoga. After hours and days of research, you may still be perplexed about which style to get started with? Should you give a try to Ashtanga or Hatha? What is the difference between Hot yoga and Power yoga? Which style will suit you the most? Being a newbie, you might feel confused and muddled amidst an array of options. You have finally decided to start practising yoga. After hours and days of research, you may still be perplexed about which style to get started with? Should you give a try to Ashtanga or Hatha? What is the difference between Hot yoga and Power yoga? Which style will suit you the most? Being a newbie, you might feel confused and muddled amidst an array of options.

Yoga Styles

Although incorporating various yoga styles into regular practice shall keep you balanced. But, if you have specific goals to achieve, get adequate information on each of the yoga styles and the yoga benefits they offer.

Here are brief descriptions of some of the most practiced yoga types given below. Take a look and choose the one that is most suitable for you:

1. Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is one of the simplest and classic forms of yoga involving physical and mental alignment. Hatha Yoga is more slow-paced and gentle form of yoga which primarily focuses on alignment and breathing. In Hatha Yoga classes, you are required to hold each pose for a few breaths.

Ideal for: All level yogis, especially  beginner level.

2. Vinyasa Yoga: The dynamic practice connects movement and breath together. In Vinyasa yoga classes, you won’t sustain long in each pose and the pace will be quick, leading to increased heart rate and a lot of sweating. Instructors often switch on the music with beats matching to the sequences of the poses. These classes incorporate the poses from various styles like Ashtanga, Hatha, and more. But there is no repetition of any sequence, each vinyasa sequence is different and unique. In the beginning, the teachers give an intro and, then teach to focus on movement and breath. They further lead you through breath exercises, mantra chanting or meditation.

Ideal For: Runners, athletes and people who like exercising at a faster pace.

3. Ashtanga Yoga: If you are looking for a challenging style of yoga, give a shot to Ashtanga yoga. Consisted of six series of a specifically sequenced yoga poses— a primary series of poses, an intermediate series, and four advanced series. It will make you flow and breathe through each sequence to build internal heat. You will perform the same order of sequences in each class.

Ideal for: Highly motivated people and those who are athletic and like physically demanding exercises. Also for people, who like practicing in a quiet environment with little interruption.

4. Iyengar Yoga: Iyengar yoga is about using heavy props to guide the body into precise physical alignment. Your instructor will tell you to stay in the pose for a longer period in order to focus on the details of each pose. Props used in these classes are blankets, yoga blocks, straps or ropes that help you in performing within a range of motion for safe and effective results.

Ideal for: Detail-oriented practitioners who like to geek out about anatomy, postures and form. Teachers will endow you with a wealth of information. It can be practiced at any age and,  can also be performed by those having injuries.

5. Bikram Yoga: It is similar to Ashtanga yoga as it is based on a fixed sequence. Bikram yoga classes are intense and induce heavy sweating because the room is heated upto 45  degrees and 40 % humidity. The rigorous practice is composed of 26 poses and 2 breath exercises in each 90-minute session.

Ideal for: People who wish to push their limits. It should be avoided by people with cardiovascular problems, blood pressure issues, pursuing a course of certain medications, and pregnant women as it induces a lot of sweating which depletes the heart and leads to various imbalances. It is advisable to consult your doctor before getting started with Iyengar Yoga.

6. Restorative Yoga: This yoga style is about mellow, slow-moving practices with longer holds that allow the body to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system in order to provide deeper relaxation. A wide range of props like bolsters, blankets and yoga blocks are used in this gentle and therapeutic style to support the body while holding the poses. The poses are sustained for longer periods of time encouraging relaxation, patience, and release.

Ideal for: The yoga style is suitable for everyone, especially for people seeking relaxation.
So, choose any of these yoga styles that meet your requirements and, embark upon the yogic journey of self-transformation.

Meet Our Yoga Teachers

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Devender Bhardwaj

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Kulwant

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Gabriele (Gaby) Alscher