Different types of Yoga for all my Yogis
Whether you are new to yoga or a veteran, there is always something new to discover when it comes to this art form. Yoga has been such a vital part of my life for so long, I often forget that some do not know the values of including it in your everyday routine. By practicing at least a few minutes of yoga a day you are setting your body up for a spiritual and physical transformation and the benefits will only increase as you spend more time working on your mat.
If you have tried a yoga class and decided it wasn't for you I urge you to try a few different styles before you quit! There are many forms of yoga, but today I am going to review the 9 most popular styles of yoga, each one unique in their own way. The best part is that whatever style you choose, every style serves to help you connect yourself to your body.
1. Ashtanga Yoga
The yoga style that I got my certification through is Ashtanga, which is one of the most traditional styles of yoga as it is the oldest. Some would label this style as having more rules and initially being more challenging. It is similar to a vinyasa style class however it follows a structured sequence. Traditionally the entire sequence takes almost 2 hours to complete, so in most 60 minute classes you skip sections. This sequence is designed to increase strength and flexibility. You will be moving quickly to keep the body warm and only holding poses for around 5 breaths. This style is great for a home practice because it is well rounded and easy to follow.
2. Hatha Yoga
The next style is Hatha, which is a much slower and more basic form of yoga, oftentimes used for beginners as a way to lure them into trying yoga. Hatha revolves more around slowly placed poses that require as much or as little effort as you are willing to put into them.
3. Bikram Yoga
Bikram is a style that I have mixed feelings on and if you’ve ever been through a bikram class you’ll understand these mixed feelings. There are 26 poses in bikram and the room that you will be practicing in will be at a whopping temperature of 105 degrees with 40% humidity. AKA it’s worse than being in Florida during the summer and you’re doing hard yoga. The class is the same no matter the studio you attend, it consists of a 90 minute, 26 pose session that is sure to make you sweat and maybe even cry. So when I say it’s not for everyone that in no means is an assess on skill or strength but on how well you can handle the heat...literally!
4. Vinyasa Yoga
My absolute favorite style of yoga is Vinyasa, and happens to be the style that I practice in the majority of my videos and pictures. Vinyasa is a combination of movement and breathing techniques, in what could be seen as more like a dance. Which makes sense because my first interaction with movement was through the art of dance. The best part about vinyasa is that you don’t stay in a pose for too long, the classes are upbeat which means that they can serve as a source of cardio as it raises your heart rate. This style is also often done to music that gets you excited and in the mood to work out and have fun.
5. Power Yoga
Power yoga is another one of my favorite styles to teach to others because it is a combination of ashtanga and vinyasa. It combines all of the best things that I love in yoga and makes it a fun yet non-traditional class. You can find it more often being taught in gyms and the classes vary from teacher to teacher because it is up to the teacher which poses and movements to emphasize. I like to include light dumbbells in my power classes!
6. Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar is the most perfection based as each pose and movement requires absolute precision. Body alignment is a very crucial role in Iyengar because the poses are held for a longer period of time so if you are doing them incorrectly this could hurt you in the long run. It is crucial that your instructor walks around the room and checks your form. When taking your first Iyengar class (even if you are an experience yogi) I recommend always taking the level one and then working your way up, these classes are harder than they appear!
7. Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is something that I do not practice as much anymore but that I did a lot when I was in college at Long Beach State. I did hot yoga up to 2x a day in college which was super hard but also was my gateway into becoming a yoga teacher as it built up my love for the practice and endurance of a craft that at first seemed very hard. Now I know what you’re thinking, this sounds a lot like bikram, but while the rooms are heated the poses are not as restricted when it comes to hot yoga. So you can have a lot more fun with it and enjoy each pose more deeply. I love the vinyasa style hot yoga classes that are heated at around 95 degrees. Practicing in a hot room allows you to get so much deeper into poses which I love!
8. Yin Yoga
Yin is one of the more relaxing styles of yoga and is super helpful for athletes who need to relax their muscles. This style is the exact opposite of quick paced yoga as some of the poses practiced are held for up to 5-7 minutes at a time! This practice also serves as a more meditative way to relax into your own skin and truly move around and explore the depths of your soul (if you can concentrate).
9. Kundalini Yoga
Last but not least is the most followed by celebrities style of yoga, Kundalini. While combining movement, poses and breathing exercises; kundalini also practices chanting and singing. In my opinion kundalini is more of a group practice of yoga, where the community of the class is more involved than the individual. Which is totally fine if you’re into that kind of thing.
Have you tried all of these styles of yoga? Which is your favorite? Comment below! Namaste!