Choose the type of yoga that suits your personality to build strength, lose weight, or find inner peace.
Choosing a yoga style appropriate for you is extremely important. There are plenty of yoga styles and you may even be confused by their variety. In any case, you should consider your goal and find the one that perfectly fits your aim and physical activity level.
What Is Yoga?
Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit and refers to the original purpose of the practice: connecting mind and body so you can experience your pure, true self and find enlightenment. Many yoga classes in the West emphasize Hatha yoga—a general term describing the physical foundation of yoga. Hatha yoga focuses on the postures (asanas) and how to use your breath (prana).
Even within Hatha yoga there are many variations, which we’ll describe below. Kathleen Carlson, a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) says: “the main thing to remember is that yoga is not only moving through the physical asana or postures. It is tuning into your breath, being present in the moment and opening your heart to new experiences.”
Types of yoga
There are a lot of various yoga types and styles but they may have some variations depending on school and teacher. Traditionally, people who are opting for vigorous practice and want to lose some weight may try Hot Yoga or its most popular variation Bikram yoga. It is usually performed in a room heated to almost 100 degrees and is similar to traditional fitness lessons.
Ashtanga (Power Yoga) and Vinyasa are also extremely energetic styles that require a lot of physical activity. Iyengar yoga is closely related to Ashtanga and is also focused on performing poses in sequence and gaining the most benefits of each pose.
Kundalini and Hatha are the slowest and the most relaxing yoga types. They involve a lot of breathing exercises and meditation.
This is the style most people associate with the concept of yoga. The focus elements of this style are poses (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama), relaxation, and meditation. The goal of this yoga style is to reach physical and mental balance.
Ashtanga yoga. This is aerobically intensive and fast style. Ashtanga is great for people looking for a good workout: it strengthens the muscles and burns calories at the same time.
This yoga type focuses on holding poses, starting from the simplest ones. Try Ayengar to improve balance, stretch, and muscle tone.
Bikram yoga (hot yoga)
This style is practiced at 40.5 degrees Celsius, and consists of 26 poses over 90 minutes. Bikram is great for de-stressing, improving circulation, weight loss, and strengthening muscles. Hot yoga is usually recommended for patients suffering from arthritis and diabetes, as well as physical rehabilitation patients. However, it is best to consult a doctor before enrolling.
This is an intense workout. Power yoga increases flexibility, strength, and tone.
This is a fusion of yoga and pilates. This style combines strength-building excesses with the development of flexibility and control. Yogalates are recommended for all groups–from beginner to advanced.
This is a therapeutic yoga style that is adjusted individually. Viniyoga focuses not on the correctness of the poses, but rather on the feelings one gets from it. This yoga type is excellent for physiotherapy patients.
Mostly focuses on lower back. The goal of this yoga style is to awaken the energy of the “coiled snake” in your lower back.