You finally made decision to practice yoga, but which style of yoga is best one for you? There are many types of yoga, and while they usually have common elements, their focus is often quite different. If you have not been physically active in a long time, then one of more gentle, slower moving styles may be right for you. If you are an athlete or are very physically fit, you might want to check out some of more strenuous forms.
The following is a list of more common yoga classes that you will find.
Hatha Yoga - Almost every style of yoga practiced in west is some form of Hatha Yoga. It includes asanas, breathing exercises, relaxation, and meditation. Each of individual forms of yoga has a different emphasis, but classes usually include some combination of these elements.
Ashtanga - This is a very fast paced, intense style of yoga. It follows a series of postures, which are always done in same order and are connected with breath. Each posture flows directly into next one, so it is a very demanding practice. Ashtanga can be a good choice for physically fit individuals who like a challenge.
Iyengar - This type of yoga, which was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, is focused on proper body alignment. Poses are held for long periods of time and movement from one posture to another is slower than some other styles. Props are often used to help maintain proper alignment, so Iyengar can be a good choice for those who have physical limitations. Since it focuses so much on correct body alignment, it is also a good starting point for beginners before they move into faster paced styles.
Bikram - This style of yoga was created by Bikram Choudhury and is also known as hot yoga. Classes are held in rooms heated up to 100 degrees in order to allow your body to stretch without injury and release toxins. Practitioners move through a series of twenty-six postures, with each one being held for a period of time. This is a strenuous style and should be avoided by people with certain health conditions unless they get clearance from their medical professional.