Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga, a term that means “eight limbs” in Sanskrit, is the most intensive type of yoga because of its fast-paced style. It is based on 240 poses performed in six sequences or series of asanas (poses), each increasing in difficulty as you progress. If you are attending an Ashtanga class, be ready to sweat because you'll be led through one or more of the series nonstop, with no time for adjustments. You will be encouraged to breathe as you move from pose to pose to detoxify the body and create internal heat.
Unlike other forms of yoga in which poses are performed and held for long periods of time before shifting, Ashtanga yoga involves quick succession of predetermined asanas so that movements will “flow” from pose to pose. This provides a good form of aerobic exercise which strengthens the cardiovascular system. Ashtanga is the inspiration behind Power yoga, a fast-paced, flowing style popular in the USA.
Bikram yoga. Also known as “Hot yoga,” Bikram method is a unique style of yoga practiced in a heated room with temperatures between 95 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Performing the series of 26 poses in this temperature promotes detoxification through profuse sweating and is conducive for the loosening of tight muscles. Breathing while holding poses for long periods of time aims to build up internal body heat. The main focus of Bikram yoga is to build stamina, strength, and balance.
Forrest yoga. Forrest yoga is the performance of vigorous poses founded by yoga instructor Ana Forrest of California. The series of asanas serve as an intense workout that emphasizes deep breathing and abdominal strengthening. The intention of this style is also to release all the bottled-up emotions and pain for inner healing.
Types of Yoga, Part 1
Types of Yoga, Part 3
Types of yoga, Part 4