If you are new to yoga, the array of terms used can be overwhelming. While all styles of yoga offer health benefits, improve flexibility and strength, and increase mind-body wellness, not all are equally enjoyable for beginners. Learn about the different styles of yoga to select one that resonates with your personality and fitness goal.
A flowing style of yoga, Ashtanga puts you through a series of poses and incorporates breath focus. By controlling breath flow through your body and focusing your mind, Ashtanga calms you even as it taxes your muscles. The end result? A toned physique (burn up to 500 calories in a class) and a chill mind.
Bikram is a hot style of yoga, where the same 26 poses are performed each class in a room heated to 100 degrees. If you like variety, or cannot work out in a hot room, Bikram isn't right for you. Beginners may appreciate having to only focus on 26 poses, and some may enjoy the cleansing feeling of sweating it all out in a Bikram class.
Methodical, detail-oriented Iyengar yoga is very beginner-friendly. Yogis frequently incorporate props, bolsters, and straps to get into poses, which can benefit less flexible beginners. Classes flow at a slow pace, allowing newbies to get up to speed on basics before trying more athletic styles of yoga.
Gentle hatha-yoga is an ideal style for beginners or folks who are just getting started with an exercise program. Hatha classes typically incorporate a few styles of yoga in courses that are beginner-friendly. Poses can be modified for difficulty, so you can make the class more or less rigorous depending on your needs.
Like hatha, power yoga combines several different style of yoga into a classes. Unlike hatha, power yoga is challenging and athletic. If you seek to build upper body strength and improve your climbing skills, power yoga can definitely help. You'll burn up to 500 calories in a class. However, beginners may wish to start with another style of yoga and work up to power yoga once they have a handle on the basic poses.
A restorative style of yoga, yin yoga is great for those times when you need to chill out or take it easy after an injury. Yin also complements more active styles of yoga, like power yoga. Some beginners may find it mentally challenging to stay in one yoga pose for a long time, which is typical of yin classes. For others, yin can feel just right.
Ultimately, the only way to know whether you will like a style of yoga is to give it a try! So, see what yoga classes are offered at your local gym and try them out. You may find a new favorite teacher or learn something new about Chaturanga after trying out a different yoga style.
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