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“Once upon a time, a student went to a great sage to ask about the meaning of life and how to attain the direct experience of the Highest. He asked his question, but the sage gave no answer. He just sat there. Again, the student asked about how to find and fulfill the Purpose of life. Again, the sage just sat there. The student tried different words, and appealed with great emotion. The sage just sat there, as before. Finally, the student became frustrated, and blurted out, in an angry tone, "Why don't you answer me!" The sage smiled, and said, "I have been answering you, but you were not listening. The answer you are looking for is to be found only in Silence." To sit in stillness and silence for even a few minutes each day is a very useful thing to do. May you find that silence which leads to Silence.”

Swami Jnaneshvara


How do you know what yoga class to join, when there are so many different styles of yoga that are taught and practiced today? All of the styles are based on the physical postures called poses. Here is a quick guide to the most popular types of yoga, this will help you decide the best style for you.


is the Sanskrit word for
eight limbs, this class is fast-paced and intense. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order and can be physically demanding.  The constant movement from one pose to the next is typically referred to as flow yoga or power yoga.




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Hot yoga was introduced
by Bikram Choudhury, this style is
practiced in a heated room, approximately 38-40 degrees F. This type of hota yoga allows the body to loosen tight muscles and sweat profusely, which is thought to be cleansing. This method incorporates a set series of 26 poses, not all yoga studios us them all.


Hatha is a very general term that
includes many
types of yoga. This type is usually slow paced and gentle and is a good class to join if you are a beginner.


This style is b
ased on the teachings of the yogi B.K.S Iyengar,
the focus is most concerned with bodily alignment. Iyengar yoga usually emphasizes holding poses over long periods versus moving quickly from one pose to the next like flow.  Also, in Iyengar and in hot yoga classes, the instructor will use props such as blocks, straps and blankets. 


The emphasis in Kundalini
is on the breath in conjunction with the physical postures and movement.  The main purpose is freeing energy in the lower body and allowing it to move upwards. All poses or asanas practice controlling the breath, but in Kundalini, the exploration of the effects of the breath (also called prana, meaning energy) on the postures is essential. Kundalini uses rapid, repetitive movements rather than holding poses for a long time, and the teacher will often lead the class in chanting.


Vinyasa is a
lso a
general term that is used to describe many different types of classes. Vinyasa, which means movements with breath, these classes are more vigorous and usually involves a series of poses called Sun Salutations or a variation depending on the instructor. Class will start with a number of Sun Salutations to warm up the body for more intense poses like pigeon pose or cobra.

Pizer, A. (2009, July 6). Yoga style guide. About.com, Retrieved from http://yoga.about.com/od/typesofyoga/a/yogatypes.htm