Discover Bliss with These 9 Different Types of Yoga Explained
Trying to choose a yoga class can seem like a challenge when there are so many different types of yoga practices.
From Ashtanga to Yin, each style of yoga brings its own unique perspective. Are you wondering which perspective is the best fit for your lifestyle? The best type of yoga for you depends on whether you are looking to break a sweat, get your body moving or find deep relaxation.
However, no matter what your goals are for your yoga practice, chances are that at least one these top 9 different yoga styles will surely set you on the right track!
1. Hot Yoga
This style of yoga is always done in a warm room. A very warm room. The average temperature of a hot yoga class is around 35 degrees Celsius. So things get toasty!
In certain types of hot yoga classes, you will follow a specific set of 26 poses throughout the class. These poses don’t alter between classes and always follow the same procession. However, in other yoga classes, the instructor may flexibly switch up the order of the poses.
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Vinyasa is also known as “flow yoga”. It is a style of yoga which leads its students through a series of postures. During a Vinyasa class, you won’t take too long to rest in any specific pose. Its faster pace is certain to raise your heart rate and get your body moving.
Due to the quick pace, this type of yoga practice is perfect if you are looking for a brisk class instead of one which has a more meditative focus.
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Hatha yoga classes essentially refer to any yoga class which combines both breathing and postures. You might be thinking that this sounds the same as regular yoga. That’s because it is.
Considering that Hatha yoga focuses on the coordination of breath with movement, most yoga styles do actually fall under the umbrella of Hatha yoga.
When a class is defined as Hatha, it does have a few key characteristics which differentiate it from other classes. For instance, when compared with a Vinyasa or an Ashtanga class, a Hatha yoga lesson will move more slowly. Rather than moving quickly through each of the poses in rapid succession, in a Hatha class, you will hold most poses for at least a few breaths.
Don’t be fooled though, a Hatha yoga class can still provide vigorous exercise. If you are having a one-on-one yoga class with your teacher and would like to pick up the pace, simply mention this to your instructor ahead of your next session. That way, they can prepare a series of yoga poses especially for you and your fitness needs.
Similar to a Vinyasa class, Ashtanga yoga will also get your blood pumping. In this style of yoga, you will move through a series of postures which each belong to a specific sequence.
In Ashtanga yoga, there are six pose sequences that include these postures. The beginning of an Ashtanga yoga class often starts with a brisk series of sun salutation poses. This sequence helps to warm your body up so that you are all prepped for the fast pace of the rest of lesson.
Once you are all warmed up the rest of the class will then flow fluidly throughout the six posture sequences. Get ready to break a sweat!
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Power yoga combines the principles of yoga into an energetic fitness workout. It is comparable to an Ashtanga or Vinyasa class but with an extra kick. It is also unique from Ashtanga as it doesn’t follow a strict series of postures. Instead, the teacher has the flexibility to craft and modify the sequence of the poses.
The brisk sequence of this class is best for yoga students who have attended a class before. Don’t be discouraged if you are a beginner, many yoga instructors do offer power yoga lessons for beginners.
Power yoga is ideal if you are looking for a style of yoga which is more focused on physical movement than or chanting.
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Kundalini yoga strongly incorporates breath into its practices. In contrast to the fast pace of power and Ashtanga yoga, Kundalini delves into yoga’s meditative aspects more deeply. These yoga practices often incorporate chanting.
This style of yoga is based on the idea that your spine holds a snake of energy. During the course of your practice, you unravel this snake of energy along your spine, bringing your body into a more balanced state.
White attire is also commonly worn during these sessions in order to remove the distraction of vibrant clothing colours from the room.
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Iyengar yoga focuses most prominently on how to perfect your posture. To achieve your best posture, Iyengar incorporates a variety of yoga props. These props include yoga blocks, blankets and straps.
When it comes to Iyengar, not even the wall is out the question. After all, you can rest yourself on a wall and secure your balance.
These props are helpful because when you aren’t worried about falling over or losing your balance, you will be able to settle more fully into the pose. You may even be able to move into a more advanced variation of the pose which wouldn’t be possible without the support of the wall or another prop.
During an Iyengar class, you will also spend quite a bit more time in each of your poses than you would during other types of yoga like Ashtanga. Instead of simply flowing straight through once you have a feel for the pose, you will spend some time settling into it.
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Yin yoga is based on Taoist yoga traditions. Like Iyengar, it is a meditative style of yoga. Yin and Iyengar both focus on the meditative aspects of each posture.
The goal of this practice is to allow your body to naturally settle into each posture, rather than forcing your muscles to actively move into a stretch.
By allowing your muscles to naturally settle into their postures, Yin yoga aims to restore and regenerate.
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Restorative yoga is the style of yoga which focuses most prominently on relaxation. During a restorative yoga practice, you might stay in a pose for as long as 20 minutes.
By remaining in a posture for a longer period of time, restorative yoga aims to recuperate your body as you move towards achieving a deep state of relaxation. This focus on restoration means that blankets make a common appearance during these yoga classes!
No matter which type of yoga you end up choosing it is best to engage with a yoga instructor throughout your yoga journey. A yoga instructor receives training to teach. This means that they have spent the time to learn how they can best help you achieve your yoga goals.
When you hire a yoga instructor, there is no need to worry about struggling to follow a series of poses from a magazine or book. A yoga instructor can help you to correct your posture as you learn.
Yoga instructors can also help to provide motivation. This is especially important if it turns out that your flexibility is a bit less than you thought.
Overall, working with a yoga instructor will help to ensure that as you continue to practise yoga in the future that you do so safely and effectively.
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