There are many types of yoga out there and it can be hard to find out which specific style is right for you. Some are very physically challenging and will make you sweat while some are restorative and gentle.
Here are some major types of yoga being taught today. Keep on reading these types of yoga and yoga facts to understand the basics before diving into a yoga class.
Main Types of Yoga To Consider
Hatha is a general category that includes most types of yoga. This is an old system that includes the practice of asanas (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises). It helps to bring peace of mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices like meditation.
Hatha yoga is perfect for beginners since they are relatively gentle, paced slow, relaxed than other yoga styles. A Hatha yoga class is likely to be a combination of postures and breathing exercises. So, if you are new to yoga, hatha yoga is a good entry point to the practice.
Vinyasa refers to “to place in a special way,” and in this case, it indicates a sequence of poses. Vinyasa yoga is viewed as the most athletic and dynamic yoga style. Vinyasa classes are famous for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. Many types of yoga can be also regarded as vinyasa flows such as ashtanga, power yoga, and prana.
In vinyasa classes, teachers arrange their classes to smoothly transition from one pose to another, with the aim of linking breathing to movement and often play music to keep things lively. Vinyasa styles may be varied depending on the instructor, and there can be numerous types of poses in different sequences.
If you’d like to learn about how your muscles and joints work together, Iyengar is an exercise for you. Iyengar yoga pays attention to the precise musculoskeletal alignment within each pose. Iyengar classes are known for the use of props, such as blankets, straps and bolsters, chairs, blocks, and belts, to avoid injuries as well as correct each posture correctly.
Iyengar mainly relies on props to help learners complete their form and go deeper into poses safely. Although you needn’t jump around, you will definitely get to practice and feel extremely open and relaxed after an Iyengar class. This style is really fantastic for people who suffer from injuries and need to work slowly and methodically.
If you are looking for a great way to relax and soothe frayed nerves, restorative yoga is born for you. This style is related to a few restful postures that are held for long periods of time.
Restorative poses are usually performed with the assistance of many props such as bolsters, blankets, and blocks to help students experience the benefits of a pose without putting any effort. Restorative yoga is also known as a delicious way to clean and free your mind.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced yoga style with seated postures held for a longer amount of time, normally from three to five minutes. It helps to stretch the connective tissue around the pelvis, sacrum, spine, and knees in order to increase flexibility. Yin can also be a great meditative yoga exercise for you to look for inner peace.
Prenatal yoga is one of the best types of exercise for pregnant women. Many studies suggest that prenatal yoga is safe and beneficial for expectant moms and their babies. It is a great approach that focuses on breathing, mental, and bonding with the growing baby.
Anusara is a modern-day version of hatha yoga founded by John Friend, who created a unique system called the Universal Principals of Alignment. Anusara yoga is closely resembling vinyasa in that it focuses more on alignment, but more on the mind-body-heart connection.
Jivamukti yoga is established in 1984 by Sharon Ganon and David Life. Jivamukti is essentially vinyasa-flow-style classes infused with Hindu spiritual teachings. Each class starts with a standard sequence unique to Jivamukti and often teachers will combine weekly topics, chanting, meditation, reading, and affirmation.
Kundalini combines repetitive movements or exercises, dynamic breathing techniques, chanting, singing meditation, and mantras. Each specific kundalini exercise, called the kriya, is a movement that is often repeated and synchronized with the breath. This is one of the great types of yoga that is all about freeing the kundalini energy in your body.
Ashtanga is a strict yoga style that follows a particular sequence of poses and is similar to vinyasa yoga since each style associates every movement with a breath. The difference is that Ashtanga always does the exact same postures in the exact same order. This is a sweaty, physically demanding practice, so be sure to bring your trusty yoga mat.
Bikram yoga is founded by Bikram Choudhury. In a Bikram class, you will sweat like never before as you work your way through a series of 26 poses and the hot environment. Practitioners will perform in a sauna-like room— normally heated to 105 °F (41 °C) with a humidity of 40%. Each class will last from 60-90 minutes.
If you are new to Bikram, take it easy as the combination of heat and strenuous exercise can make the classroom especially difficult. The added heat may make you feel more uncomfortable, but you can easily overdo it and go beyond your limits. This is one of the fantastic types of yoga that you should try.
As the name suggests, Power Yoga focuses on enhancing strength, flexibility, and endurance. It is also one of the fantastic types of yoga for burning calories. In this style, yoga postures can be done in any order, keeping each session enjoyable. Unlike several other yoga styles that follow the same series of poses each time, power yoga classes rarely are the same.
If you are starting something new, yoga is a great choice. As you may know, you can reap all benefits of yoga. Yoga offers the chance to undergo a complete transformation – physical, physiological, and psychological. Keep in mind that though a teacher of a certain style of yoga may not encourage you from straying, sometimes, it’s good to combine it, depending on what your body and soul need.
If you are new to yoga, you can practice basic poses like open-angle pose, extended mountain pose, reverse triangle pose, reverse triangle poses. Then when you’re familiar with this discipline, you may try advanced and beautiful yoga postures such as wheel poses, merman poses, or lotus poses. Besides, you should pay attention to your diet to support your yoga regime. Grounding foods are a great choice.
Hopefully, this post helps you to find the best types of yoga that suit your needs. Which types of yoga are you doing? Whichever types of yoga you practice, welcome it with love and grace.