Westchester Yoga Guide

A look at some of the many forms of yoga—and where you can find them in Westchester.

 

What it is

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Who it’s for

Where to find it

Hatha 

Hatha focuses on breathing and posture. Use this form to free the mind and restore peace while you focus on each inhalation and exhalation, strengthening the body and becoming more flexible. 

Beginners, seniors, as well pregnant women and people with mobility issues can participate in this form. 

A Breath of Yoga (2 East Ave, Ste 205, Larchmont 914-833-1210; infiniteyogacenter.net)

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Vinyasa/Flow 

Synchronized breathing is the main focus of Vinyasa, another popular yoga form. Concentrate on matching breath as you smoothly transition from one posture to the next. The movements, faster than in a Hatha class, allow you to sweat out the toxins in your body, leaving you feeling healthier and re-energized for the day. 

Beginners and intermediate yogis will enjoy this class, but it’s not recommended for those with mobility issues or upper-body injuries.

YogaWorks (50 S Buckhout St, Irvington 914-591-9642; yogaworks.com); Scarsdale Yoga Studios (7 Popham Rd, Scarsdale 914-874-5555; scarsdaleyogastudios.com)

Iyengar

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Iyengar instructors are held to an unusually high standard: In order to become certified, they must go through years of training and evaluation so they can correct the poses of their students, emphasizing the subtleties of each pose. Iyengar yoga focuses on strength, flexibility, concentration, posture, and breath control, which heightens physical awareness. The movements are slow and precise.

Anyone who is looking to learn more about yoga methods. It’s not recommended for those who are seeking a fast-paced workout. 

Scarsdale Yoga Studios (7 Popham Rd, Scarsdale 914-874-5555; scarsdaleyogastudios.com); Yoga Haven (62 Main St, Tuckahoe and 91 Montgomery Ave, Scarsdale 914-337-1437; yogahaven.com)

Ashtanga 

Originally developed by the 20th-century Indian yoga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, this type of yoga has grown very popular in the US, due to its fast-paced series of postures. Throughout each series, breathing is synchronized with the pose, which produces a high level of internal heat that cleanses your organs and muscles; the series can be intense. The goal: improved circulation; a stronger, more energized body; and a calmer mind.  

Beginners to very advanced students, especially those who are already exercising. Not recommended for anyone who is injured or interested in a slow-paced class. 

YogaWorks (50 S Buckhout St, Irvington 914-591-9642; yogaworks.com); A Breath of Yoga (2 East Ave, Ste 205, Larchmont 914-833-1210; infiniteyogacenter.net)

Kundalini

Awaken your latent spiritual energy with Kundalini yoga, a form that focuses on harmonizing breathing and movement, along with triggering heightened awareness and consciousness. Though poses and breathing are a large part of this form, chanting is also incorporated. This meditative and spiritual form moves slower than other classes, with a goal of awakening, harnessing, and releasing energy stored at the base of the spine. 

People of all skill levels can take part in this form, though some movements can be physically intense.

Golden Temple
(223 Katonah Ave, Katonah 914-232-3473; goldentempleyoga.com)

Power/Gym

Two American yoga teachers who studied with the late Jois made his Ashtanga method more accessible in American gyms by modifying it into their own intense yoga form in the 1990s. While other forms focus more on flexibility and meditation, power yoga requires full-body strength as students move through poses quickly. Although it might leave you feeling a bit sore, power yoga strengthens muscles and can increase energy. 

Intermediate or advanced students looking for a challenge. It’s not recommended for beginners, those with injuries, or anyone with limited mobility. 

Yoga Spa (321 E Main St, Elmsford 914-345-9642;
yoga-spa.com)
; O2 Living
(6 Yellow Monkey Village,
Cross River 914-763-6320; o2living.com)

Bikram/Hot

In this intense workout developed by controversial celebrity yogi Bikram Choudhury, participants perform a series of positions taken from Hatha yoga. With the heat cranked up to above 100ËšF and the humidity to a steamy 40 percent, this form challenges students to hold poses for a full minute. The heat and humidity help the body to become loose and flexible, while allowing the release of toxins through sweat. 

Those who are advanced in yoga will love this form, but it’s not recommended for those who are pregnant, or have circulation issues or high blood pressure. 

Bikram Yoga Larchmont (244 Boston Post Rd, Larchmont 914-833-9703; bikramyogalarchmont.com); Yoga Spa (321 Tarrytown Rd, Elmsford 914-345-9642;
yoga-spa.com)

 

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