The 6 Most Popular Yoga Styles, Demystified

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Kundalini

Kundalini yoga is more spiritual and philosophical than other styles. Postures are generally a bit less intense and classes include meditation, breathing techniques and chanting. The practice is designed to release body’s the kundalini (serpent) energy, which is believed to be coiled like a sleeping snake at the base of the spine. Postures and breathing exercises awaken and encourage the energy upward through the body.

Good for you if:

you want to feel more energized.
you enjoy meditation.
you want a more spiritual yoga practice.

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Ashtanga

Ashtanga is based on some of the most ancient yoga teachings. Like Bikram, ashtanga is rigorous and follows a specific sequence of postures in the same order each time. But unlike Bikram, these postures are linked by movement and breath. In that way, it can be thought of as a marriage of Bikram and vinyasa. Instructors will announce posture changes but won’t offer much else in these sweaty, quick-paced classes.

Good for you if:

you’re very physically fit.
you enjoy a disciplined practice.
you have a Type A personality.
you don’t need much alignment instruction.

G. H. was raised in Minnesota, but currently calls Seattle her home. She's a blogger, editor, and journalist, and she's written everything from news reports to restaurant reviews. If she's not putting pen to paper, G. H. is probably experimenting in the kitchen, chilling out on her yoga mat, or running through a city park.
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