Try It Now: Yoga
Find Your Yoga Style
"Yoga's physical, emotional, and mental benefits are inextricably linked," says Roger Cole, PhD. "Stretches help to release pent-up tensions, while strength-building poses boost body confidence," he says. "Plus, holding a pose for a minute or more improves your focus and gives you the opportunity for spiritual insight." So while you may not walk out of a yoga class with the wisdom of a swami, at least you'll be more in tune with yourself.Find Your Yoga Style
Ashtanga or Iyengar? Hatha or Hot? With a little knowledge, it's easy to determine the practice that's right for you.Hatha
Best for: Beginners
Although it's the umbrella term for all physical yoga practices, it is often used as a name for beginners' classes that include basic poses, breath work, and meditation.
Try this: Yoga Zone's Introduction to Yoga (DVD; $14.95 at yoga.com)
Best for: Busting stress
Props such as bolsters and blankets support your body so you can totally relax.
Try this: Relax & Renew by Judith Lasater, PhD (book; $21.95 at rodmellpress.com)
Best for: Perfecting your form
This practice emphasizes precise alignment and develops strength and flexibility.
Try this: Yoga for Beginners with Patricia Walden (DVD; $15 at yoga.com)
Best for: Working up a sweat
A series of 26 poses practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees to increase flexibility.
Try this: Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class (CD; $20 at bikramyoga.com)
Best for: Raising your heart rate
This steady stream of flowing movements coordinated with the breath doesn't stop until the final resting pose.
Try this: Sun Salutations Awakening the Flow (DVD; $16.95 at soundstrue.com)
Best for: Sculpting your upper body
A standardized sequence of athletic poses that connects movements with the breath.
Try this: Ashtanga Yoga DVD Set (set of 2 DVDs; $40 at gaiam.com)
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2006.
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