Manual of Yoga Techniques
Just one look at my yoga studio schedule and, um… what classes are right for me? From Anusara to Vinyas, there are many different ways to practice yoga, and if you’re a beginner (and unfamiliar with the terminology), it can be difficult to figure out what’s best for you.
Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here! We analyzed the most common practices and highlighted the best bets for beginners. Warning: teaching methods can vary between studios and even instructors, so always check with the studio or instructor before taking a new class.
Anti-gravity or pneumatic. A mix of aerialism and yoga (some schools offer similar classes under different names), this technique relies on a hammock that supports part or all of the body’s weight, allowing the practitioner to focus on posture and relaxation. . Beginner friendly.
Anusara. With a more upbeat vibe, Anusara focuses on improving mood and preventing injuries. It is especially suitable for beginners. Beginner friendly.
Ashtanga. Ashtanga, a more athletic approach, is a traditional practice that focuses on a series of advanced postures linked to the breath. Composed of 75 poses, the Elementary Series takes 90 minutes to align the spine, detoxify the body, and build strength and flexibility. There is no stopping in this category – continuous flow is essential to its practice.
Bikram. A series of 26 basic poses, each practiced twice in a 105°F (40.5°C) studio. Invented by the controversial Bikram Choudary, this method has inspired other “hot” and “hot” yoga classes. Be prepared to sweat (you might skip it if you drink the night before, as pre-hydration is key).
Hatha. Most modern forms of yoga fall into this traditional branch. The so-called “Hatha” classes are often core classes in classical techniques that combine breathing exercises with postures. Beginner friendly.
united. As the name suggests, this approach aims to make yoga an integral part of the daily life of doctors. Classes include asanas, breathing techniques, mantras and meditation. Beginner friendly.
integral. Formally known as integrative yoga therapy, this method was developed specifically for the hospital setting and is used in conjunction with other treatments for patients with everything from heart disease to AIDS to mental illness.
Ashta. It symbolizes the combined science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda and aims to connect students with their inner energy. Classes include a blend of Ashtanga-style postures, Iyengar’s subtleties performed through breathing and meditation on rocks.
Iyengar (Eying Jer). You will hold Iyengar poses for much longer than any other yoga practice. This encourages students to feel the role of each muscle in the pose. Iyengar often includes supports such as belts, blocks, blankets, and chairs, and is a good practice for people with certain physical injuries and limitations. Beginner friendly.
Jevamukti (je-fah-mook-tee). This method focuses on authentic spiritual experience. Each chapter focuses on a theme and may include hymns and Bible readings.
Kripalu (Kri Bah Lo). With a focus on body contact, the method moves through a three-phase flow sequence: basic mechanics, meditation, and long-term poses. Beginner friendly.
Kundalini. A smooth and dynamic way to move trainers through poses. The sequence consists of quick, repetitive movements designed to awaken the power of the body, mind, and spirit. This practice taps into the inner “Kundalini” (also called “snake” energy).
Power yoga. This method has a mathematical advantage and was developed for the West in the 1980s. It is usually practiced in a room with a moderate temperature, and the classes can vary greatly depending on the teacher’s style, as they do not follow a specific asana progression.
before birth. Yoga for new parents. With a focus on yogic breathing (think of it as the thigh version of Lamaze) and muscle strengthening, some people find that prenatal yoga makes labor easier and faster. Beginner friendly.
recovery. Relaxation is key to restorative yoga, and it’s great for anyone recovering from an injury (or just needing some quality time). Expect easy, standard poses (often modified) held for a very long time to calm the mind. Beginner friendly.
Sivananda (Shi Fa Non Da). A slow-paced spiritual approach with sun salutations and the same 12 asanas in each group. This yoga school focuses on breathing, relaxation, diet, exercise, and positive thinking to create a healthy lifestyle.
Trauma Sensitive Yoga. This type of yoga, developed by the TCTSY trauma center, was developed by Drug Abuse, s
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