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The student’s guide to decoding yoga names and deciding which version is right for you

With so many different types of yoga, it could be difficult to choose which one is right for you.

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By Catherine Stewart (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: February 4, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, not all forms of yoga focus just on meditation and finding inner peace. (Image:  wikimedia)

Contrary to popular belief, not all forms of yoga focus just on meditation and finding inner peace. (Image: wikimedia)

With so many different types of yoga, it could be difficult to choose which one is right for you. In Abbotsford alone, there are more than six places that offer different yoga classes — MRC and ARC included. Stress no more! The Cascade has the ultimate guide to direct you down the path of restfulness.
  

Bikram yoga

If you want to sweat your worries away while rolling around and folding yourself into a pretzel, Bikram yoga is for you. This style is also known as “hot yoga,” as it’s typically practiced in a room that is 95 to 100° F. This allows tight muscles to loosen, and encourages your body to release toxins. Wellness website Dailycupofyoga.com says this form of yoga is for anyone wishing to cleanse their body, speed up recovery from an injury, or enhance their flexibility. Abbotsford has its very own Bikram yoga studio on Essendene Ave.

Hatha yoga

This is the most common form here in the West. It’s what you typically think of when yoga comes to mind. It focuses mainly on physical postures and relaxation — or finding inner peace, if you will. It’s full of gentle, slow movements that will leave you feeling looser and ready for bed. Don’t expect to sweat lots from this one. In fact, unless you’re truly into closing your eyes for 20 minutes to do some soul-seeking, it might not be for you at all. With your U-Pass, drop by ARC and try a couple classes for free — then you can decide for yourself if it’s right for you.

Aerial yoga

As the name implies, this replaces the yoga mat with a fabric hammock. Inspired by yoga and Pilates, it’s a way to “play with gravity in different ways and to stay energetically grounded,” according to yoga website Yogaonhigh.com. Half of the class time will be spent on the traditional mat, while the other half will feature you achieving other sorts of yoga positions while suspended in the air. According to the Goddess Movement, a local studio which offers aerial yoga, the inclusion of the hammock is meant to help students “achieve proper postural alignment through relaxation rather than effort.” The hammock lets you stretch more deeply, and people of all shapes and sizes are welcome to join in. If you’re open-minded and want to try something different, drop by the Goddess Movement on Sumas Way and have your world turned upside-down.

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