• Back To Basics: Which Yoga Style Is Right For You?
  • FitnessYoga
Back To Basics: Which Yoga Style Is Right For You?

Yoga offers a multitude of benefits. On the physical level, yoga gives relief from countless ailments of the body and is an excellent form of cross-training, building flexibility, balance and strength, and body awareness than can help with reaction time and agility. For the mind and spirit, yoga can help improve focus, concentration, confidence and your ability to handle stressful, challenging situations with calm and presence of mind.  Read on to learn about four of the basic yoga styles to see which one will suit your practice best.

For The Challenge: Ashtanga

Ashtanga is one of the more physically challenging forms of yoga. Classes go through a sequence of as few as 25 poses (also called asanas) that include back bends, inversions (think headstands and handstands), balances, and twists. Degree of difficulty: Expect an invigorating work-out, as even the beginner classes can be challenging. Real Simple says this style of yoga builds strength, stamina, and flexibility.

For The Heat: Bikram

Get ready to practice yoga in 105 degree heat and in 40% humidity -- hot! Though Bikram only has 26 poses and there's lots of alignment work so it might be a good fit for beginners. Today it's one of the most popular types of yoga; MindBodyGreen suggests that it is often thought of as the best practices for beginners as there are only 26 Bikram poses, many of which are focused on proper alignment.

For The Flow: Vinyasa

While several styles of yoga can help strengthen your body, ashtanga’s heavily repeated series of vinyasas—chatarunga (a yogi push-up), up dog, and down dog—between each pose (and on each side!) is guaranteed to make you strong and fierce, says Lauren Imparato, a certified yoga instructor and owner of the I.AM.YOU. Studio in New York City in SHAPE Magazine. Holding the poses, with this repetition of vinyasas in between, will develop targeted muscles in every part of your body, including those you never knew you had. 

For The Relaxation: Restorative

Less work, more relaxation. You'll spend as many as 20 minutes each 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. Womens Health Mag says you can direct blood flow to injured areas without straining them with restorative yoga. 



  • "Bikram Yoga 101: What Is Bikram Yoga?" MindBodyGreen. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014.
  • "Restorative." Womenshealthmag.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
  • "The Best Yoga for Weight Loss, Strength, and More." Shape Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
  • "Yoga Decoder." Real Simple. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
  • FitnessYoga

Comments on this post ( 0 )

Leave a comment