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7 popular types of yoga: the


ultimate guide
03/10/2015 By Jennifer Mosscrop

Are you searching for a new yoga practice that tones your body? Or are you more interested
in meditation? There are so many different types of yoga practices; how do you know which
one to take? We whipped up a guide to help you through the decision-making process so you
know what youre getting yourself into before heading off to your rst class.
The styles listed below are currently the most popular forms of yoga in the United States.

1. For the beginner: Hatha


The most widely practiced form of yoga in the United States today, Hatha yoga is gentle and
focuses on breathing, holding the pose and quieting the mind, all of which are the basic
building blocks to any yoga practice. Hatha is a general term to describe a wide variety of yoga
styles.

2. For the t-minded: Vinyasa


Vinyasa is similar to Hatha but is faster-paced and more tness-oriented. It is also a general
term to describe a variety of styles. The poses are linked together in a series of movements that
are synchronized with the breath. Emphasis is placed on the breath and the transition in and out
of the poses. Upward movements correlate with inhalations of the breath, and downward
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movements with exhalations.

3. For healing: Bikram


Founded by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga performed in a series of 26
postures done in a hot 105 degrees Fahrenheit or greater environment, which is meant to
mimic the climate of the birthplace of yoga: India. The heated environment allegedly promotes
more exibility, detoxication and prevention of injuries.

4. For the dgety yogi: Ashtanga


Ashtanga is based on six series of poses that increase in difculty, allowing you to work at your
own pace. Also known as power yoga, youll be kept on the move, owing through one pose to
the next in a constant cycle throughout your practice time. Unlike Hatha, Ashtanga is about the
journey to each pose rather than keeping a pose. Not recommended for the beginner.

5. For the perfectionist: Iyengar


B.K.S. Iyengar developed this style of yoga in order for you to gain proper alignment of the body.
Once your body is aligned properly, you reap the maximum benets of yoga and prevent
injuries. Iyengar yoga utilizes a variety of props to help you reach proper alignment in each pose
no matter how basic such as wooden gadgets, belts and ropes. Great for all levels!

6. For the spiritual seeker: Kundalini


This ancient form of yoga is challenging both physically and mentally. Kundalini incorporates
the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of yoga, focusing on awakening the energy at the
base of the spine and drawing it upward. In addition to postures, expect to do some chanting,
meditation and breathing exercises.

7. On the path to enlightenment: Jivamukti


Jivamukti is a vinyasa style of yoga that attracts a wide variety of people, including many
celebrities. Meaning "liberation while living," it was created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in
1986. According to TheSecretsOfYoga.com, Jivamukti features ve disciplines, which form the
foundation of the practice and are incorporated into every class. The incorporation of these
principles into an asana practice ensures that yoga is being practiced for its original purpose: as
a means to enlightenment and not merely as a physical exercise.

Sources: Matsmatsmats.com, Fitday.com, Yoga Journal, About.com, Thesecretsofyoga.com

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