Yoga has been around for more than 5,000 years, but it’s enjoying newfound popularity.
In fact, it was among the top 15 most popular fitness trends for 2021, according to the American College of Sports Medicine.
What is yoga?
Yoga emphasizes physical poses, breathing and meditation in an effort to clear the mind and strengthen the body.
It provides a total mind-body workout while strengthening your core, arms, legs, glutes and back. In addition, it stretches your muscles and increases your range of motion while also building strength and flexibility. Finally, yoga promotes a feeling of calmness and helps relieves stress and anxiety through deep breathing and relaxation or meditation.
What are the most popular styles of yoga?
One of the reasons why yoga is so popular is because it’s versatile. It can be easily modified if you have an injury or condition, such as arthritis, that interferes with your mobility. Whatever your abilities and preferences are in terms of a relaxing session or a more high-intensity one, there’s a type of yoga that will suit you.
Some of the most popular types of yoga are the following:
Hatha: This gentle routine combines a series of basic movements with breathing and is a good choice for beginners.
Bikram: Known as “hot yoga,” bikram is performed in a room heated to approximately 105°. The same 26 poses, which emphasize steady holds, are performed in each class.
Vinyasa: This type of yoga is a series of poses that flow smoothly and fairly quickly from one to another. Each class is different, so if you like variety, this may be a good class to try.
Yin yoga: While most types of yoga focus on your muscles, yon practices focus on the connective tissues. Much slower paced, a yin class typically involves holding each pose for several minutes and letting your body relax deeper into the stretch.
Power: Power yoga burns calories and builds muscles, since it moves more quickly and includes more push-ups, squats and similar exercises.
Ashtanga: This vigorous style of yoga emphasizes a special breathing technique and has poses that become increasingly challenging.
Iyengar: Props can be used to help make the poses accessible, and the sequences of poses can be diversified.
Where can you find free yoga classes in Atlanta?
Some yoga studios offer free introductory classes – or even a free week – so you can see how you like the type of yoga being offered, as well make sure your instructor is a good fit. For instance, you can try free yoga classes in Atlanta at the following:
CorePower Yoga, five Atlanta locations, corepoweryoga.com.
If you sign up for the All Access membership, you get the first two weeks for free.
What are some of the best of yoga classes in Atlanta?
The following is a county-by-county breakdown of some of our favorite yoga classes in metro Atlanta:
Cobb yoga studios
East Cobb Yoga
Group classes as well as private instruction are offered, and you can also take a class in mindfulness.
Location: Marietta - 4950 Olde Towne Parkway; Website: eastcobbyoga.com; Contact: 404-245-5530
Be Yoga offers a wide variety of classes, including hot yoga, vinyasa and a yoga class for kids.
Location: Marietta – 105 Church St.; Website: beyogaatlanta.com; Contact: 404-642-1877
DeKalb yoga studios
All classes include elements of hatha yoga, and prenatal and postpartum classes are also offered.
Location: Decatur – 2836 Lavista Road, Suite D; Website: vistayoga.com; Contact: 404-929-9642
Tough Love Yoga
Tough Love offers yoga classes for students of all ages and experience levels. They aim to make the experience accessible and affordable for everyone.
Location: East Atlanta – 1530 DeKalb Ave. NE, Suite D; Website: toughloveyoga.com; Contact: 404-919-1008
Fulton yoga studios
Vinyasa and ashtanga classes are offered, and you can drop in for a single class, buy packages of 8, 12 or 20 classes, or purchase a monthly or unlimited membership.
Location: Midtown – 1201 Peachtree St. NE, Suite 110; Website: onlyoga.com
New students can have two weeks of unlimited yoga for $20. Classes include lift yoga flow, hot power yoga and vinyasa.
Location: Alpharetta – 501 South Main Street, Suite 101; Website: liftyogastudio.com; Contact: 470-268–4362
PranaHarmony’s first session introduces you to elementary yoga, and subsequent classes include raja yoga (which focuses on breathing) and jnana yoga (which emphasizes meditation).
Location: Suwanee – 425 Buford Highway, Suite 106A; Website: pranaharmony.com; Contact: 678-765-0197
This story was originally published by Mary Caldwell in 2017 and has since been updated.