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It can be quite tough when looking up yoga studios online or examining a course schedule to figure out which style of yoga you like taking, and even what the differences are. Besides Bikrams, which is hot yoga, the distinctions between the various other designs are less clear. Hatha and Ashtanga yoga are in one way the same design, but these terms could imply very different things in actual practice.

Intensity

Although Hatha yoga is an umbrella term that includes all styles of yoga, consisting of Ashtanga, yoga studios normally advertise slow, gentle yoga courses as Hatha yoga. These classes are proper for newbies, states yoga instructor Kathleen Kastner, owner of Maya Yoga studio in Kansas City, Missouri. Despite the fact that Hatha classes are generally instructed at a low intensity level, speak with the teacher in advance to determine if the class is proper for you. Hatha yoga classes can be taught at a difficult level if the trainer wishes. This could be indicated by a numerical worth such as Level 1, 2 or 3, with 3 being the most difficult class.

Flow

A common distinction between Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga in terms of course structure is flow. Vinyasa is the Sanskrit term for flow and if you add a class with the word Vinyasa or flow tacked onto the end of the course name, you’ll likely experience a class that moves from pose to position– called asanas– without stopping. This is typically how Ashtanga yoga is taught, according to yoga instructor Costs Counter. Hatha yoga normally enters a pose, holds the pose, and then comes out of the pose. There’s no transition in between poses as in Ashtanaga courses.

Main Objective of Hatha

Hatha yoga focuses on developing the asanas and doing pranayama, or breath control, to increase the flow of prana with the nadis. Prana is the Sanskrit term for life energy or force, and is similar to the concept of chi. Nadis are stations throughout the body through which the prana flows. Pranayama is the act of managing and directing the prana through breathing exercises. Hatha works to increase this flow of energy. Asana and pranayama practice are part of Ashtanga too, but they’re only two of the 8 limbs, or objectives, of Ashtanga.

Main Objective of Ashtanga

An Ashtanga yoga professional not only deals with asanas and pranayama but also the various other six of the 8 limbs consisting of yama, niyama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. Yama means control and involves following guidelines of honesty, purity and nonviolence. Niyama are rules of things that you should do, such as worship God and practice modesty. Pratyahara suggests the withdrawal of sensory perceptions. Dharana, dhyana and samadhi are connected. Dharana is concentration on a single point of idea, such as a rule. Dhyana is greater control of concentration for meditation. Samadhi is uncomplicated mind-calming exercise, which results in enlightenment.