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April 27, 2015
Traditional yoga styles like Ashtanga, Iyengar and Sivananda are already known to regular practitioners. However, the newer styles like TriYoga or Viniyoga would still confuse many people as to which would serve fitness or spirituality needs. Knowing the various styles and their focus on physical challenge or relaxation would prove helpful.
Hatha Yoga is the 'mother of all' yoga styles since current styles have evolved from this. Simultaneously, it is performed by a combination of the asanas with breathing exercises and cleansing practices (pranayama and shatkriyas) and meditation and deep relaxation. By long practice, the poses are held for long periods under an atmosphere of meditation.
Anusara Yoga highlights an attitude that upholds life and in adjustment to the heart. This style is based on the principle of proper alignment and that a joyful and receptive performance enhance the positive outcomes of the asanas.
Ashtanga-Vinyasa Yoga is a vibrant and strong style with a focus on breathing, that works with six specific sequences of poses and some elements of movement to connect the poses, thereby making a transition between the static traditional positions.
Bikram Yoga is made of a series of 24 positions and two pranayamas or breathing techniques intended to improve strength, balance and flexibility. This style stands out from the rest with its venue of a room that's heated up to 40 degrees Celsius, to cause more sweat for flushing out body toxins. Which came up with 'Hot Yoga' as the more popular term for this style.
Integral Yoga, from its term, integrates the asanas, breathing styles, meditation and deep relaxation into one complete procedure with a spiritual bent.
Popularized for its wide use of props of chairs, belts, blocks, etc. is Iyengar Yoga, which puts so much attention on particularities and focus on correct alignment. Newcomers are instructed in detail and also provided with basic information as to its health benefits.
Jivamukti Yoga comes from the Sanskrit definition of jivamukti, "liberation of the soul." This style has a spiritual inclination and is more traditional than others and is performed in particular progressions of asanas that are held for a long time, going on segue from one to the next in an energetic and flowing manner. Vegetarianism and awareness of the environment are promoted attitudes.
Kripalu Yoga, or its alternative term, Amrit Yoga is a mutually healing and mystical style. A gentle practice, its goal is to calm the mind and develop an attitude of open acceptance of the self and one's performance.
On the contrary, Kundalini Yoga is energetic and strong, aiming to stir the force of the serpent Kundalini, found at the base of the spinal column. This style also holds the asanas for long periods and emphasizes breathing techniques.
Power Yoga is a easy, dynamic and precise offshoot of Ashtanga style. The aim of this style is to increase staying power, energy and good health. It's said to be 'about feeling good, not just looking good.'
Sivananda Yoga integrates the tenets of exercise (asana), breathing (pranayama), relaxation (savasana), vegetarian diet and meditation.
TriYoga is a mixture of asanas, pranayama and mudras (sacred hand gestures) with fluid segues of strings of asanas.
Viniyoga is among the curative styles, centered on synching breathing and movements. Asanas are held for long periods too, but these are adapted to the practitioner's age and health condition.
Vinyasa Flow style is made of instant asanas which progress from one to the next in certain easy movements harmonized with breathing techniques. These 'flows' are designed for better vitality and flexibility, putting the mind at rest and creating spiritual awareness and healing. This style is an adaptation from the traditional Ashtanga-Vinyasa yoga styles.
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