Yoga offers many health benefits, reducing stress, such as improving flexibility, and improving overall wellness and fitness. It is a wonderful mind and body activity that promotes relaxation as you practice linking breathing work with asanas.
In addition, recent research has also linked the benefits of all types of yoga with higher bone density and better sleep quality.
As yoga has become very popular, many styles and variations have emerged in the wellness space. This centuries-old Eastern philosophy is everywhere now, performed and taught by people of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds.
With so many different types of yoga, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide which style is right for you.
It is helpful to ask yourself what is important to you in a yoga practice: Are you looking for a sweaty, athletic workout, or do you find a more meditative and gentle approach more appealing?
Keep in mind that there is generally a fair amount of crossovers between the various yoga styles, as well as diversity in teaching approaches within each discipline.
Try exposing yourself to different types of classes and instructors to discover the right combination for you.
Types Of Yoga:
Anusara is a modern version of hatha yoga, more similar to vinyasa in that it focuses on alignment, but with a greater focus on the mind-body-heart connection. It was founded by John Friend, who created a unique system called Universal Principles of Alignment. He resigned in 2012 after allegations of sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement. Since then, Friend has partnered with Desi and Micah Springer to teach the Bowspring method.
Anusara focuses on spirals and how each part of the body should move, and is also known for its emphasis on opening the heart. Expect to stop often in class and gather around a student as the instructor breaks a pose.
Prenatal yoga is carefully tailored for “moms-to-be” and tailored for women in all trimesters.
Many have said that prenatal is one of the best types of exercise for moms-to-be because of the work on the pelvic floor, its concentration on breathing, and the bond with the growing baby; Prenatal yoga also helps mothers prepare for labor and delivery.
I also practiced my own form of prenatal yoga during my two pregnancies. During this practice, you will use accessories to modify your poses and ensure stability; In this class, it’s much more about stability than flexibility.
Hatha yoga is a standard term that includes most yoga styles that combine breathing work with physical postures.
The term is widely used, but it generally implies a gentle introduction to basic yoga poses for beginners or those who prefer a more relaxed style.
You probably won’t leave a sweaty and tired hatha yoga class, but you should end up feeling more relaxed and stretched. Hatha’s classes may vary, so it’s best to call and check with the gym or studio that offers the class.
Vinyasa-style yoga combines rhythmic breathing with a series of fluid postures for vigorous mind and body training. Because it links breathing with movement, vinyasa yoga is fluid and fast-paced, perfect for those looking for something athletic and dynamic.
Vinyasa yoga can also be called types of power yoga, depending on the gym or studio. Expect to move with happy music, sweat, and burn some calories in this type of yoga!
You can be sure of two things when you attend a Bikram class: sweat and consistency. A Bikram class is the same no matter where you go, as it consists of a series of 26 poses performed in a specific order for 90 minutes in a room heated to 105 ° F (40.6 ° C), with a humidity of 40%.
It is very popular and relatively easy to find, but it is not recommended for those with heat sensitivity. Prehydration and posthydration along with electrolyte replacement after this training are recommended to avoid fluid / electrolyte imbalances.
It is also important to protect yourself against excessive muscle and joint strain beyond what is comfortable due to increased flexibility with heat. Caution is also recommended for those who are already too flexible (Ehlers Danlos syndrome).
Classes are generally held in a bright room with students in front of the mirrors to verify proper alignment in postures. If you are looking for a disciplined yoga practice without music and want to know what to expect every time, this is the style for you.
Jivamukti yoga incorporates vinyasa-style flow through movement along with weekly themes, Sanskrit chants, meditation, readings, and affirmations.
Classes generally begin with a standardized warm-up sequence unique to Jivamukti and end with students joining their extensive yoga education overtime. Every week there is something new to learn if you are focusing on a particular asana (pose) or discussing an ancient yoga teaching.
If you are looking for something highly meditative, but also physically challenging, consider trying Jivamukti.
Ashtanga is very similar to vinyasa yoga, in rigor and style, since both link breathing with movement.
Sometimes both terms are used interchangeably, but traditionary ashtanga is more structured. Follow a specific sequence of poses in the same order, ideal for those looking for something predictable.
Expect ashtanga to be hot, sweaty and physically demanding. This is best explored if you are used to vigorous training and not intended for someone who is just beginning to become more active.
Iyengar is a meticulous style of yoga, emphasizing the proper form in a yoga pose. An Iyengar class will generally provide a variety of yoga accessories (blocks, straps, reinforcements, blankets, etc.) to help each student find the proper alignment.
It is also usually taught without music and at a slower pace to help students dig deeper into postures and hold them longer.
This style of yoga is best for those with a chronic injury or condition, as Iyengar teachers must undergo comprehensive training to provide well-informed instruction.
Kundalini focuses on repetitive movements synchronized with the breath, along with chants and meditations.
The practice focuses on awakening the energy at the base of the spine to draw it through each of the seven chakras (energy areas throughout the body).
Expect to chant mantras like “Sat Nam” (which means “I am the truth”) and practice simpler poses, while concentrating your energy on body and mind awareness.
Restorative yoga focuses on relaxing after a long day and relaxing the mind. Essentially, this style focuses on body relaxation. Restorative yoga also helps cleanse and free your mind.
You spend more time in fewer poses throughout the class. Many of the postures are modified to make them easier and more relaxing.
Like Iyengar, many accessories are used and placed perfectly, such as blankets, cushions, and eye pillows. All accessories are there to help you dive deeper into relaxation.
Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with sitting postures that are held for longer periods of time. Yin can also be a meditative types of yoga practice that helps you find inner peace.
Yin is a great class for beginners, as postures can be held for 45 seconds to 2 minutes. Classes are relaxed as you are supposed to let gravity do most of the work.
Much the same as Bikram yoga. In general, the only difference between Bikram yoga and hot yoga is that the hot yoga studio deviates from the Bikram yoga sequence in some small way, so they should be called by another name.
The room will get hot and you will sweat cubes, so check out our mats and accessories designed specifically for hot yoga classes.
To know more about yoga you can check here: Find Your Match Among the Many Types of Yoga