As yoga has hit the main stream the variety of classes continue to increase. Even recreation facilities have started to offer the large variety of classes that you would have only found at a yoga studio in the years before. You may be looking to start yoga but hesitant as you don’t know what class to register for. Or, you may be a yoga enthusiast but would like to try something new. I have outlined here for you various yoga styles that you will now find at most places that offer yoga. Keep in mind this is just what I would call a basic list, and classes offered continue to grow! If you are unsure what the class involves don’t hesitate to contact the facility or instructor and make sure the class is exactly what you are looking for. It’s important that you enjoy the class style, instructor and atmosphere.
Hatha- Hatha comes from the sanskrit meaning of “ha” = sun and “tha” = moon. This branch of yoga works towards balancing these two yin and yang elements. Hatha yoga involves prananyama (breathing) techniques, asana (posture) practice, and relaxation techniques (including meditation) to bring forth tranquility within your mind, body and spirit.
Power- Power yoga is a strong style class that uses yoga asana (usually those that are also taught in a Hatha class) to build strength, stamina and endurance. I would recommend this class to those who have participated in a Hatha class and are looking for a class that will build strength and endurance, or for those who are physically active already and looking to add yoga to their lifestyle. This class may also be offered in a “hot” format, meaning it is done in a heated room.
Vinyasa- Vinyasa yoga is a flowing class, using yoga asana to continually move from one movement to the next movement with each breath. This class builds cardiovascular endurance as well as strength while building flexibility. This class may also be offered in a “hot” format, meaning it is done in a heated room.
Yin- Yin yoga stretches the deep connective tissue within the body and is done by holding yoga asanas for 3-5 minutes in duration. Yin yoga focuses on the legs, hips and spine. This class is a great compliment to many of the yang styles of yoga (ie: power) and our typical yang lifestyles.
Bikram- Bikram is a serious of 26 yoga asanas completed two times in succession. This yoga sequence is actually copyrighted and only Bikram certified instructors are able to teach the yoga asanas in this specific sequence. Bikram is completed in a room that is 104 F.
Kundalini- Kundalini yoga is taught according to Yogi Bhajan as a practice that brings movement and the breath together in specific yoga sets that have greater effects when linked together than on their own as individual yoga asanas. Kundalini yoga also incorporates mantras and meditation.
Styles of classes will vary from facility to facility and yoga styles are continuing to increase in variety. Looking to build strength and endurance and increase flexibility of deep connective tissue? Find a Yin/Yang class that will do a bit of both! Class combos, such as Yin/Yang, are also becoming more in demand.
Try several different styles and find out for yourself what style, or styles, you most enjoy.