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Popular Yoga Types and Yoga Positions


Yoga has been practiced now for over 5000 years. Yoga has migrated around the world and is now practiced in many countries. Popular Yoga types and Yoga positions vary depending on the style of yoga that is practiced; and although most yoga poses are similar to each other, the variety comes in terms of emphasis and intensity.

For anyone wanting to try out yoga as a weight loss or wellness option, it’s important to find out the difference between the different types of yoga first to choose the best one to suit his or her needs, goals and personality. Here are some of the most popular yoga types practiced in the United States today:

  • Hatha Yoga is a general term for physical yoga practice and is the most commonly practiced version in the western hemisphere. This is one of the six major branches of yoga and encompasses most of the modern types such as Bikram and Ahtanga. Hatha yoga positions are usually done to prepare the body for meditation.
  • Anusara Yoga is among the newest types of yoga, and was founded back in 1997 by John Friend. Anusara Yoga does not only involve yoga poses but also has a spiritual, emotional and social side to it that helps students open their hearts and teaches them to connect with the divine in themselves and the divine in others.
  • Ashtanga Yoga is an intense type of yoga that involves a specific set of yoga poses. These poses are done in the same order, and demand a great deal of physical effort because of the constant flow of the yoga positions. Ashtanga yoga is basically the predecessor of Power Yoga. Power Yoga is just as strenuous and intense, but what differs between the two is that Power Yoga poses do not follow the strict set of yoga positions that are practiced for Ashtanga Yoga.
  • Bikram Yoga is a type of yoga that focuses on several fitness components including muscular endurance, strength and cardiovascular flexibility. It was founded by Bikram Choudhury and is practiced in a room that is heated to 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Also called Hot Yoga, this type of yoga promotes sweating, which is thought to be detoxifying and loosens muscles, which prevents the risk of injuries while doing yoga positions.
  • Iyengar Yoga is primarily concerned with the alignment of the body. Yoga poses are usually held for long periods of time, in comparison to Ashtanga Yoga, which involves quick transitions from one yoga pose to another. Iyengar yoga makes use of props such as blocks, straps and blankets to help align the body.
  • Integral Yoga is founded by Sri Swami Sachidanda. This type of yoga involves the practice of gentle hatha yoga positions, breathing exercises, meditation, praying and chanting.
  • Kundalini Yoga is a type of yoga that involves rapid movement and flow of poses. It also focuses on chanting, meditation and breathing, giving it a more spiritual and intense feel in comparison to Hatha yoga.
  • Prenatal Yoga involves yoga postures which are carefully chosen and adapted for pregnant women. This type of yoga is perfect for expectant woman in all stages in pregnancy, and can even be practiced by women who have just given birth. Prenatal yoga positions focus on developing flexibility, strengthening of pelvic floor and core muscles, managing pregnancy-related aches and speeding up labor.

These are just some of the popular yoga types practiced all over the globe. While they differ in intensity and emphasis, all of the yoga types have similar effects on the body. Yoga positions can indeed increase flexibility, stamina and strength. Some studies have shown that yoga positions are also effective for pain management and can improve blood circulation, lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Because there are different yoga classes available, it is always a good idea for anyone interested to do some research and speak to different yoga teachers in order to find a type of yoga that matches his or her health condition, philosophy and goals. Once you have decided to try yoga, use our free yoga search engine to find a yoga class or yoga studio near you.


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