We all practice yoga or know someone who does but there’s not a lot of us who know about the various styles of yoga. Go through the 11 types of yoga and find out the one you would enjoy the most.
Kundalini is Sanskrit is translated into “life force energy” (also known as prana or chi), which I thought to be tightly coiled at the base of the spine. These sequences are specifically designed to release that energy and reduce stress and negative energy.
A typical Kundalini class is comprised of three parts: a chant (known as “tuning in”) followed by a brief warm-up for your spine, a kriya (which is a sequence of postures paired with breathing techniques), and a closing meditation or song.
Although there are multiple benefits of this yoga-like it builds strength, improves your mood, lowers blood pressure, etc, some yogis and gurus believe that this yoga could be dangerous as well. You need to prepare your body first to handle the burst of energy that comes through this yoga otherwise it could affect your mental balance.
Vinyasa is translated as “place in a special way” which is usually interpreted as movement synchronized with the breath. This is also known as “flow yoga” or “vinyasa flow” and is a very common style. In this session, you move in a continuous flow from one yoga posture to the next.
Some of the common poses practiced in vinyasa are child’s pose, cat-cow pose, downward-facing dog, forward fold, mountain pose, etc. The benefits of this form are: it improves your focus because you’re constantly moving from one pose to another, it relieves stress, it’s fun because it’s fast-moving and it’s good cardio.
Hatha is an umbrella term for most poses in yoga. It includes the practice of asanas and pranayama which help bring peace to the mind and body and prepares it for meditation.
This type would be best suited for people who prefer a slow-paced and gentle type of yoga and are looking to find more balance through their practice and for beginners as well.
Ashtanga yoga is a more vigorous form. There are six series in this form, each more challenging than the last one. Each series is a set of asanas, always in the same routine. Once you perfect the first level or series then only, you’re allowed to move to the next one.
Since it’s a more vigorous form of exercise, this is not usually for beginners. People who prefer fast-paced but routine schedules will enjoy this the most.
Yin is another slow-paced style. In this, you have to hold your pose or asana, initially for a minute or so, and then moving to five minutes or more. It’s designed to increase circulation in the joints and make you more flexible. It is targeted more towards the body’s connective tissues.
People who want to do some stretching and flexibility exercises after a heavy workout or those who prefer a slower form would enjoy this the most
Iyengar focuses mainly on alignment and detailed and precise movement. You usually perform a series of poses by controlling your breath. Generally, the poses are held for a few minutes.
This is a more slow-paced yoga form so people who want to feel more relaxed afterward would enjoy it the most. Also, people with injuries should try this since it is not very vigorous.
Bikram is a very consistent form. No matter where you go there’s always a set of 26 poses, and two breathing techniques. This is also known as hot yoga because the room is set at the temperature of 105-degree Fahrenheit (40.6 degrees Celsius), with a humidity of 40%. This type of yoga helps in the circulation and detoxification of the body.
People who like to sweat it out and enjoy more physical yoga but a specific routine would enjoy this type.
Power can be described as more vigorous and physically demanding. It closely resembles ashtanga but this does not have a set or a routine. Yoga teachers are free to interpret it however they want and have the freedom to choose what they want to teach.
People who are looking for less spiritual and more physically demanding yoga would enjoy this.
Sivananda is a form of Hatha. This usually has a routine of few relaxation poses, followed by breathing exercises like kapalabhati and anuloma viloma, next comes sun salutations. After that, there’s a fixed 12 poses.
This is more of a gentler form with a more spiritual aspect, those who look for this should try this style.
Restorative is a gentle, passive, relaxing style. This is designed to allow your body to get most relaxed, if you walked by this class, you’d most probably think everybody is asleep and people do fall asleep in these sessions, sometimes even the teachers take you to yoga Nidra state.
There’s only a handful of poses that are held for 5-10 minutes. People who are going through some kind of pain or are stressed for any reason and need to relax and calm their mind and body should try this.
Like the name suggests prenatal is for the moms-to-be. Pregnancy can cause a lot of pain like sore hips and aching lower backs, this type of yoga is specifically designed to ease those kinds of pain.
This usually doesn’t include poses that could be too stressful to vigorous for pregnant women, but you should still consult your doctor once before you start with this.