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A Beginner's Guide to Yoga

Yoga Styles, Props, and Fitness Plans


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hoping this well work for me , a lot of arthrisis and ostio,so need to fine something to help with diet and healthy eating
I am thinking that the SP articles are all recycled. No matter whether recipes, healthy eating or exercise. Not always aware of it at first but scrolling down through comments will often show them to be from 2009. I find this disappointing and often delete my daily SP emails without opening. Report
I fell over the first time I went to Yoga...I really like it but don't have the money to attend a class..wish there was a group that could get together to just follow a video or something in my area? Report
Yoga has saved my life in more ways then one. As I was reading this article, I had to remind myself that this is a "general" guideline article so as not to cop an attitude toward the author. Report
I don't like the author's tone. There's nothing wrong with being "a Birkenstock-wearing vegetarian. Report
I did yoga for a month. I enjoyed it but it didn't seem like it was helping to tone my body. Did I not give it enough time? Should I go back? Report
I disagree that it isn't a good source for strength training. Because the routine I'm currently doing (Vinyasa style) requires me to hold my own weight, plus planks and pushups I am definitely seeing an improved strength and toning to my arms, chest and even legs. Report
Are the cat and the camel switched around? Report
I don't think it's good for my hip Report
I Agree some form of yoga def gets the heart going and the sweat pouring. My body feels heated up! One teacher I really like is Sadie Nardini. She has a style which she calls "core strength vinyasa". You can find her on youtube and all the routine I've tried so far have been really great! Report
I have never tried yoga, so I think I will add it to some of my work outs during the week. Report
I'm thinking about adding Yoga this year as my company is offering in house Yoga classes for 6 weeks. Since I am new to it, I hope that it will be something that I can enjoy. Report
I plan to add yoga to my fitness routine in 2013 Report
I noticed you didn't mention yin yoga. I've tried to do yoga several times over the years and due to my weight and lack of flexibility, I always gave up. Then when I was doing physical therapy for back problems, my massage therapist (who teaches yoga and understood my problems) suggested I look into yin yoga. I found some great videos on-line and bought a book the therapist suggested and the results have been wonderful. I am gradually seeing my muscles loosen up and now at age 65 I see the possibilities of trying one of the other yoga styles mentioned in this article! Report
I notice this article was written some time ago but I just read it yesterday for the first time. I have some serious issues with the author's descriptions of the different styles of yoga.

Ashtanga yoga is NOT referred to as Power Yoga. These are two very different systems of practice. Ashtanga yoga is the yoga of Pantanjali as laid out in his Yoga Sutras. It is a very traditional form of yoga modernized by Pattabhi Jois. It has a specific set of sequences and is learned in a special way between teacher and student, one-on-one. Ashtanga means "Eight-limbs"; it is an all-encompassing yoga practice far extending the physical asanas (poses).

Power Yoga was pioneered by Beryl Bender Birch. It's a system of yoga based on Ashtanga (as is Vinyasa yoga) but is completely different. Using set sequences, asanas are held longer to develop strength and flexibility. Power Yoga has also been further popularized by Baron Baptiste.

Hatha yoga is not well described as a general term. It refers to raja yoga which means the practice of physical asanas in order for the body to reach a state for meditation to occur. Classically, Hatha follows a set of 6 limbs (or paths) in its practice. However, since it is known as raja yoga, many different systems of yoga can be considered Hatha (like Ashtanga, Power, Bikram, etc...).

Iyengar yoga is not the most popular form of yoga practiced in the United States. Most people have no idea what it is or that it's named after the man who designed the system. It too is a specific form of practice highly focused on alignment.

Vinyasa yoga is probably the most popular form of yoga because it's the one most people have heard of. It does not necessarily focus on more aggressive stretches. It simply means you're moving with your breath in a flow. It can be a gentle flow or if it's an advanced class then it will be more aggressive. It depends on the level of the class. While you may see sun salutations as part of the practice, it is not its defining feature. However, sun salutations are an integral part of Ashtanga and Power yoga.

I've been practicing yoga for 12 years and I also teach. It's important for people to learn about the various styles and which might be most suitable for them as a physical workout, but the author does a disservice by glossing over the details to such a degree. I had to speak up. Report

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