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Styles of Yoga

Hatha

It’s all about the basics in these slower moving classes that require you to hold each pose for a few breaths. In many studios, hatha classes are considered a gentler form of yoga. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures.

Vinyasa

Get your flow on in this dynamic practice that links movement and breath together in a dance-like way. In most classes, you won’t linger long in each pose and the pace can be quick, so be prepared for your heart rate to rise. Teachers will often pump music, matching the beats to the sequences of the poses.




Iyengar

Here you’ll get nit-picky about precision and detail, as well as your body’s alignment in each pose. Props, like yoga blocks, blankets, straps and ropes wall, will become your new best friend, helping you to work within a range of motion that is safe and effective. Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. If you’re new to Iyengar, it’s good to start with a level one class to familiarize yourself with the technique.

Ashtanga

Consisting of six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses, you’ll flow and breathe through each pose to build internal heat. The catch is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class.


Bikram

Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. All Bikram studios practice the same 90-minute sequence so you’ll know exactly what to do once you unroll your mat. The vigorous practice combined with the heat can make the class feel strenuous. If you’re new to Bikram, take it easy!

Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it’s practiced in a heated room. But teachers aren’t constrained by the 26-pose Bikram sequence. While the heat will make you feel like you can move deeper into some poses compared to a non-heated class, it can be easy to overstretch, so don’t push beyond your capacity.

Kundalini

You’ll perform kriyas —repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work — while also chanting, singing and meditating. The goal is break through internal barriers, releasing the untapped energy residing in you and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness.

Yin Yoga

If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. This meditative practice is designed to target your deeper connective tissues and fascia, restoring length and elasticity. You’ll use props so your body can release into the posture instead of actively flexing or engaging the muscles.

Restorative

While it may feel like you’re not doing much in a Restorative yoga class…that’s the point. The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You’ll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose.