Common Yoga Styles

A proven entrepreneur with experience in such industries as computer training and affordable housing, Benjamin “Ben” Shoval serves as the president of Shoval & Co. in Seattle, Washington. When he’s not busy professionally, Ben Shoval enjoys meditating and practicing yoga.

There are several different types of yoga, with different methods and focuses. While some styles may claim to be more “true” than others, each one has its benefits and purpose. The following are just a few of the more common yoga styles.

– Ashtanga: Focused on increasing power and strength, ashtanga yoga is a more challenging style. It requires doing yoga poses at a fast pace and with a specific breathing technique. Due to its high physical demands, it helps practitioners tone their muscles and lose weight.

– Bikram: Another challenging style, bikram yoga involves completing a series of 26 poses while sitting in a hot room. Individuals who do bikram yoga sweat a lot, but the style’s main focus is on eliminating toxins, and the sweating is believed to help accomplish that.

– Hatha: Although the term is often used in reference to a practice that combines different styles, hatha yoga originally focused on the physicality of yoga. Hatha yoga places emphasis on the poses rather than the breathing and is regarded as a more gentle style that is good for beginners.

– Kripalu: The polar opposite of hatha yoga, this style focuses on coordinating the breathing and movement and places particular emphasis on the mental aspect of yoga. Kripalu is also a gentle style that takes practitioners through three mind-body awareness levels.

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