7 Yoga Styles to Explore
With so many yoga styles and all of the confusing names out there, how do you know if you are doing the best yoga class for you?
You might need to join an intro class for each one before you will truly know how your body responds. And, of course, you should always consult a medical professional before embarking on any type of new exercise routine.
But to make it easier to decide, here’s a breakdown of different types of yoga workouts, what to expect and who they are best suited for.
1. Ashtanga Yoga
Based on traditional yoga and brought to mainstream society in the 70s, Astanga yoga features six poses done in a definitive order. It is fast-paced and you’ll work up a good sweat.
Best for: Learning to synchronize your breath, people who have already been doing lots of yoga and understand the basics.
2. Bikram Yoga
Also known as “hot yoga,” the poses are performed in a room with quite hot temperatures — comparable to a sauna. There are 26 poses developed by founder Bikram Choudhury.
Best for: Deep stretching, weight loss and building stamina while flushing your body of those unwanted toxins. (Warning: Due to the high heat, this type of yoga is not for the faint of heart or pregnant women.)
3. Hatha Yoga
This is actually a generic name for yoga combinations and postures. Most modern and western styles of yoga are called “Hatha.” Specifically, whenever they combine body posture, breathing and meditation.
Best for: Waking up your mind and body, beginner yogis who want to focus on breath and relaxation basics.
4. Vinyasa Yoga
A Sanskrit word for “flow,” this type of yoga incorporates fluid, moving sequences. You are taught to go with the flow in order to test your own physical limits and strength.
Best for: Learning to breathe and power your body with conscious movements combined with focus on deep breaths. For those who want to work up a good sweat, this one is powerful.
5. Yin Yoga
Very meditative and with roots in Taoism, Yin Yoga targets your body’s connective tissues. With slow-paced, controlled movements, yin yoga helps to release tension and requires learning patience to work through each pose.
Best for: Intermediate to advanced fitness buffs, as well as athletes who may want to soothe tired and cramped muscles or joints.
6. Prenatal Yoga
With poses that are designed to be safe for expectant mothers, prenatal yoga can give a great low impact workout while helping your body strengthen and prepare for baby.
Best for: Pregnant women who want to stay fit. The stretching and breathing exercises also condition you for an easier labor and prep your back and pelvis muscles to carry the baby through to full term. (It is recommended to wait until second trimester to do some of the poses. Ask your doctor if you aren’t sure if your body can handle prenatal yoga.)
7. Restorative Yoga
Using blocks, bolsters or other such props, restorative yoga allows for more passive poses. They are held anywhere from 5-20 minutes at a time. Rejuvenating and refreshing, these yoga workouts can really wake you up without feeling like you’ve just run a marathon.
Best for: When you want to workout but feel like napping instead, like during that morning you are feeling low on energy , or when you need some active meditation. Good for when you’re going through something emotional and need an outlet to de-stress.
Are you doing the best yoga class for you? Want to learn more about yoga, wellness or get more tips on health and beauty? Be sure to follow our blog so you can learn how to be the best version of yourself for mindful plant-based living.