Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger

EXHALE SPA CORE POWER YOGA NORDSTROM THE SPORTS CLUB/LA MAHA YOGA PARAGON SPORTS

which yoga

Yoga, by definition, is one thing: union. But the methods used to achieve that union are many. By some counts, there are hundreds of styles. To help you understand what's on offer, we've created this guide to prominent yoga styles.

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Sharon Discorfano

Anusara Yoga

What to expect Anusara offers a playful, uplifting approach to an alignment-focused practice, including storytelling, chanting, and the life-affirming values ofTantric philosophy. Every class has a theme, which is used as a metaphor to reflect on while you're doing poses. Opening your heart is an important aim of the practice, often emphasized in the many backbends you'll do. What it's about Anusara means "flowing with grace." In class, students apply the Universal Principles of Alignment, which are techniques generally by the editors of Yoga Journal consistent with those taught in Iyengar Yoga. There's an emphasis on understanding both the physical actions and the energetic channels you are attempting to connect with in each pose. Teachers and centers John Friend founded Anusara Yoga in 1997 after many years of practicing and teaching Iyengar Yoga. His experience with the Siddha Yoga lineage and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda sparked the creation of Anusara's first principle, Open to Grace, which suggests that every pose originates internally from a deeply creative and devotional feeling before taking its outward, physical form. Find out more anusara.com

Ashtanga Yoga

What to expect The inspiration for many vinyasa-style yoga classes, Ashtanga Yoga is an athletic and demanding practice. Traditionally, Ashtanga is taught "Mysore style": Students learn a series of poses and practice at their own pace while a teacher moves around the room giving adjustments and personalized suggestions. What it's about The practice is smooth and uninterrupted, so the practitioner learns to observe whatever arises without holding on to it or rejecting it. With continued practice, this skill of attentive nonattachment spills over into all aspects of life. This is one important meaning of K. Pattabhi Jois's famous saying, "Practice, and all is coming." Teachers and centers Founded by K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009), this system is taught around the world. Jois's grandson R. Sharath now leads the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. There are teachers everywhere around the globe. Find out more kpjayi.org-, ashtanga.com

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga

What to expect This is a physically challenging, flowing practice that will get your heart pumping while also encouraging you to find your authentic personal power in life. Classes feature a vigorous 90-minute sequence, performed in a heated room and designed to condition the whole body. What it's about The aim of Baptiste Yoga is to create freedom, peace of mind, and the ability to live more powerfully and authentically right now. The physically challenging practice is a training ground for facing emotional and philosophical challenges that arise in your life. Teachers and centers Baron Baptiste, son ofyoga pioneers Walt and Magaña Baptiste (who opened San Francisco's first yoga center in 1955), began practicing as a child and studied with many Indian yoga masters. The Baptiste Power Yoga Institute is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. There are more than 40 affiliated studios. Find out more baronbaptiste.com

Bikram Yoga

What to expect Rooms are heated to 105 degrees, and classes consist of 45 minutes of standing poses and 45 minutes of floor postures. You do the same series of two breathing exercises and 26 poses in each class. What it's about This practice is designed to work your body and requires full mental concentration. The overall objective is to create a fit body and mind, allowing the physical self to unify with the spiritual self.

Teachers and centers Bikram Choud-hury was born in Calcutta and introduced his system in the United States in 1971. His main teacher was Bishnu Ghosh (1903-1970). The Bikram Yoga College of India in Los Angeles serves as headquarters. There are now more than 5,000 certified Bikram teachers throughout the United States. Find out more bikramyoga.com

Forrest Yoga

What to expect A strong, hot practice designed to help you release physical and emotional tension and pain, and celebrate the strength of your own body What it's about Working with the premise that clearing stored emotions e makes room for your spirit to come J: home, the practice combines physically o challenging sequences with deep emo-5 tional exploration.

Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger

Teachers and centers Ana Forrest began teaching Forrest Yoga in 1982. She studied various systems ofyoga, healing, and native ceremony but credits her own pain and suffering, her students, the elements, and "the great mysterious" as her primary teachers. Find out more forrestyoga.com

Integral Yoga

What to expect A gentle practice based on chanting, postures, deep relaxation, breathing practices, and meditation. What it's about Integral Yoga focuses on returning us to our "natural condition," which includes health and strength, a clear and calm mind, a heart full of love, a strong yet pliable will, and a life filled with supreme joy Teachers and centers Founded by Swami Satchidananda (1914-2002), a student of Swami Sivananda, Integral Yoga is taught at the Satchidananda Ashram (Yogaville) in Virginia and the Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan as well as at smaller centers and in studios. Find out more iyiny.org; yogaville.org; iyta.org

Ishta Yoga

What to expect Classes include alignment-based vinyasa sequences, with meditation, pranayama (breath-work), and kriyas (cleansing techniques) to create specific energectic effects. What it's about ISHTA stands for the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda, and its aim is to balance the human organism to create a strong and stable platform for spiritual growth. Teachers and centers Alan Finger laid the foundations for Ishta Yoga with his father, Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger (a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda and Swami Venkatesananda) in South Africa in the 1960s. The Ishta Yoga School in Manhattan was opened in 2008. Find out more ishtayoga.com

Iyengar Yoga

What to expect Often, you'll do only a few poses while exploring the subtle actions required to master proper alignment. Poses can be modified with props, making the practice accessible to all. What it's about For beginners, the primary objective is to understand the alignment and basic structure of the poses, and to gain greater physical awareness, strength, and flexibility Teachers and centers B. K. S. Iyengar (a student ofT. Krishnamacharya) founded the style. His children Gita and Prashant Iyengar teach in Pune, India, and around the world. There are four Iyengar institutes in the United States: in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Find out more bksiyengar.com; iynaus.org

Jivamukti Yoga

What to expect A physically vigorous and intellectually stimulating practice with a focus on spiritual development. Expect to encounter flowing asana sequences along with Sanskrit chanting, yoga decoder

Not all classes follow the teachings of a specific school. Here are some common terms that can help you decode a studio schedule.

HATHA YoGA Hatha is a Sanskrit word that literally means "sun" (ha) and "moon" (tha), broadly referring to the physical practices of yoga, including active and relaxing poses. Technically, all posture-based yoga can be labeled as hatha, but generic hatha yoga classes are often patterned loosely on Iyengar Yoga.

hot yoga Classes are held in a heated room designed to warm the body from the outside in, just as the asanas warm the body from the inside out. Typically, hot yoga classes are strenuous, and the heat can make it easier to go deeper in some poses. Hot yoga classes may be loosely based on Bikram Yoga.

restorative yoga

Devoted to deep rest, these classes typically include four to six floor poses held passively with the help of bolsters, blankets, sandbags, straps, eye pillows, and blocks. Expect a long Savasana at the end, with about 20 minutes devoted to sinking into the earth to help the body and mind experience true rest.

vinyasa or flow

YoGA Poses flow one into another, synchronized by the breath. Expect to encounter lots of Sun Salutations. If a teacher tells the class to

"take a vinyasa," she's using the word as shorthand, probably referring to a miniversion that includes Plank, Chatu-ranga Dandasana, Upward-Facing Dog, and Downward-Facing Dog.

YIN yoga a physically passive practice of seated, supine, or prone poses held for a few minutes each to maintain mobility in the connective tissue. Most of the poses focus on the lower back and hips, because the dense connective tissue in those joints requires extra care and attention. Yin poses are thought to mobilize the flow of prana, freeing energetic blockages.

references to scriptural texts, eclectic music (from the Beatles to Moby), yogic breathing practices, and meditation. What it's about One of the predominant principles ofJivamukti Yoga is ahimsa (nonharming), and classes often explore the link between yoga and animal rights, veganism, and activism. Teachers and centers Jivamukti means "liberation while living." Sharon Gannon and David Life founded Jivamukti Yoga in 1984, choosing the name as a reminder that the ultimate aim is enlightenment. Find centers in New York, Toronto, Munich, London, and Charleston, South Carolina. Find out more jivamuktiyoga.com

Kripalu Yoga

What to expect Through asana, pranayama, meditation, and relaxation techniques, you'll learn to observe the sensations in the body and mind, and thereby discover how well a pose, or a life decision, is serving you. Classes can be physically demanding or extremely gentle, such as chair yoga. What it's about The primary objective is to awaken the flow ofprana—the natural life force that will enable you to thrive in all aspects of life. Teachers and centers Swami Kripalu (1913-1981) was a Kundalini Yoga master who taught that all the world's wisdom traditions stem from a single universal truth, which each of us can experience directly. The main center is the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Find out more kripalu.org

Kundalini Yoga

What to expect A 90-minute class typically begins with chanting and ends with singing, and in between features asana, pranayama, and meditation designed to create a specific outcome. Expect to encounter challenging breathing exercises, including the rapid pranayama known as Breath of Fire, minimeditations, mantras, mudras (sealing gestures), and vigorous movement-oriented postures, often repeated for minutes, that will push you to your limit—and beyond.

What it's about Kundalini Yoga is sometimes called the Yoga ofAwareness. The primary goal is to awaken kundalini energy, the psychoenergetic force that leads to spiritual elevation, and kickstart the process of transformation. Teachers and centers Kundalini Yoga was founded in the United States in 1969 by Yogi Bhajan. There are more than 5,000 certified Kundalini Yoga teachers in the United States. Find out more kriteachings.org; 3ho.org; yogibhajan.com; kundaliniyoga. com

OM Yoga

What to expect Medium-paced vinyasa sequences combined with alignment instruction and Tibetan Buddhist concepts like mindfulness and compassion. What it's about The aim is to cultivate strength, stability, and clarity and integrate mindfulness and compassion into your whole life.

Teachers and centers OM founder Cyndi Lee has practiced yoga since 1971

and Tibetan Buddhism since 1987. The OM Yoga Center is in New York City Find out more omyoga.com

ParaYoga

What to expect Combining Tantric philosophy with dynamic practice, classes include challenging asanas with an emphasis on the practices of pranayama, meditation, mudras, and bandhas (locks). What it's about Rooted in ancient texts and modern life, this practice reveals how asana affects and transforms energy Its aim is to manifest spiritual and worldly success through increased Self-awareness and the refinement ofprana. Teachers and centers Rod Stryker, a student of Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger and Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, founded ParaYoga in 1995. Find out more parayoga.com

Prana Flow Yoga

What to expect "Challenging" and

"empowering" are touchstone words for this active, fluid form of vinyasa yoga. After the opening Om, the class is an exercise in near-continuous motion. Sequences are creative, often incorporating elements of dance and moving meditation, and accompanied by music. What it's about The practice is a vehicle to connect with prana. Teachers and centers With a background in dance, yoga, Ayurveda, and Indian martial arts, Shiva Rea founded Prana Flow Yoga in 2005. Find out more shivarea.com

Purna Yoga

What to expect Classes are asana focused, with adherence to the alignment principles of Iyengar Yoga and incorporation ofyogic philosophy. Short meditations begin and end class to connect students with the heart center. What it's about The emphasis is on uniting the body and mind with the spirit. There are four limbs to Purna Yoga: meditation, asana and pranayama, applied philosophy, and nutrition and lifestyle.

Teachers and centers Inspired by the work of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, Purna Yoga was officially founded by Aadil and Mirra Palkhivala in 2003. The main center is in Bellevue, Washington. Find out more yogacenters.com; aadilandmirra. com

Sivananda Yoga

What to expect Based on the teachings of Swami Sivananda, this yoga style is more spiritual practice than exercise. Each 90-minute class focuses on 12 core poses and Sanskrit chanting, pranayama practices, meditation, and relaxation. What it's about Designed to transform and elevate human consciousness, Siva-nanda Yoga focuses on five fundamental points of yoga: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation (Corpse Pose), proper diet (vegetarianism), and positive thinking and meditation. Teachers and centers Sivananda Yoga was founded in 1957 by Swami Vishnu-devananda (1927-1993), a primary student of Swami Sivananda (1887-1963).

Large teaching centers can be found in New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Montreal, and Toronto. Find out more sivananda.org

Svaroopa Yoga

What to expect Classes include a lot of floor work with ample propping and hands-on adjustments. Classes begin and end in Savasana (Corpse Pose) and focus on releasing tension. What it's about Svaroopa means "the

bliss of your own Being." It refers to the Tantric view of the body as a form of consciousness. The goal is to create "core opening" to remove energetic impediments to inner transformation. Teachers and centers Svaroopa was founded in 1992 by Swami Nirmalan-anda Saraswati, a longtime student of Swami Muktananda (1908-1982), who has been ordained into the order of Saraswati monks. Svaroopa's headquarters, the Master Yoga Foundation, is located in Malvern, Pennsylvania. Find out more svaroopayoga.org

TriYoga

What to expect A flowing asana practice, pranayama, mudras, dharana (concentration) practice, and meditation. What it's about The wavelike spinal movements and synchronized breathing are designed to awaken prana. Teachers and centers TriYoga was created by yogini Kali Ray, in 1980. Ray had experienced a kundalini awakening and created the practice in the manner of kundalini-inspired hatha yoga. The main TriYoga Center is located in Los Angeles; other centers are in Santa Cruz, California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and around the world. Find out more triyoga.com

Viniyoga

What to expect Tailored to individual needs, classes vary greatly and may include asana, pranayama, chanting, meditation, prayer, and ritual. All classes emphasize mobilizing the spine and coordinating movement with breath. What it's about Viniyoga is a useful therapeutic tool for the body, but it also aims to develop the breath, voice, memory, intellect, character, and heart. The practice views yoga as a means to cultivate the positive, reduce the negative, and help each practitioner achieve discriminative awareness—the key to any process of self-transformation. Teachers and centers Gary Kraftsow founded the American Viniyoga Institute in 1999. His main teacher was T. K. V. Desikachar. Gary Kraftsow and Mirka Scalco Kraftsow are the senior Viniyoga teachers. Find out more viniyoga.com

Yoga in the Tradition of Krishnamacharya

What to expect Classes are taught one-on-one or in very small groups, with a great deal of individualization. In the asana practice, each movement is coordinated with a particular breath (an inhalation, an exhalation, or a hold), and the effects are often felt in the body and breath, but also in the emotions. What it's about Students like to say they practice not to be better yogis for the hour that they are on their mat, but to live more fully and with more ease the other 23 hours of the day Teachers and centers Sri T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989) is known as the father of modern yoga. At the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai, India, his son, T. K. V. Desikachar, and grandson, Kausthub Desikachar, continue his tradition of making ancient teachings relevant for the modern world. Find out more kym.org; khyf.net *

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