Difference between Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Hatha Yoga

Yoga is traditionally a way to meditate and to reach a higher level of physical, emotional, psychological, and…

Yoga is traditionally a way to meditate and to reach a higher level of physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual tranquility. Yoga used to be practiced only by Hindu or Buddhist monks as a sacred form of meditation. Throughout the years, however, the secrets of Yoga have been passed on and it has evolved into being not just a meditative technique for monks, but also a way to relax, remove stress, and to maintain an overall balance for the body for anyone who wants to. The most common types are Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Hatha Yoga. The three types differ based on the body movements involved, the level of difficulty, and the ideal environment where the meditation can be done.


Goal and Body Movements

Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Hatha Yoga differ based on the purpose of the meditation and the type of movements involved. Bikram Yoga, for instance, aims to restore health and stimulate every single part of the body and to restore normal blood circulation. Some also turn to Bikram Yoga in order to lose weight. Bikram Yoga has 26 steps which is usually easy for beginners to follow.


Ashtanga Yoga, on the other hand, is geared towards mastering breathing techniques that will cause a dynamic flow in the body. It has 8 major steps that are done in a relatively faster manner. However, the steps are easy when one has learned to master certain breathing techniques.


Meanwhile, Hatha Yoga focuses mainly on how to purify the body and get rid of all the stress and toxins that is slowly working to destroy one’s body. It has 6 major movements that can also easily be learned by beginners. Aside from breathing techniques, Hatha Yoga also involves purification steps, ways to improve and to physical posture as a means to reduce stress.


Ideal Environment

Bikram Yoga is also known is one of the most common forms of hot yoga, meaning it has to be done in a room with a temperature of approximately 105 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity of 40%. Bikram Choudry, the creator of the program believed that the hot temperature aids to facilitate stretching and prevent unwanted injuries. Ashtanga Yoga has to be done in a location with colder temperature because of the fast-paced nature of the movements. Hatha Yoga, on the other hand, can be done in any type of environment as long as one can focus and meditate without significant disturbance.


Level of Difficulty

Among the three, the easiest to learn and follow is Hatha Yoga followed by Bikram Yoga. Both types involve slow movements so it will be easy for beginners to follow the steps. Ashtanga Yoga, on the other hand, involves fast steps, so it can be a bit more challenging to learn and follow.


Thanks to Yoga, people now have another alternative for getting an ideal body weight and to maintain the body’s natural balance. Although it may take a few days of constant learning until one can master all the movements, Through Yoga, anyone can definitely achieve a higher level of peace and tranquility that is only available to Hindu and Buddhist monks a long time ago.

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