Yoga is everywhere today. While everyone thinks that they know what yoga is, it’s reality can be a bit elusive. So, Below, I’ve listed the very basic forms of the most popular styles of yoga and what to expect.
Hatha Yoga– Yoga, an ancient Sanskrit word that loosely translates as “union,” is a multifaceted system that has eight “limbs” which help the yoga practitioner lead a balanced and happy life. Some of the “limbs” relate to philosophy and ethics. When we think of Yoga today, it’s the limb of the Yoga tree named “Hatha”. Hatha describes the physical aspect of Yoga. So under the umbrella of Hatha Yoga there are particular innovations or ways to practice…the most popular are known as “Iyengar” and “Ashtanga.” When you see a Hatha yoga class on a studio schedule it usually means that it will be a yoga basics class at a beginner level.
Vinyasa– Vinyasa coordinates a series of movements (poses) with intentional breathing. Vinyasa style classes will use sun salutations and can often include a lot of movement. This is the style most popular in Los Angeles because it not only gives all of the benefits of yoga, it is also a great workout.
Ashtanga– Ashtanga yoga is a style of Vinyasa, but it is a set series of poses that don’t vary. There are six different Ashtanga yoga series. You move through the series at your own pace. The first series is 75 poses and takes about an hour and a half to complete. The second series is similar but is only available once you have mastered the first series.