Once considered a new-age pastime for hippies, yoga is now almost as mainstream as treadmills, with just about everyone from stockbrokers to celebrities unrolling their mats in the quest for inner peace and flexible hamstrings.

And while you may be familiar with styles such as Ashtanga, Hatha and Iyengar, to name a few, urban yogis around the globe are hankering for something fresh and different.

Here are some of the hottest (and even wackiest) trends springing up in studios and gyms around the globe.

Yoga trendsAnti-gravity yoga
Ready to take your yoga off the ground? Suspension yoga, or anti-gravity yoga, is the latest yoga fad to take hold in the fitness world, with classes offered in major international cities in yoga studios and gyms.

Using a specially designed harness, you can get the low-impact benefits of inversion therapy combined with yoga’s emphasis on strength and flexibility, all while performing Cirque du Soleil-inspired poses.

Downward dogs for dogs
Fondly referred to as “doga” by its fans, who live in places like Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, and pet-loving Japan, yoga for pups comprises a combination of meditation, massage, and poses, both independent (with dogs and humans posing separately) and partnered (in which owners use their pets as props).

Yogic paddleboarding
If asanas on a mat weren’t challenging enough, try striking a pose on a paddleboard in open water. This trend, taking off on the West Coast of the US and expanding to Europe, offers a challenging combo of yoga with one of the trendiest water sports. Paddleboarding yogis claim that it works the body’s core in a different way, all while challenging your sense of balance.

Yoga meets Spinning
Yoga Spinning is a hot new trend launched in New York by Spinning teacher and yogi Noll Danial after he spotted students doubling up their workouts at a gym: sweating through a 45-minute Spinning class, then heading to an hour yoga class. While each class varies, students begin on the bikes, cycling about 30 to 40 minutes, then they dismount for asanas using the bike’s handlebars for modifications.

Bare it all yoga
Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, has caught on like wildfire among students who love working up a hardcore sweat. But the truly free-and-easy like to shed their inhibitions and their clothes before twisting and bending in a room heated to temperatures of one-hundred-plus degrees Fahrenheit.

The naked-yoga movement, founded by Aaron Star, who created a DVD series entitled Hot Nude Yoga, is steadily gaining popularity: studios exist in London, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Montreal, with classes offered all over Europe and North America. — AFP RELAXNEWS