The physical practice of yoga uses asanas, or postures, to get inside the body, still the mind, and connect to Spirit or breath. Just as our bodies twist and bend in these poses, in Western culture the physical practice of yoga has shaped itself into different styles of yoga. The multitude of styles can be confusing for both novice and advanced students. Although all styles are subject to interpretation by the teacher, below is a general breakdown of the most common styles of yoga at Yoga Bhoga.
Movement Based Styles
The physical practice of yoga all falls under the general term Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga is a style that uses asanas and pranayama (breathing techniques) to help balance mind, body, and spirit. The postures are often held for a longer amount of time and the pace is slower. Because the pace is slower does not mean it is easier than the other styles. Hatha means “willful” in Sanskrit and this practices requires focus and inner strength to move through your different layers to meet life with equanimity.
Vinyasa means “to place in a special way.” In vinyasa classes breath and movement are deliberately linked together often creating a “flow” to the class. This is to help us understand the constant connection between us and everything in the universe. With the deliberate flow in vinyasa, you learn you are not separate from time, space, breath, movement, presence and change.
Hatha flow is a hybrid of hatha and vinyasa. In a hatha flow class you will find balance with the flow between movements and the longer holds typical in a traditional hatha class. The combination of the two fosters the balance between softening and strength, flexibility and stability, love and trust.
Slower Paced Styles
Yin yoga is a slower paced yoga that is often practiced on the floor. Often we are stiff, inflexible, and tight due to shortened connective tissue unable to give the muscle room move. The poses are held for 3-5 minutes to allow the connective tissue to lengthen. Yin is a complement to every part of your life.
Restorative Yoga is the perfect way to rest in this busy world. You are supported by bolsters and blankets in relaxing poses held up to ten minutes. In a restorative class you will have the opportunity to bring your nervous system back to a resting place creating more harmony, peace, and inner clarity.
See you on your mat!