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Ivengar yoga is a kind of Hatha yoga, the founder father of which is considered to be B. K. S. Ivengar. This form of yoga is known for the use of various props, such as blocks, belts and blankets in order to perform asanas or postures, pranayama, or breath control. Asanas are used to develop strength, mobility and stability of the body. The aim of practicing asanas in Ivengar yoga is to unite the body, mind and spirit. The constant practice of asanas is focused to relieve stresses and improve health and well-being of a person. Ivengar yoga is characterized by standing poses in order to built strong legs, to improve circulation, balance and coordination of the physical body. It is also focused on body alignment using props in order to minimize muscular efforts, especially for elderly, injured or ill people. Props like benches, sand bags, blocks or straps give the opportunity to use different poses by the beginners avoiding several years of practice and can be viewed as the foundation for higher levels of yoga.

Ivengar has created this form of yoga practice as a way to overcome various disorders and diseases, such as high blood pressure, depression, insomnia, immunodeficiency and menopause, etc. Different poses (asanas) are used for patients` recovery. It is important to learn how to make the whole body and mind to be involved in doing yoga asanas. One is supposed to learn how to breathe deeply in order to make mind quiet, relax and passive with an aim to promote a meditative state of mind. With the help of constant exercises using asanas and postures, one can develop and improve physical strength and overcome different challenges in life. Hatha yoga helps a person find plenty of resources to make his life better. That has been done over thousands of years, and people have been taught how to manage their emotional and physical state through asanas and postures.

Asanas in Ivengar yoga help realize an awareness of ethics. For example, when one eats or drinks too much, the mind becomes dull, and the body is suffering. Those who are practicing yoga start to moderate their eating and drinking habits what lead them to healthier life style. Ivengar yoga enables those who are practicing Ivangar yoga classes to pay great attention to skeleton and muscular alignment in different positions.

Yoga Styles

When starting practicing yoga it is important to know that there are several types of it, which differ from each other, though all of them are based on the same poses. There are the following Yoga styles: Ashtanga yoga, Bikram yoga — Hot yoga, Ivengar yoga, Jivamukti yoga, Kundalini yoga, Power yoga. For example, Bikram or Hot yoga classes are taught in heated rooms that may help for better alignment and spiritual wellness of a person. This style of yoga has become rather popular lately, especially in winter time when human bodies need more warm and energy. It helps the body to sweat. The rooms are heated up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher during yoga classes. Some professionals consider that people feel more comfortable practicing yoga postures in heated rooms comparing to air-conditioning. They do not use any props. This style is extremely useful for better circulation, eliminating of toxins by sweating and metabolism. While attending Bikram or Hot yoga classes, one may feel like he has a full-body massage or a great workout. Scholars conclude that this yoga style helps eliminate chronic back pain problems and some other pains which are stress related. Those who practice different poses in Bikram yoga feel less stressed and happier. Though, there are some opinions that treat Bikram yoga as dangerous, because it looks like a gym workout and not a yoga class. The students of Bikram yoga have to attend classes with a yoga intention and be aware of what they are going to do there; otherwise their yoga classes might be harmful.

The main differences of Bikram yoga and Ivangar yoga are the following: firstly, in Bikram yoga alignment of the body is reached due to the heat and sweetening of the students, who attend yoga classes; secondly, they feel themselves like after a workout in the gym more than after a yoga class and thirdly, they do not use any props.

Ashtanga Yoga

Another style of yoga, which is worth mentioning, is Ashtanga yoga. It requires fast-moving, daily practicing using strict sequence of poses. It is considered to be the most popular type of yoga nowadays. Those who are devoted to this yoga style usually become practitioners and instructors. Ashtanga yoga is usually referred to be viewed as yoga therapy, which helps release the spine, improve flexibility and stamina, detoxify the body and built strength. It requires seventy-five poses, which are reached during an hour and a half or two hours’ classes. The Ashtanga yoga classes begin with sun salutation then moving on to various poses, such as standing, seated, backbends and inversions. Relaxation and body alignment are the main purposes of Ashtanga yoga classes. According to research, it can be mentioned that this yoga style is very individualistic, challenging and intense, where one can not only relax but also concentrate his mind on the present wellbeing and happiness in different poses. Proper breathing, positive thinking and meditation are very essential parts of classes.

Most students who are practicing Ashtanga yoga find there everything they want for their yoga classes, because they find their own pace. It can be considered as a challenge, so it is perfect for people who like challenges in life. This yoga style does not use props like Ivengar yoga, and this makes students feel more personal during their practice. Ashtanga yoga poses and moves deal with strength and flexibility. One should learn the sequence and then go his/her own pace while practicing yoga. It helps be patient and constant in life. This is a very essential feature of Ashtanga yoga, which helps create person`s character and his positive attitude in life. Most people like these yoga classes for enjoyment they could not get because of curing of old illnesses or injuries.

Ashtanga yoga differs from Ivengar yoga in various ways. Firstly, there is the lack of flexibility; that is why those who need to be more flexible should choose Ivengar yoga. Secondly, students may follow their own pace during classes that may be good for those who prefer individual practice. Thirdly, the teachers usually work one on one with students that help better practice during yoga classes.

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that all yoga styles are similar and are based on certain poses and postures. Those who are practicing yoga classes fell themselves stress free, relaxed and healthier. There is always a choice for those who want to practice different types of yoga because of the differences which exist between yoga styles.

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