While not everything celebrities do is healthy, they’ve certainly done an awesome job spreading the feel-good results of yoga.
Madonna, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz are just a few of the A-listers who credit yoga as their secret to a strong body and calm mind. Thanks in part to celebrity yogis, more than 15 million Americans do some form of this mind/body exercise and over 75 percent of all health clubs offer classes.
Yet, as the yoga craze has grown, there’s also been surge in the different types.
“Yoga is not just about the end result, there is a heavy focus on the experience,” says Candace Morano, NY-based yoga teacher. “It is very important to find a type of yoga that corresponds to your personality so its practice is enjoyable and rewarding. While I believe all types of yoga are worth trying at least once, it is important to know what you are getting yourself into when you take a class.”
Below, Candace breaks down some of the most popular types of yoga, so each person can decide which is the best fit for their fitness goals and personality.
Bikram Yoga: For People Who Want to Sweat
Bikram Yoga, often called “hot yoga,” is for people who like to spice things up. Want an intense workout in a room that is heated at 95 -100 degrees Fahrenheit? If so, you join the ranks of celebrities like Madonna and John McEnroe. Proponents of the heated room claim it helps to loosen muscles, while providing a deeper stretch, while it also decreases tension. There are 26 traditional Bikram poses done in every sequence.
Iyengar Yoga: For People Who Are Easily Bored
Iyengar Yoga places a particular emphasis on alignment and incorporates the use of props such as blocks, straps, cushions and benches to achieve the desired precision while providing variation. Iyengar Yoga is also a good choice for beginners and individuals suffering from injuries because coaching is extremely vocal and the props aid in muscle support. This type of yoga attracts a fairly sophisticated crowd, such as Martha Stewart.
Jivamukti Yoga: For People Who Are Outspoken
Jivamukti yoga places a heavy emphasis on lifestyle choices — vegetarianism being one of them — and is ultimately the perfect choice for someone who likes to be heard. It comes as no surprise that musicians such as Russell Simmons and Sting favor Jivamukti yoga, as each class often has a theme which incorporates elements such as yoga scripture, chanting, meditation and music into a physically demanding routine.
Vinyasa - Power Yoga: For People Who Like Movement
Ready to flow? Vinyasa yoga means ‘breath-synchronized movement.” The teacher will have you move on your breath from one pose to another. This type of yoga is very popular and allows for lots of variety. Depending on the teacher, it can be quite strenuous. Classes will always include sun salutations. Drew Barrymore is a fan.
Ashtanga Yoga: For People Who Enjoy Extreme Activities
Ashtanga Yoga is an extreme workout that is perfect for individuals who do things to the max. The goal is improving strength, flexibility and stamina and it is achieved through a series of poses. Unlike other styles, Ashtanga often involves jumping from one posture to another and emphasis is placed on the transition, making it very physically grueling. While Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna favor Ashtanga yoga, it is not for the timid, so newcomers please beware.
Kundalini Yoga: For People Who Want A Mind/Body Workout
Christy Turlington and Joy Bryant are big fans of Kundalini. This meditative yoga is said to provide both spiritual growth as well as improving mental and physical well-being. Besides asanas (poses), there is an emphasis on breathing, meditation, and chanting.
Hatha Yoga: For People Who To Learn
Orlando Bloom’s new bride, model Miranda Kerr, practices this slow-moving yoga. Hatha is actually the form of yoga several other styles, including Vinyasa, Bikram, and Ashtanga, are based upon. Hatha is a good place to learn basic poses, relaxation techniques, and get a super-relaxing workout.
Vidya Yoga: For People Who Suffer from Stress
Vidya Yoga is the perfect choice for people who do not get many quiet moments. Stress comes in numerous forms and Vidya Yoga provides the necessary internal relief. Vidya means “knowledge of one’s being” and the union between the body and mind that is formed in this sect of yoga gives one the ability to combat any obstacle with both mental and physical poise. The single pointed concentration techniques place an emphasis on the present moment by simultaneously uniting the body, breath and mind.
For more information on Candace, check out www.explorevidyayoga.com.
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