A Yoga Vocabulary Lesson
From ashtanga to theraputic, what it means
What is it? Ashtanga yoga is a strenuous exercise that involves moving through six pose sequences repeatedly.
Why do it? To lose weight, get in rockin’ shape and improve cardiovascular health.
What is it? Bikram yoga involves doing 26 basic postures, each twice, in a room that is heated to a balmy 105 degrees.
Why do it? If you’re looking to lose weight, get in shape and don’t mind doing yoga in a puddle. Caution, the heat can be dangerous, especially for beginners. Bring water!
What is it? Hatha yoga literally encompasses all yoga classes because “hatha” refers to the physical asanas, which is only one of the eight limbs of yoga. Today, most hatha yoga classes refer to a basic course for beginners.
Why do it? You are new to the practice or just want to take a class without any props or stifling heat.
What is it? Iyengar yoga is a purist form of slow-moving yoga that incorporates props like blocks, straps and harnesses to achieve perfect form.
Why do it? It’s good if you’re a patient person looking for a calm routine who likes to get something right but not necessarily get it fast.
What is it? This cardiovascular-boosting workout is like aerobics for the yoga mat. Similar in form to ashtanga yoga, power or vinyasa yoga does not stick with the same sequence, so if you’re the type who becomes bored with the same routine, power yoga might be the way to go. (Note: Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga is performed in a room heated to 90 degrees.)
Why do it? Why else? To get into a shape resembling more a tree than a bush.
What is it? Prenatal yoga is specifically designed with the pregnant belly and body in mind. Tends to be more gentle and skips poses that put pressure on the abdomen.
Why do it? If you have to ask, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
What is it? Restorative yoga is like hatha yoga in slow motion: basic and relaxing.
Why do it? If you’re recovering from an injury or illness, or just want to relax into the postures rather than rush through them.
What is it? Therapeutic yoga routines are designed to help people with various medical, physical and mental ailments.
Why do it? If you’re in recovery for surgery or other illnesses, have physical limitations that make typical yoga classes unsuitable, or you need help to overcome a particular condition or affliction.
Source: Women’s Health magazine