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Question
Posted by: Lee | 2007/03/06

Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga Iyengar style

Please explain the difference between the above 3 styles of Yoga and which one is most popular.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageYoga

Hi Lee - traditionally Hatha Yoga was the umbrella term used to describe the arm of yoga that worked through the physical body (which is what most of us think of as the totality of yoga) - doing postures and breathing. This is one of many approaches to the yogic concept of transcendence. Within Hatha yoga there are many styles and approaches and today Hatha Yoga has become a style of Hatha Yoga too (confusing I know). Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Iyengar Yoga are two other styles of Hatha Yoga. Borrowing from our website the styles can be described as follows:
"Ashtanga Yoga (often also called Power Yoga) is an aerobic, muscle-shaping, mind-sculpting, physically demanding workout. Students move through a series of flows, moving from one posture to another to build strength, flexibility, and stamina. Ashtanga often appeals to athletes and those who enjoy high-energy exercise. This dynamic form uses a combination of movement and postures synchronized with breath. The practice generates heat for eliminating toxins and revitalization. Ashtanga is more about energy than creating the perfect shape.
In an Iyengar class, poses (especially standing postures) are typically held much longer than in other schools of yoga, so that practitioners can pay close attention to the precise muscular and skeletal alignment this system demands. Also specific to Iyengar, which is probably the most popular type of yoga practiced in the United States, is the use of props, including belts, chairs, blocks, and blankets, to help accommodate any special needs such as injuries or structural imbalances."
I hope this helps but there is really no substitute for just doing it...
Regards
Chris




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