Hot yoga is similar to Bikram in that it is practiced in a heated room. Ashtanga yoga is often hailed as the modern form of classical Indian yoga. Ashtanga classes focus on the alignment of movement and breathing, where the duration of movement is determined by breathing. The practice of Ashtanga always involves one of six sequences of asanas, depending on your level of experience.
Iyengar yoga has a strong physical emphasis. This style of yoga is firmly rooted in the path of Hatha Yoga, so the main focus is on body alignment. Practitioners often maintain the same poses for extended periods of time before moving on to the next one. They practice more than 200 poses, fourteen types of pranayama and use various accessories to ensure that everyone can practice safely and accurately.
Perhaps you have seen the images of yogis (ni), wearing white turbans, one of the apparent characteristics of Kundalini yoga. But there's more: the style is sometimes referred to as consciousness yoga. Kundalini yogis place a lot of emphasis on energy, breathing techniques, and chants. As the turbans suggest, the yoga style is largely based on Indian culture.
At Svaha Yoga, we want to support the focus on awareness that is taught in Kundalini yoga, so we teach two Kundalini Yoga classes per week. Power yoga is based on traditional yoga asanas, combined with the North American demand for rigorous physical exercise. It focuses on using the body a lot, often in a hot room. Power yoga practitioners often add an intense spiritual element, but the body always remains at the center of the practice.
When trying to choose a yoga class, explore different styles of yoga and also different classes within the same style. These types of yoga are best for those who have been practicing yoga for some time and are looking to really push themselves and deepen their practice. Anusara yoga, which was founded by the American yogi John Friend, is a modern hatha yoga that focuses on experiencing happiness and joy both in the practice of yoga and in life in general. Vinyasa yoga is a fluid and sequential practice directed by Ujjayi breathing, so you can also know it as flow yoga.
When I first started practicing yoga, there weren't many yoga options, so I often did Bikram yoga. Yoga Bajan first introduced Kundalini yoga from India to the west in 1969, according to Triyoga, and since then its popularity has grown, as teachers develop and interpret their own styles. In fact, one of the main principles of Anusara yoga is “action”, which refers to applying the concepts and skills of the practice of yoga to daily life. Those who have been practicing yoga for more than a few months and want to increase intensity will probably want to opt for a more dynamic yoga practice; a type of class that is not only meditative but also physically challenging.
However, in general terms, this type of yoga is generally considered good for beginners, since it includes most styles of yoga and is practiced more slowly and with more static poses, to help bring peace to the mind and body, preparing for deeper spiritual practices, such as meditation. I use the word expert in the previous paragraph because obtaining the benefits of vinyasa yoga depends on having a great yoga teacher and being open to learning. Mysore is the place where the Indian yoga teacher Pattabhi Jois, who popularized the vinyasa style of yoga, established the Ashtanga yoga research institute.