A Yoga Dictionary From Eco18
What is it? Bikram yoga consists of 45 minutes of standing poses and 45 minutes of floor poses, all in a room heated to 105 degrees. There isn’t a great deal of variety from one class to the next, but you will sweat, work and focus. The idea is to bring a fit body and a fit mind into union.
Who’s it for? For those who don’t mind heat and those who are looking to go deeper into the kind of focus you find through repetition with each practice. It can become a meditation of its own kind. For those who are willing to be patient: at the beginning it’s not easy to hold poses in a very hot and sweaty room. But it can be rewarding and very cleansing.
More info: Bikram yoga was brought to the United States in 1971 by Bikram Choudry. Learn more about the style at bikramyoga.com.
What is it? A practice that only works through several poses in a class, but Iyengar yoga strives to teach them “properly.” Focused very much on the proper alignment of the bones and muscles, you will work deeply through each posture. Iyengar also uses a great deal of props (blocks, straps, chairs), so the poses can be made accessible for anyone. This style certainly brings greater strength, flexibility and understanding of the nuts and bolts of the yoga poses.
Who’s it for? People who love to understand the body, who enjoy the details, who don’t mind moving slowly and aren’t afraid to work deeply. Many folks who love this style feel that by understanding the proper alignment, injury can be avoided and a true connection to the practice can be achieved.
Check out: The book Light on Yoga by B.K.S Iyengar. This is a book for every yogi’s library. It captures Iyengar himself demonstrating virtually every pose under the sun and how/why to do it. His commentary on the practice is also extremely valuable and interesting.