Weekend Yoga Guide: Which Style Is Right For You?

Weekend Yoga Guide: Which Style Is Right For You?(Source: LuminaStock, iStock/Thinkstock)What better time to start a new yoga practice than a long holiday weekend? But with so many yoga styles and classes out there, even accomplished yogis can get a little confused. Here's a handy guide to four of the more popular yoga styles out there today, to help you choose the best studio at which to lay your mat this weekend.

Generally slow-paced with a focus on breathing, Hatha yoga is a great way for beginners to learn the basics and benefit from both the fitness and relaxation benefits of the practice.

Iyengar is all about alignment. Nifty blocks and straps are often used in this offshoot of Hatha yoga, created by B. K. S. Iyengar during the '70s. Since all of our bodies are different, these props help all students achieve the right alignment in even the most difficult postures––and therefore reap the maximum benefits.

Ashtanga Vinyasa

Vinyasa means connecting breath and movement. The Ashtanga Vinyasa series of postures, or asanas, is very specific and always practiced in the same order, always moving with breath. In fact, it's believed to have been passed down from ancient texts to gurus in the early 20th century. Ashtanga can be challenging, as many poses in the series are linked through a sun salutation, and you will sweat.

Want a vigorous, 90-minute workout in a 105 degree room ? Look no further. Developed by Bikram Choudhury, this challenging form of Hatha yoga always consists of the same 26 postures, practiced in the same order. How deep you go in each pose, in each moment, is up to you. Like most forms of yoga, the series systematically works every part of the body––not only your muscles and cardiovascular system, but your nervous system, internal organs, ligaments, glands, emotions, and mind. 

Weekend Yoga Guide: Which Style Is Right For You?(Source: Denis Raev, iStock/ Thinkstock)