Exploring the Different Styles of Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical poses. It is a practice that seeks to harmonize the mind, body and soul, as well as the energy that surrounds you. With so many different styles of yoga being taught today, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. This article will provide an overview of the nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha Yoga, including Bikram and Kundalini, and provide guidance on which style might be best for you.Ashtanga is a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of poses and is similar to vinyasa yoga.

It was popularized and brought to the West by K. Pattabhi Jois in the 1970s. Each movement is linked to a breath, and the same poses are always performed in the same order. This is a sweaty and physically demanding practice, so be sure to bring your trusty yoga mat towel.Hatha yoga is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical poses.

Almost all of the types of yoga classes taught in the West are Hatha yoga. When a class is promoted as Hatha, it generally means that you'll receive a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga poses. You probably won't sweat an iota in a hatha yoga class, but you should end up leaving class feeling longer, looser and more relaxed.Bikram and hot yoga are very similar. The room will be heated and you can sweat like crazy, so check out our mats and accessories designed specifically for hot yoga classes.

The only difference between Bikram and hot yoga is that the hot yoga studio deviates from the Bikram sequence in some way, so they must call themselves by another name.Iyengar yoga was developed and popularized by B. K. S. Iyengar.

It is a very meticulous style of yoga, in which the utmost attention is paid to finding the right alignment in a posture. To help each student find the right alignment, an Iyengar studio will have a wide range of yoga accessories: blocks, blankets, straps, chairs and cushions, all common. There aren't many jumps in Iyengar classes, so you won't increase your heart rate, but you might be surprised to discover how difficult it is to stay still both physically and mentally.Vinyasa (pronounced vin-yah-sah) is a Sanskrit word for a phrase that roughly translates as placing in a special way, in hatha yoga in reference to a sequence of poses. Many wonder if vinyasa yoga is difficult, but you'll be happy to know that vinyasa yoga classes are known for their fluid and motion-intensive practices.

Vinyasa teachers order their classes to make a smooth transition from one pose to another, with the intention of linking breathing with movement, and often play music to keep things lively.Hatha simply refers to the practice of physical yoga poses, which means that your Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar and Power Yoga classes are all Hatha Yoga. Stepfanie Romine from The Beachbody Blog shares a guide to the different types of Hatha Yoga practiced today with a suggestion on who might like each specific style or benefit from it.Hatha is ideal for practitioners of all levels and ages who prefer a more relaxed style in which the poses are maintained for longer and for those who want to focus on the leisurely and meditative aspect rather than a physically demanding yoga style. Hatha was developed as a preparation for Raja Yoga, the oldest yoga system whose objective is to achieve the state of unity between body, mind and spirit - the goal par excellence of yoga itself.Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic style characterized by continuous movements that flow in harmony with the breath. This is a very physical type of yoga with spiritual components; you might remember it as the guy who did Madonna in the late 90s.To summarize the differences between Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga: Hatha can be considered stretching and flexibility training while Vinyasa can be considered cardiovascular exercise.

Each style has its unique benefits so you might find a combination of many types of yoga in one class.Regardless of which system you decide to follow, checking your gym's class schedule for a good yoga class can be confusing exercise. With this guide on different styles of Hatha Yoga you should now have an idea on which one might be best for you.

Theresa Duerr
Theresa Duerr

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