5 Most Basic Yoga Styles

Jan 26

This quick rundown of the 5 most basic and well-known yoga styles can help familiarize you with the concepts and terms behind modern yoga practices and the emergence of other popular styles today. Understanding these styles can also help you choose the most suitable one for your own practice from the increasingly wide variety of options in today’s gyms.


Hatha in Sanskrit translates to ‘force’. It is a broad term that describes the physical practice of yoga and generally comprises any type of class that teaches asana (yoga posture or exercises). This means most popular styles of yoga is technically Hatha yoga. Today, when a class is advertised as ‘Hatha’, you can often expect a tame and slow-paced program teaching you basic yoga postures and pranayama (breathing exercises). As such, Hatha is a suitable style to begin your yoga practice. For the more experienced, this class could help you work on your flexibility, alignment, and relaxation.


Often touted as ‘classical Indian yoga’ in modern practice, Ashtanga yoga was established by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the 1950s. An Ashtanga class typically leads you through one of six established series of asana sequences, which advance in difficulty from the first series. Each series is performed in the same order every time, moving you from posture to posture in a fluid, non-stop manner synchronized with each breath. This heats up the body intensely causing profuse perspiration, making it a vigorous and demanding style of practice.


Vinyasa – meaning ‘to place in a special way’ in Sanskrit – refers to the linking of movement to each breath. Vinyasa yoga generally describes styles that are flowing and intense in movement, progressing from one posture to the next with each inhale or exhale. This makes Ashtanga a style of Vinyasa practice, but while Ashtanga follows a prescribed sequence, each Vinyasa class can be different. Popular variations such as Flow Yoga and Power Yoga stem from this style – the latter an aerobically-intensive adaptation of the Ashtanga by Bryan Kest, a student of Jois.


Bikram is a style of yoga that takes place in a heated room of 95-108°F (35–42 °C) and humidity of 40%. Although commonly marketed as a beginner’s class due to its basic poses, new students should note that practice becomes markedly harder in the hot tropic-like conditions. Popularized by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s, Bikram is performed the same way every time – a sequence of 26 poses, each done twice, the whole session lasting for 90 minutes. Since any deviation from the original sequence cannot be named ‘Bikram’, and only Bikram-certified instructors can teach the class, many gyms offer other ‘Hot Yoga’ variations instead.


Iyengar is characterized by its focus on physical alignment of the body in asana or the precise way of performing each yoga posture. To do this, Iyengar classes provide a unique element – props – such as straps, towels, blocks or cushions. These support students in achieving their best alignment without the risk of injury or strain, while they progressively perfect their practice. Props also allow the weak, aged, or injured reap the benefits of asanas without the full strength of supporting one’s body in a pose. Another distinguishing feature is that Iyengar instructors teach by actively verbalizing incorrect postures, unlike styles which take on an independent and experiential approach of ‘learn by following’. B.K.S. Iyengar, who pioneered the style in the 1970s, believed that developing body balance and strength can promote well-being in mind and spirit.

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The Best Free Yoga Apps for Your Daily Workout

Jul 26

If you want to continue exercising without having to spend a fortune on private trainers or gyms, then there are other ways that you can do it. If you love yoga, there are many free apps that you can download on your phone and use them whenever you feel like it. Guidelines and illustrations are also provided in order to help you execute each pose with precision and accuracy.

Yoga.com is one of the most popular yoga apps. If you own an iPhone, then you would have to pay in order to download it, but if you own an Android phone then it comes for free. This app has 300 different poses and exercises that some comprehensive videos will help you better understand and execute them. The 3D images of your muscles’ movement are also aesthetically pleasing. For all the experienced yoga enthusiasts, feel free to create your own yoga program, and for all the newbies, there are some already structured programs.

Another free yoga app is Yoga Academy. Available for all iPhones, this app will help you complete your routine anywhere you like. If you can’t afford a yoga class, then this app will help you learn many different poses and even create your own sessions. The most impressive feature is that the app allows you to use the entire ready to use playlists and allows you to create your own.

The last completely free yoga app is Simply Yoga. Every yoga beginner will absolutely love the simplicity of this app. This app contains many different levels so that you evolve through your daily exercise and proceed to more difficult poses and exercises. You can choose among programs that last 20, 40 or even 60 minutes! The first level is totally free, and in order to proceed to the second level, you will need to pay a small amount. If you find out that this is a perfect app for your needs, then you won’t mind paying for the next level at all. Otherwise, you can always uninstall it.

Learning how to do yoga has never been easier and more inexpensive than these amazing apps. The creators have indeed put a lot of effort and ideas in order to create a great yoga experience for all yoga enthusiasts. Unlike many yoga centers, this is a viable alternative for anyone who cannot afford yoga classes. Alternatively, if you don’t know yet if this is the most suitable form of exercise for you, you can start with these apps learn more about yoga.

If your time is limited, there is no reason why you should completely omit exercise from your life. Put it in your daily program one of these apps and try to stay persistent with your routine. If you do it from the comfort of your house, it is more likely to stay focused and not interrupt your program.

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