Anusara yoga epitomizes the celebration of the heart and Anusara classes have an uplifting, joyful, welcoming vibe. This style of yoga is an integrated approach to hatha that focuses on looking inward and acknowledging the light within yourself and others. The student's various abilities and limitations are respected in this type of yoga. It is a great style for those who are new to yoga as many teachers incorporate the use of props for support. There is also a relatively high amount of alignment and breathwork in Anusara yoga.
This exciting new modality takes yoga poses off of the mat and into the water. Aqua Yoga opens up more possibilities for a yoga practice than any other modality. Warm water soothes tight muscles and achy joints. Stability is easier to attain when supported by the water. Top that with the calming influence of the water on the nervous system and it provides a wonderful practice for all. Experienced yogi(ini)s can improve their practice with more depth and exploration.
The Ashtanga (also spelled Astanga) style of yoga is an asana practice that stresses a vinyasa flow practice using ujjayi breathing, mula bandha and uddiyana bandha (engaging the pelvic and abdominal core), and drishti (focused gaze). Ashtanga realigns the spine, detoxifies the body, and builds strength, stamina, and flexibility. The flow involves sun salutations and moves through standing poses, seated poses, inversions and backbends before relaxation. It is a vigorous and athletic practice that appeals to students who like order.
Baptiste Power Yoga has three primary elements: asana, meditation, and inquiry. These three elements challenge the student to step into their full potential, develop confidence, and discover their passions. The practice strengthens, stretches, and transforms the body and students are encouraged and challenged to explore the possibilities within their physical body. The style of yoga was founded in 1940 by Walt Baptiste and his son Baron. Baptiste yoga is usually taught in a room heated to 90 degrees. You can simulate this at home with a standing heater and closed doors.
Hatha yoga is a gentle, basic yoga class with little flow between the poses. It is a good place to learn beginner's poses, relaxation techniques, and to become comfortable with practicing yoga. Hatha yoga opens many channels in the body, especially the spine, so that energy can flow more freely. It integrates the breath with holding the poses with intention. Hatha yoga is a powerful tool for transformation as it asks the student to pay attention to their breath and be in the present moment.
Hot Yoga is an excellent foundation for learning proper alignment, developing strength and flexibility and for improving balance and concentration. The practice of hot yoga is a great way to detox the body, slim down and burn fat, and become more flexible. A hot yoga practice can work at home by creating a clear space with at least a foot of clearance on all sides. If you live in a hot climate, practice outdoors; otherwise, mimic the heated yoga room with space heaters and a humidifier. The combination of heat and moisture is important in the hot yoga practice.
Named after and developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, this form of Hatha yoga emphasizes correct body alignment in the postures and holding the asanas for extended lengths of time. In Iyengar yoga, props are used to support the student's body in the poses. It develops strength, mobility, and stamina while minimizing risk of injury and making the poses accessible to every student. Iyengar yoga ideal for students who want to independently find their way to the asanas. It encourages students to go deeper into the experience of each pose.
Japanese yoga therapy is a specialized type of yoga that allows you to diagnose, correct and treat specific or nagging health issues. Japanese Yoga Therapy is known by various names like Oki, Ki or ryoho yoga. It is a system combining traditional Hatha yoga poses with the principles of the Five Element theory and Zen Shiatsu which you can use in your daily life to create change in your body.
Jivamukti means 'liberation while living' and this modern style of yoga is a vinyasa-style practice. Classes can be physically intense and each is typically explored around a theme. Jivamukti classes may involve yoga scripture, changing, meditation as well as asana (movement), pranayama (breathing), and music. This style of yoga appeals to students who want a strong workout with a little extra.
Kripalu Yoga is a challenging style of asana practice that emphasizes breathwork, meditation, and inward focus through a gradual process of physical healing, psychological growth, and spiritual awakening. The practice is a journey that revitalizes the body through yoga postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation techniques. Kripalu attracts students who want to nurture the roots of their own health, inspire personal growth, and live with more joy. Kripalu Yoga is known for transforming your sense of what it means to be alive.
The Kriya style of yoga consists of techniques that emphasize a relationship between the breath and the mind. This ancient practice involves channeling the force (prana) through passages in the spine. Yoga postures help open the channels of the spine and balance the energy along the spine. Yoga breathing exercises awaken energy. Kriya helps the student control the life force by mentally drawing it up and down the spine with awareness and will.
Kundalini yoga stems from the tantra yoga path and is the 'yoga of awareness' and it opens your heart, builds strength, and actively releases the energy held at the base of your spine. A Kundalini practice encorporates poses with dynamic breathing techniques and even chanting. Practitioners can expect to dance, jump, hold poses for lengthy times, and breathe deeply. It is a great practice for beginners as it offers the flexibility to push past barriers. Kundalini sequences can be challenging and appeal to those who want both a mental and physical challenge.
While not a form of yoga, the act or practice of meditating is the process of being mindfully present. In a yoga practice, the body, the mind, and the senses are merged and the student is prepared for a meditation practice. A meditation class often involves the teacher giving guided instruction to help the student discover self-acceptance, exploration, awareness, balance, and compassion, among other benefits, through a guided practice.
Power yoga is a general term used to describe a fitness-based yoga class that is vigorous and includes a strong vinyasa flow. Many consider this style to be a gym-based, and unlike Ashtanga, Power yoga does not follow a prescribed series of poses so these classes can vary widely. The emphasis in a Power yoga class is on strength and flexibility. The benefits of this style include better circulation and cardiovascular endurance, decreased respiratory rates, and a stronger immune system. Power yoga is ideal for people who are already fit, enjoy exercising, and want a minimal amount of meditation and chanting with their yoga workout.
Not specifically a type of yoga, but a form of yogic breathing exercises, Pranayama is an important component of a developing yoga practice. In addition to deepening your practice, When the mind is clear and balanced, the breath is rhythmic and even, but when the mind is tense or nervous, the breath is strained and often erratic. Pranayama bridges the conscious and unconscious mind and integrates the breath throughout the body. Pranayama calms and invigorates the body in ways that greatly benefits your life away from the mat.
A Restorative yoga class is the direct opposite of an active practice and is ideal for decompressing after a stressful period. In Restorative yoga, the student uses often extensive props and holds the poses for a long period of time to encourage deep relaxation of the body, the mind, and the spirit. The poses are often selected to address specific challenges. Restorative yoga is ideal for students who are injured, overstressed, or ill and want to regain their quality of life.
The Sivananda Yoga style follows the teachings of Swami Sivananda and is a method based on five principles: exercise (asana), breathing (pranayama), relaxation (savasana), diet (vegetarian), and meditation (dhyana). A typical class is slow in pace, allowing for the full exploration of the pose. After warming up with sun salutations, the focus is on the mastery of basic poses including headstand, plow, crow, and other challenging poses. Sivananda appeals to students who like a slo practice that promotes physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Vinyasa is a broad term that is used in a range of yoga styles. A Vinysas class involves a series of poses that are sequenced to move the student through the power of inhaling and exhaling. Vinyasa classes are smooth-flowing and dynamic, offering both physical and mental benefits. The synchronized breathing relaxes the mind and releases energy blocks while the physical movements work to expel toxins and release the flow of energy. Vinyasa classes are a great way to challenge yourself and ideal for students who want to focus on breathing while practicing a flow of movements.
Yin yoga is a style of yoga that encompasses long held and static stressors of the deep connective tissue and allow them to be remodeled. It is a slow-paced form of yoga usually involving passive postures primarily on the floor and it offers deeper access into the body. It is not uncommon for poses to be held for three to five minutes, even more. The time spent in the pose is akin to time spent in meditation and the teacher may talk the student through the posture as if they were trying to meditate. Yin yoga may, but not always, include props. It is ideal for students who want to mindfully reduce stress and bring their normal healthy bodies back to optimal functioning.
Yoga Nidra is a sleep-like state in which yogis reach the deepest possible states of relaxation while maintaining full consciousness. The practice of Yoga Nidra releaves tension and anxiety. it is an excellent practice for those experiencing symptoms of anxiety, such as headaches, and it has been used to help those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. In Yoga Nidra, the student will not move but stay in a relaxed position, usually lying flat in shavasana and following the spoken instruction of the teacher. It requires resolve, body awareness, breath awareness, and the ability to visualize.
Not specifically a type of yoga, but a vinyasa-style class that adds free weights for increased muscle endurance. These classes are a combination of strength training to build lean muscle while boosting the metabolism. Yoga Sculpt classes are designed to tone and 'sculpt' every big muscle group. The free weights serve to deepen the practice. Choose lighter weights because the moves combined with the weights are surprisingly challenging.