Developed by American yogi John Friend in 1997, Anusara yoga is a relative newcomer to the yoga world. Based on the belief that we’re all filled with intrinsic goodness, Anusara seeks to use the physical practice of yoga to help students open their hearts, experience grace, and let their inner goodness shine through.
Ashtanga is based on ancient yoga teachings, but it was popularised and brought to the West by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 1970s. It’s a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures and is similar to vinyasa yoga, as each style links every movement to a breath. This is a sweaty, physically demanding practice, so make sure to bring your trusty yoga mat towel.
About 30 years ago, Bikram Choudhury developed this school of yoga where classes are held in artificially heated rooms. In a Bikram class, you will sweat like never before as you work your way through a series of 26 poses. Like Ashtanga, a Bikram class always follows the same sequence, although a Bikram sequence is different from an ashtanga sequence.
Hatha yoga is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. Nearly every type of yoga class taught in the West is Hatha yoga. When a class is marketed as Hatha, it generally means that you will get a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures.
5. HOT YOGA
Largely the same thing as Bikram. Generally, the only difference between Bikram and hot yoga is that the hot yoga studio deviates from Bikram’s sequence in some small way, and so they must call themselves by another name.
Iyengar yoga was developed and popularized by B.K.S. Iyengar. Iyengar is a very meticulous style of yoga, with utmost attention paid to finding the proper alignment in a pose. There isn’t a lot of jumping around in Iyengar classes, so you won’t get your heart rate up, but you’ll be amazed to discover how physically and mentally challenging it is to stay put.
Restorative yoga, also described as yin yoga, is a delicious way to relax and soothe frayed nerves. A good restorative class is more rejuvenating than a nap.
Vinyasa is a Sanskrit word for a phrase that roughly translates as “to place in a special way,” referring- in hatha yoga – to a sequence of poses. The intensity of the practice is similar to Ashtanga, but no two vinyasa yoga classes are the same. If you hate routine and love to test your physical limits, vinyasa yoga may be just your ticket.