3 minute read

Four Sizzling Styles of Yoga to Try This Summer

by Avni Parekh

I love summertime! It’s the perfect time of year to transform yourself on the inside, as well as, on the outside. Whether you’re looking for spiritual enlightenment or a toned body, developing a regular yoga practice will help you achieve both.

Yoga is a discipline that originated in India. It has spiritual and physical components to it, just like martial arts, that help to improve your health and bring mental clarity. By performing a series of breathing techniques, physical exercises as well as meditation, you can tap into the source of your inner strength and power.

However, yoga is an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of styles that range from very challenging to slower paced. In order to determine which discipline is best for you, it’s best to understand the different styles of yoga.

To help narrow down the choices, since there are more than 10 styles of yoga, I’m sharing my top four favorite styles of yoga that’ll give you a sizzling summer body and pump your brain full of endorphins — what many refer to as, ‘yoga high.’

Kelli McCormack-Thomas
Photography by Marcus Harris

Bikram Yoga

Oftentimes, when you hear people say they just came from a “hot yoga” class, chances are they were practicing Bikram yoga. Named after inventor Bikram Choudhury, Bikram yoga is performed in a room where the temperature is 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40 percent humidity. While other yoga studios may offer yoga at hot temperatures, Bikram yoga is the same in every state; 26 specific yoga postures and two breathing techniques, repeated sequentially for an hour and a half.

• Why You’ll Like It: The heat combined with aerobic exercise increases your chances of burning more calories. You can expect to burn between 350 and 600 calories per session, while increasing your flexibility.

• Move On If: You have medical conditions, such as heart disease, that could affect your body due to the high temperatures—or you don’t like the idea of leaving a workout completely covered in sweat.

Anusara Yoga

Aderivative of hatha yoga, anusara yoga is categorized into three parts: attitude, alignment and action. The teachings, founded by John Friend, focus on the Universal Principles of Alignment. You can expect to use props like mats, blocks and even chairs to help you achieve perfect alignment. This class is great if you have back or hip problems, stiff limbs or if you’re a runner and need to loosen your hamstrings.

• Why You’ll Like It: If you desire a style of restorative yoga that will leave your body feeling refreshed and recharged, anusara yoga is likely for you.

• Move On If: You want a style of yoga that has a quick pace.

Kelli McCormack-Thomas
Photography by Marcus Harris

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga combines energizing yoga poses with chanting and meditation. The practice is considered to be more than just an exercise routine, it’s a spiritual lifestyle where practitioners can tap into energy that resides in the body’s seven energy points called chakras. Founded by Yogi Bhajan, kundalini yoga poses are different from traditional yoga poses, meaning there may be a learning curve when you take your first kundalini yoga class.

• Why You’ll Like It: If you’re looking for a dynamic style of yoga that focuses on breathing techniques and balancing the chakras, kundalini is for you.

• Move On If: You aren’t a fan of chanting and want more emphasis on poses.

Kelli McCormack-Thomas
Photography by Marcus Harris

Vinyasa Yoga

The most popular style of yoga across the United States, vinyasa yoga is known for its flowing and dance-like sequences. The classes typically range from beginner to intermediate level. Vinyasa yoga classes differ from teacher to teacher, though each class is characterized by a flowing sequence. Best part is, the last five minutes of the class are used for meditation and relaxation purposes to help your body and mind unwind.

• Why You’ll Like It: You will work up a sweat, tone your body and burn calories with this challenging workout, not to mention, a mental boost too.

• Move On If: You’re looking for a more slow-paced and relaxing style of yoga.

Kelli McCormack-Thomas
Photography by Marcus Harris

Now that you know my top four sizzling styles of yoga, I encourage you to find your own. A word to the wise, always be mindful to practice a style of yoga that is best suitable to your needs especially if you want to reap the positive benefits that come along with practicing yoga like cultivating a clear mind and developing a killer body!