4 Exciting styles to opt for in yoga classes!
Browsing for good yoga classes in London can be a really hectic and mind-boggling decision if you don’t have the basic know-how of each style. How can you tell the difference between Hatha Yoga, Bikram or Anusara and Ashtanga? Don’t break a sweat yet — we have narrowed down four major styles any yogi should know before opting for a class! Hope this list leads you to the style that suits you the most.
Anusara yoga, founded by an American yogi, John Friend, in 1997 is a relatively newer addition to the yoga world. It is a modern-day Hatha yoga system and revolves around the belief that life is a gift to which we are invited. The word ‘Anusara’ literally translates to “following your heart”,“flowing with grace,” “going with the flow.”It is based on the idea that we’re all consumed by an intrinsic goodness and this philosophy is celebrated in this yoga practice. Anusara allows students to open their hearts and give way for their inner goodness to stand out and outshine them in this physical practice of yoga.
Ashtanga yoga is an ancient system of yoga popularized in the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the 70’s. It is based on a rigorous style of yoga that involves a synchronization of breath with a specific series of postures and is quite similar to vinyasa yoga. Each style links every movement to a breath — a meticulous process that produces a high-intensity of internal heat and helps the body to detoxify muscles and organs by producing purifying sweat profusely.
Bikram Choudhury developed this school of yoga around three decades ago in which classes are held in rooms that are heated artificially. A Bikram class introduces you to a series of 26 poses so be prepared to sweat like never before! Similar to Ashtanga, a Bikram class always follows the same sequence. The only difference is that a Bikram sequence is different from an Ashtanga sequence, but the idea of following the same pose and order remains the same. Bikram is somehow found itself to be controversial, as Choudhury has taken patent rights to his sequence and has even gone as far as to sue studios who call themselves ‘Bikram’ but don’t train the poses according to his teachings. This form of yoga is quite popular and is also one of the easiest classes to find.
Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that puts emphasis on physical exercises which help to master body and mind exercises to separate it from external objects. The word ‘haṭha’ translates to “force” in Sanskrit. This association is linked to the fact that early Indians found its practice to be taxing and had to “force its results to happen” on the yogi. Most classes taught in the West are of Hatha Yoga as it gives you a mild introduction of most basic yoga postures. You don’t have to worry about sweating profusely — instead, it leaves you feeling more relaxed, loosens up your muscles and revitalizes you on a whole!
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