We're always down for a sweaty vinyasa flow. But with National Yoga Month well underway, we think it's the perfect time to test drive some of the more novel yoga styles. If you're not sure where to begin, here are three you're bound to love.
(Yoga newbies should be sure to take advantage of National Yoga Month's One Week Free Yoga program for first-timers.)
Iyengar Yoga: Fun with toys
Confession: I've been practicing yoga for six years, and I still can't touch my toes, stand on my head, or hold crow's pose for longer than a nanosecond. Iyengar yoga recognizes what your body can (and can't) do. Then, you'll use props like blankets, blocks, straps and bean bags to achieve those seemingly impossible poses.
Iyengar yoga isn't just for the inflexible and uncoordinated. Because students are discouraged from overexerting their muscles, it can be highly beneficial for those recovering from an injury. Psst: The Iyengar Yoga Association is currently offering a special deal in honor of National Yoga Month, where members can bring a friend for free on September 20th and 30th.
Aerial Yoga: Up in the air
One way to let your yoga practice take flight is to sign up for rooftop yoga. The other is to try out aerial yoga. Aerobic and acrobatic, aerial yoga makes use of both a traditional yoga mat on the floor and a fabric trapeze that hangs from the ceiling above. This hammock-like sling supports the body during a number of athletic, core-crunching poses. Students gain greater balance and length in their spines. Sign up for a beginner's class or book a private lesson (Zeel Expert Toni Chianetta is an aerial yogi) to learn the basics of this airborne practice.
Ishta Yoga: African innovation
What makes this type of yoga different than all others? Ishta is one of the few styles of yoga that wasn't born in India. The brain-child of South African yogi Mani Finger and his son, Alan, Ishta combines a hodgepodge of different yoga elements, from deep breathing exercises and extended meditation to a strengthening sequence of poses.
Classes emphasize student's individual capabilities, encouraging participants to tailor their practice by choosing their preferred level of intensity. If you're used to the unyielding commands typical of a power yoga flow, then you'll welcome the creativity Ishta offers.