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Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic, flowing style that connects the movements of the body with the breath. The method stresses the importance of the daily practice of a set series of movements. There are six series of Astanga yoga sequences, which the student progresses through at their own pace. Ashtanga yoga classes are often taught in the « Mysore style.» In this style, practitioners are encouraged to memorize the sequence they are working on, then individually work through the sequence during the class.
The teacher then comes around to adjust and support, rather than guiding the individual’s practice. The students set their own pace consistent with their ability, but practice in the company of others students and with the encouragement of their teacher. They should master each pose in the sequence before they move on to the rest.
Ashtanga yoga is considered a vigorous, orderly practice and, as such, is more suited to students who want a dynamic and rigorous yoga practice.
Vinyasa is often thought of as just one of many yoga types. Some people, however, see it as more essential to one’s practice. Without it, they feel the practitioner is merely doing stretches without great health benefits.
Regardless your perspective, the term, vinyasa, has come to encompass a range of general and specific definitions. As a category of yoga, vinyasa includes, but is not limited to, Power yoga, Baptiste yoga, Ashtanga, Jivamukti, and Prana flow. Because vinyasa practice puts a strong focus on sun salutations, most vinyasa classes will focus heavily on this sequence. In fact, »Take a vinyasa » or « Go through your vinyasa » has become shorthand for completing a sequence of poses leading from the Sun Salutation, and including plank, chaturanga dandasana, upward-facing dog and downward-facing dog.
The continuous movement of vinyasa reflects the impermanence of all forms and the necessity of accepting change to achieve balance and completeness.
Pilates aims to strengthen the body in an even way, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and wellbeing.
Pilates exercises are done on a mat or using special equipment like ball, ring, elastic band, stick, etc.
Pilates has something to offer people of all ages and levels of ability and fitness, from beginners to elite athletes. The apparatus can be used to provide support for beginners and people with certain medical conditions, as well as resistance for people looking to challenge their body.
Practitioners say regular pilates can improve posture, muscle tone, balance and joint mobility, swell as relieve stress and tension.
For elite athletes, including dancers, pilates can complement training by developing whole-body strength and flexibility, and help reduce the risk of injury.