It might surprise you to know that there isn’t just one type of yoga but several sub types which have evolved over the history of yoga. Each of which best suit different types of people and different needs. As a beginner, it’s best to experiment with different styles until you find the perfect fit for you. Let’s take a quick look at what these are.
When people talk about yoga, this is usually the one they mean. Most modern classes are commonly based on Hatha yoga if not stated otherwise. It’s the calm, physically focused style that looks like stretching, whilst also paying attention to the breath. Each individual pose is treated completely separate, so there is no need to flow through the movements nor keep up with a fast-paced routine. Overall, it’s the best style for calm and relaxation in addition to boosting flexibility, strength and overall well being and is my personal favorite. Bikram and Ashtanga yoga are based on this style.
Vinyasa Yoga (aka Power Yoga)
Power yoga is another popular style of yoga that will keep you moving throughout the entire class, and is perfect for shifting any stubborn pounds. Expect plenty of sun salutations and even the odd headstand or two.
Ashtanga yoga is another variation of Hatha yoga, which concentrates on fast-paced sequences of movement, alongside perfectly timed breathing. Classes are usually quite intense and will likely leave you out of breath. It promotes healthy circulation, weight loss, and helps create a clear and unperturbed mind.
Bikram Yoga (aka Hot Yoga)
Bikram yoga is a unique yoga technique as it’s practiced in a heated environment which is said to warm your muscles, easily facilitate stretching and flexibility, detoxifies the body and helps shift excess weight. Expect to do a sequence of 26 poses twice with a section of breath work midway through.
If you have ever experimented with Pilates, ballet or are a fan of precision and alignment, Iyengar yoga will be the perfect style for you. Expect to see props like blocks and straps to help you recreate these perfect forms. It can be a highly demanding and strict style, but many people will love it for these exactly qualities.
Kundalini yoga literally means ‘coiling snake’ and is the most spiritual of the types of yoga mentioned here. It’s focused on releasing energy which is believed to be located at the base of the spine, and which moves throughout the body. This is mainly achieved through deep breathing.
Which of these styles sounds most appealing to you? Will it be the calm and centered Hatha technique, the sweaty Bikram approach, the fast-paced Iyengar or Ashtanga styles, or the spiritual Kundalini? Have fun discovering which of these will be your perfect fit!
The article is courtesy of Carmen Reeves, she is passionate writer and author of many books in health and fitness.