When it comes to yoga, one often hears the most exotic and unusual terms and therefore it can easily happen that someone feels overwhelmed or totally confused. So I thought I just summarize the most popular ones for you and bring so a bit more clarity into the yoga jungle.
Acro or Partner yoga
Founders are Jason Nemer and Jenny Sauer-Klein. A combination out of therapeutic thai massage and acrobatic to create supported versions of traditional yoga poses to build human connections and create community.
Aerial or Anti-Gravity-Yoga
Instead of using a flying carpet here you need a flying hammock. Aerial yoga combines acrobatic arts and yoga poses with your feet of the ground à la Cirque du Soleil. Flying yoga helps to find more length in the spine while benefit from a safe alignment in the pose.
Created by John Friend, as a practice to be encourage you to feel and accept. Anusara is often compared with Iyengar but in a more relaxed way. Instead of trying to squeeze everyone into one and the same posture it is handle a bit more individually.
A strong form of Yoga and therefore also very popular by men.
Ashtanga yoga consists of Six sequences — the primary series, second series, third series, and so on — practiced sequentially as progress is made. Ashtangis move rapidly with the breath, flowing from one pose to the next.
Bhakti yoga is a spiritual path focused on the cultivation of love and devotion towards God, Deities or Teachers. As a Bhakti yogi you are showing devotion by serving others, praying and chanting. Lots of Bhakti Yogis are practicing Kirtan on a regular basis.
Bikram or Hot Yoga
Bikram features yoga poses in a sauna-like room. The heat is cranked up to around 40 degrees celsius and about 40 percent humidity. It is called “Bikram” by its inventor Bikram Choudhury. The sequence is compiled from 26 basic yoga postures, each performed twice.
By definition, Hatha is a physical yoga practice, which is pretty much all the yoga styles you find. In other words, Hatha is the ice cream style while Ashtanga and Bikram are the flacours like vanilla and chocolate. Today all classes are described as “Hatha classes” if they contain a classical approach to yoga postures combined with yogic breathing exercises.
Named after founder B.K.S. Iyengar. Here blocks, straps or pillows are used to get you more into the right position. By using all the props it has also earned the nickname “furniture yoga.” Appropriate for all ages and abilities, Iyengar yoga is all about precise alignment and deliberate sequencing which makes it to a quite therapeutic application.
A physical, limit-pushing practice created by the couple Sharon Gannon and David Life in 1984. Expect a theme for each class, Sanskrit chanting, and references to ancient scripture.
Kripalu is a three-part practice that teaches you to get to know, accept, and learn from your body. It starts with figuring out how your body works in different poses, then moves toward postures held for an extended time and meditation. And then taps deep into your being to find spontaneous flow in asanas, letting your body be your guide and teacher.
Also called the Yoga of Awareness taught by Yogi Bhajan. It consists of simple yogic techniques that can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter of age or physical ability. It is a complete science that includes breath, yoga postures, sound, chanting (mantras) and meditation. It is designed to provide you with the experience of your highest consciousness through the raising of your Kundalini.
Founded by Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Kest, both studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Therefore closely resembled to Ashtanga except that Power yoga doesn`t stick to the same sequence all over again. The idea behind Power yoga was to make ashtanga simply more accessible to the Western world.
Pre- and post natal Yoga
Yoga postures carefully adapted for expectant mothers. Prenatal yoga is tailored to help women in all stages of pregnancy, even those getting back in shape post-birth.
Less work, more relaxation. You’ll spend more time in just four or five simple poses (often they’re modifications of standard asanas) using strategically placed props like blankets, bolsters, and soothing lavender eye pillows to help you sink into deep relaxation. It’s something like group nap time for grownups but better not to fall asleep to get the whole benefit out of it 😉
An unhurried yoga practice that typically focuses on the same 12 basic asanas or variations every time, started by sun salutations and savasana at the end. The system is based on a five-point philosophy: breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking work together to form a healthy yogic lifestyle
While most of us think of sex when we hear the word Tantric. But this ancient practice is actually a powerful combination of asanas, mantras, mudras, bandhas (energy locks) and chakras (energy centers) to build strength, clarity, and bliss in everyday life. By harnessing and embodying the five forces of Shakti, the female deity that represents creativity and change, Tantric Yoga suggests we can move through the world with more confidence and contentment.
Like hatha, vinyasa is a general term that describes many different styles of yoga. It essentially means movement synchronized with breath. Expect a class with lots of movement.
A quiet, meditative yoga practice, also called taoist yoga. Yin focuses on lengthening connective tissues like ligaments and tendons and is so meant to complement an active yang practice where we mainly work on our muscles. Yin poses are passive, meaning you’re supposed to relax muscles and let gravity do the work. Poses are held up to 5 minutes which as well strengthens your patience on a mental level.
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