Yoga means to unite, however, there are many ways to achieve different types of unity. Finding what works for you is the first step towards uniting yourself with your higher power or spiritual force.
If you are unsure of where to start, we are here to help with some basic information to the major styles of yoga.
Anusara yoga was developed in 1997 by John Friend. It is primarily based on the belief that we are all filled with an intrinsic goodness. Anusara seeks to radiate that goodness from us through opening student’s hearts and enabling them to experience grace. Anusara is rigorous for both body and mind.
Ashtanga Yoga is based on ancient teachings, however, it was popularized in the West during the 1970s by K. Pattabhi Jois. This style of yoga is repetitive and very physically demanding. It utilizes the exact same poses in the exact same order every session.
Bikram Choudhury developed his school of yoga around 30 years ago. Like Ashtanga, Bikram yoga follows the same sequence of poses every session (26 in this case), and being a hot yoga practice it will leave you sweating like its mid-summer.
Hot Yoga uses heated rooms like Bikram, however, since the yoga sequences vary, the studios cannot use the name Bikram. You should bring a water bottle and an extra towel to a Hot Yoga class.
Iyengar was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, and is widely used for physical therapy. While you will not find yourself dripping with sweat this is the best style of yoga if you suffer from an injury, chronic condition, or to loosen up sore tight muscles. Iyengar yoga uses block blankets straps chairs and bolsters to help students achieve proper alignment.
Remember if you don’t love one style of yoga there are others, even ones like Doga which is done with your dog, and other instructors you may find yourself more connected with.