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Bikram, Hatha or Ashtanga? Find Your Yoga Style

Sweat out those toxins in the best yoga poses for your sign

Three million Americans now practice yoga at least twice a week. The ancient art that unites mind and body offers something for everyone. You can sweat out toxins at 105 degrees with Bikram Yoga, get your cardio pumping with aerobic Ashtanga, raise your vital forces with Kundalini Yoga and gain serenity through classic Hatha poses.

But with all the choices available, how do you know what's right for you? Astrology can reveal which style best suits your emotional and physical temperament -- and which poses will strengthen your weakest areas. Just consult your horoscope sign!

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

As a Fire sign, Aries, you're always in motion ... until you collapse! Power Yoga (the Ashtanga style), with its constantly flowing vinyasa series of movements -- a great aerobic workout -- would suit you perfectly. Specifically, forward bends and headstands act to reverse the flow of blood in your body, relieving your tendency toward headaches.

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

You're built for strength, Taurus, but not necessarily flexibility. Classic Hatha Yoga poses that lengthen and stretch your spine -- such as Downward-Facing Dog or Backward-Bending Camel, will help you become more limber. They'll also create more blood flow and openness in your problem areas, the chest and throat.

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

You Twins live a life of the mind, and need a steady yoga practice to stay centered in your body. Try poses like the Plow and Half Shoulder Stand to loosen your shoulders (where you carry your tension) and help you sleep. You can also calm your distracted mind with seated forward bends. Try practicing on the grass to ground yourself.

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Go with feminine Hatha-style moves like the Half Moon and Cobra. Avoid stricter, more angular styles like Iyengar. Balancing poses such as Dancer's Pose or the Tree help bring you emotional stability, and the Boat helps strengthen your weakest area -- the belly. Yoga at home with a video might appeal to you homebody types.

Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)

Your task in life, Leo, is to let your light shine. The Sun Salutation pose is perfect for you. Your regal nature would also love the "queen of all poses," the Shoulder Stand, and its counter pose, the Fish, which opens the heart -- your potential problem area. You'd find the Lion, which mimics your totem animal's fierceness, both amusing and relaxing.

Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)

An Earth sign ruled by mental Mercury, you're all about harmonizing body and mind. Try the precise movements of the Iyengar style; its use of props like belts and harnesses will stretch you to the limit. And, with your overactive nervous system, take advantage of restorative poses like Legs-up-the-Wall and Supported Headstand.

Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)

You're learning about balance during this lifetime, Libra. Therefore, concentrate on standing poses like the classic Tree or the Eagle, an odd-looking pretzel twist of arms and legs that brings strength and flexibility. The Monkey, which equalizes the right and left sides of the body, would help you balance your masculine and feminine aspects.

Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)

Your intense nature would be attracted to the deep breathing and core activation of Kundalini Yoga. Hatha strength poses like the Proud Warrior and the Hero would appeal to the spiritual warrior in you, and help you channel your inner power. And, the Happy Baby (holding your feet while lying on your back) will relax your sacral area.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)

Always up for an adventure, you would appreciate a lively brand of Power Yoga -- these days, often set to a throbbing beat. And, you might enjoy sweating through Bikram's 105-degree yoga, said to relax every muscle in the body. Your thighs, in particular, are tight -- doing the seated Pigeon or Lotus regularly will loosen them up.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)

You like form and structure, Capricorn, so you'd appreciate a stricter style of yoga, like Iyengar. Your spine tends toward stiffness, so work on moves like the Cat/Cow and the Backward-Bending Camel to keep it limber. A bit of a workaholic, you need to let go of stress through pure relaxation poses like Legs-up-the-Wall and Corpse Pose.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)

Your high-strung nervous system would really benefit from the restorative effects of Hatha Yoga. And, Kundalini style would help your breathing. A backward-bending pose like the Bridge paired with a counter pose like Seated Forward Bend will calm your brain and rejuvenate your legs and ankles (your weak point).

Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)

Classic Hatha Yoga will give you the peace of mind you seek. A flow series like the Sun Salutations, incorporating graceful moves like the Half Moon and Dancer's Pose, would appeal to your fluid nature. And, you might enjoy sweating to Bikram's hot yoga. Your namesake the Fish, if practiced in water, enables you to float.

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5 Comments to "Bikram, Hatha or Ashtanga? Find Your Yoga Style"
The profile picture for Star lady.
Star lady says:
Tue, 05/01/2012 - 11:09

no headaches very often----hate yoga have no balance i perfer tai chi star lady

The profile picture for Star lady.
Star lady says:
Tue, 05/01/2012 - 11:09

no headaches very often----hate yoga have no balance i perfer tai chi star lady

The profile picture for Star lady.
Star lady says:
Tue, 05/01/2012 - 11:09

no headaches very often----hate yoga have no balance i perfer tai chi star lady

The profile picture for Star lady.
Star lady says:
Tue, 05/01/2012 - 11:09

no headaches very often----hate yoga have no balance i perfer tai chi star lady

The profile picture for Star lady.
Star lady says:
Tue, 05/01/2012 - 11:09

no headaches very often----hate yoga have no balance i perfer tai chi star lady

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