We love yoga for its ability to increase strength, improve flexibility and create that mind-body connection. However, if you’re new to yoga or simply looking to explore new styles, looking at the class schedule can be overwhelming. Check out this guide to help choose the types of yoga that you’re most likely to fall in love with.
Best for: Beginners or anyone looking to try yoga
Hatha is another word for poses, and most Western Yoga classes will fall under the style of “Hatha”. There is a sense of balance within each of the hatha yoga poses, with you finding the place between opposing forces and really working even while holding a static pose.
Best for: Those who want to get a good sweat on in their yoga sesh
Vinyasa, also frequently referred to as “flow yoga”, refers to a moving through different yoga poses. You can expect fluidity, and transitions between the poses. Because you’ll be continuously moving throughout the class, you can expect your heart rate to increase, meaning you’ll burn more calories.
Best for: Those looking to elevate their yoga practice or step outside their comfort zone
Bikram is a style of hot yoga, in which 26 poses are practiced in a heated room for 90 minutes. The heat takes you outside your comfort zone, and forces you to embrace the discomfort. You can also expect major sweatage and detoxifying.
Best for: Athletes looking to cross-train, or those who want a complete workout from their yoga class
Ashtanga is a modern form of vinyasa, and focuses on synchronizing the breath with your movement. This more athletic form of yoga helps to build strength, particularly in the core, while also challenging you cardiovascularly.
Best for: Rest days, after a hard workout or for those dealing with injury or illness
From it’s name, its easy to tell restorative yoga is a little more low-key, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits! In addition to relaxing and calming the body, restorative yoga is great for improving flexibility. It’s also a great challenge for your mind, encouraging you to practice mindfulness.
Best for: Those who love a tough workout that also embraces their spiritual side
Kundalini yoga is a unique blend of the spiritual side of yoga with the more athletic side. You can expect plenty of repetitive movements, breathing exercises and mantras to help detoxify your mind and body.
Best for: Those who may be intimidated by yoga or feel they lack flexibility
Iyengar yoga really hones in on the fine details of each posture, allowing your to focus on alignment and awareness of your breath. Yoga props such as blocks and straps are often used to help you find the correct place in each posture.
Best for: Those who love a good challenge and who aren’t afraid to laugh at themselves.
The version of yoga that is taking Instagram by storm, acroyoga is a fusion of yoga and acrobatics. Done with a partner, acroyoga will really challenge your balance and coordination, You can also expect the benefits of developing a great partnership with whomever you “fly” with.
Best for: Water lovers, and those struggling with joint issues or injury
Practiced in the pool, aqua yoga is an innovative form of yoga in which you practice yoga moves in the water. Because your body is supported by the water, you’re able to improve your range of motion and boost flexibility without putting stress on your joints. It also allows you to practice poses you can’t yet nail yet on land, such as handstands.
Best for: Those looking for a style of yoga to complement more athletic styles of yoga like vinyasa or running, cycling or weight training
Yin Yoga is a type of yoga that works deeply into the joints and connective tissues. This means that you’ll hold each pose for at least a few minutes, really working deeply into the posture. Additionally, most of the poses in yin yoga are more passive, and often done on the floor.
Best for: Experienced stand-up paddleboarders or intermediate to advanced yogis looking for a different challenge
SUP Yoga is so popular because practicing a yoga flow on a paddleboard requires a ton of balance, meaning that your core will be activated the entire time. Many also find that practicing yoga on the water creates a calm, almost meditative experience.
MORE ON YOGA:
- What to Eat Before and After Yoga
- 7 Yoga Poses to Curb Back Pain
- Not a Yogi? Why Yoga Can Still Enhance Your Exercise Routine
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