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What Type of Yoga Is Right For You?

With interest in the practice of yoga continuing to grow, the average newcomer can feel overwhelmed with the flood of information coming at them.

What style is right for me? Who or what is Bikram? What is a Vinyasa, and where do I get one?

In order to help clarify some of the mystery around yoga, I sat down with Colleen Johnson, assistant manager of CorePower Yoga, to look at four common class styles to help you decide which is right for you.

Vinyasa

Difficulty: Beginner through expert 

Temperature: CorePower heats their studio, usually higher than 80 degrees. But not all studios turn up the temperature this much.

Movements:  Each position targets a different muscle group, and is followed by a position that works an opposing muscle. Positions are patterned so that one movement is held during an inhale, and the next movement occurs during the exhale.

Comments: Vinyasa yoga is one of the more common practices to be found at CorePower and other studios.  Certain classes are recommended for beginners, but even experienced yogis can get winded during an intense session. “You are always welcome to return to Child’s pose, or another resting pose,” says Johnson.

Bikram

Difficulty: Varies by class, but open to beginners

Temperature: Usually extreme heat, in order to promote flexibility and help remove toxins. The official Bikram temperature is 105 degrees.

Movements: 26 Static poses are held for a specific length of time, in a specific order.

Comments: Bikram helps with flexibility, and can improve endurance and strength as well. It is a concentrated discipline and can also help with balance and focus.

Yin

Difficulty: Very beginner friendly

Temperature: Room temperature, not heated

Movements: Poses focus on ligaments as opposed to muscles. Each is held for 3-5 minutes.

Comments: Yin yoga is often used as a recovery from other intense forms of exercise like running.  Yin yoga is centered around relaxation, and there are no overly taxing positions. Yin is great for beginners and people looking for a strong mind body experience without having to sweat.

Yoga Sculpt (And other hybrid forms of new-school yoga)

Difficulty: Intermediate

Temperature: 90-95 degrees

Movements: Movements are borrowed from Vinyasa and Bikram. Hand weights, bands, and other helpful props are tossed into the mix.

Comments: “Yoga sculpt is one of our most popular options,” says Johnson. Yoga sculpt is just one of a plethora of new breeds of yoga that are seeing light as traditional practice meets modern exercise.  Other hybrid forms exist, including yogalates (yoga and pilates).

About CorePower Yoga

CorePower yoga is a growing brand, with studios in 5 states, and 9 existing locations in Chicago. They have plans to expand to three more locations, including one in Rogers Park. They combine new and old techniques in an environment welcoming to both beginners and experts. For more information, you can visit their website here.

An example of a CorePower Hot Yoga course, a combination of Bikram and Vinyasa.

Photo credit AP/ Lucy Pemoni

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The Hub Bub is a collection of articles, videos, audio, photo slideshows, interactive maps and other media produced by students enrolled in journalism courses at Loyola University Chicago's School of Communication. For more about the School of Communication, our award winning faculty, and our state of the art facilities located in the heart of Chicago, visit our website.