Integral Yoga Poses
Vinyasa or Flow This flowing, dynamic style of yoga coordinates movement with the rhythm of the breath as a moving meditation. Most Vinyasa classes incorporate music, meditation and other modalities as a creative contemporary style (I teach this style). These classes tend to have a faster and more dance-like pace than Hatha Yoga classes. They build heat, strength, and flexibility. Make sure to take a basic Vinyasa class before jumping in.
Ashtanga Developed by yoga master Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga is practiced on a fixed schedule—6 days a week with 1 day of rest, also resting on full and new moon days. It includes a set series of Vinyasa Yoga. This is mainly done as a self-practice with a teacher who will assist you into the poses. This is a challenging and very disciplined traditional style of yoga that builds heat. The original type of “power” yoga, it’s a physical and mental workout.
Kundalini Kundalini focuses on breath, movement, music, mantra, dance, and meditation. It’s considered one of the most spiritual practices, and focuses on stirring up and moving the energy that exists at the base of the spine. With less physical movement and more powerful breath, mantra, and mudra work, this practice is great for when you need to shake up your normal routine. It calls on developing the will and challenges the mind with repetitions and meditations of up to 30 minutes. Practice Kundalini when you’re feeling stuck!
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Iyengar Developed by yoga master B. K. S. Iyengar, this system of yoga focuses on alignment and breath control. A type of Hatha Yoga, it’s characterized by its great attention to detail and use of props. Unlike Vinyasa Yoga, poses are held for a long time, developing strength as well as flexibility. Iyengar is great for getting to know your body and for healing injuries.
Yin A more quiet, deep, and relaxing form of yoga, yin holds poses with the assistance of props for 3 to 5 minutes at a time. These poses are meant to open up the body and release any tension.
Restorative Sometimes dubbed “the class where you figure out how many different ways you can lie down in an hour,” restorative yoga is a great way to end your day or week, or to practice when you’re nursing an injury or are feeling run-down. It also uses props to help your body reach a more relaxed state. This style is deeply therapeutic and healing.
All of these yoga styles vary in their instruction style and the sequence of poses. Yet they all work toward the goal of uniting the body and the mind and connecting you to your true self. No matter what type of practice you choose, you’ll feel the benefits.