A beginners guide to the different yoga styles

Looking throught the class schedule at your studio for a good class can be a real exercise and confusing. Below is a cheat sheet to the many different styles of yoga being taught today. May it help you find your way to a class you love.

1. Ashtanga

Ashtanga is based on ancient yoga teachings, but it was popularized and brought to the West in the 1970s. It's a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence, each style links every movement to a breath.  Ashtanga always performs the exact same poses in the exact same order. This is a sweaty, physically demanding practice, so make sure to bring your trusty yoga mat towel.

2. Hatha

Hatha yoga refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. When a class is marketed as Hatha, it generally means that you will get a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures. You probably won't work up a sweat in a hatha yoga class, but you should end up leaving class feeling longer, looser, and more relaxed.

8. Vinyasa

Vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. Vinyasa teachers sequence their classes to smoothly transition from pose to pose, with the intention of linking breath to movement, and often play music to keep things lively. The intensity of the practice is similar to Ashtanga, but no two vinyasa classes are the same. If you hate routine and love to test your physical limits, vinyasa may be just your ticket.

2. Anusara

Anusara seeks to use the physical practice of yoga to help students open their hearts, experience grace, and let their inner goodness shine through. Classes are rigorous for the body and the mind.

3. Bikram

In a Bikram class, you will sweat like never before as you work your way through a series of 26 poses. Like Ashtanga, a Bikram class always follows the same sequence, although a Bikram sequence is different from an ashtanga sequence. It’s also wildly popular, making it one of the easiest classes to find. Due to the heated conditions of the studio, don't forget to bring a water bottle! Grounded Factorys yoga mats are ideal for all kind of Bikram and Hot yoga since the heat and sweat on our mats will help you get a better grip.

5. Hot Yoga

Generally, the only difference between Bikram and hot yoga is that the hot yoga studio have a different sequence in some small way, and so they must call themselves by another name. The room will be heated and you will sweat buckets, so check out our yoga mats specifically designed for hot yoga classes.

7. Restorative

Restorative yoga is a great way to relax and soothe your nerves. Also described as yin yoga, restorative classes use bolsters, blankets, and blocks to prop students into passive poses so the body can experience the benefits of a pose without having to exert any effort. A good restorative class is more rejuvenating than a nap. Our soft vegan suede surface top is ideal for all kinds of restorative and yin yoga. Super soft to your skin and amazing to lay on.

Shortened and re-written by us, original text by gaia.com

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