Before practicing yoga, you should know about the different types of yoga in order to decide which kinds of yoga actually suit your personality. And, this article here is all about that, so let’s get started!
There are several types of yoga styles and they can be classified as vigorous, relaxing, restorative, etc. The choice depends on whether you want physical or mental fitness, flexibility, to strengthen any body part or to help with any chronic pain and so on. However, the basic types of yoga include Ashtanga yoga, Bikram yoga, Hatha yoga, Kundalini yoga and Vinyasa yoga in particular.
Out of the different types of yoga there is, let us discuss the top 14 types of yoga styles that you can adopt.
14 different types of yoga for you
It includes six nonstop series of yoga poses. Ashtanga yoga is offered by many studios all over the world. In this yoga style, the practitioner moves at the pace of his/her breath while moving from one pose to another. It helps to focus the mind and control the flow of the breath through the body.
However, this style of yoga is not for beginners as the Ashtanga series involves a very physically demanding sequence of postures.
This yoga is commonly known for the hot environment and controlled humidity in which it is practised. No matter where you go, a “hot yoga” class will include twenty-six postures and two breathing techniques in ninety minutes, in a room heated to 40.6 degree Celsius (105-degree Fahrenheit), with a humidity of 40%-45%.
It is the best yoga style for managing weight, flushing out toxins, and achieving the goals of a flexible body.
Hatha yoga includes different physical postures of yoga, the practice of asanas, meditation, and pranayama (breathing exercise). It is a gentle form of yoga that brings peace, balance and flexibility to your mind & body.
This basic type of yoga is great for beginners or students who prefer a more relaxed style where they can hold the yoga poses for a longer duration.
It is a relatively modern practice, similar to Hatha yoga but different when measured with respect to the attitude, alignment, and actions. It generally starts with a chant and ends with a quiet meditation, while focusing on the proper alignment of the mind-heart-body.
It should be practiced only with qualified instructors in the method they suggest as it includes almost 250 poses.
In this kind of yoga pose, you pay closer attention to the precise musculoskeletal alignment within each pose. You may use blocks, belts, bolsters, chairs, walls, and blankets, to accommodate injuries, structural imbalance, tightness while performing proper yoga poses.
This style focuses mainly on body relaxation and cleansing your mind. Though all the different types of yoga help in releasing the tension and relaxing the body & mind, restorative yoga in particular focuses on down-regulating the nervous system i.e., helps you to de-stress yourself.
Yoga poses included in this form are some of the best yoga poses. This style basically involves some handful of yoga poses repeated again and again with the help of props on a yoga mat.
Kripalu yoga includes three things: wilful practice, wilful surrender and meditation in motion. In simple terms, in this style you will practice some bodily movements needed to release the physical and mental tensions and enter into deep meditation.
If you are a spiritual seeker, you can totally opt for this yoga style. In Kundalini yoga, you will concentrate on awakening the energy at the base of your spine and drawing it upwards through seven chakras.
This style of yoga is practiced for spiritual growth and it includes meditation, breathing techniques, and chanting of mantras like A-U-M.
Power yoga or vinyasa Flow Yoga
Resembling ashtanga yoga greatly, power yoga is used to build the upper-body strength and to maintain flexibility and balance with series of rigorous workouts while keeping the practitioner’s body on the move.
You are advised to take your early classes on a slower style of yoga before jumping on to power yoga.
Jivamukti yoga resembles Ashtanga in the power yoga style through asanas. In addition to this, its classes include meditation, music, affirmation, chanting, and meditation.
As a beginner, your class starts with standing poses which are followed by instructions on forward bends, backbends, and inversions. Your instructor may teach you some chants as well.
“Who am I?”, if this question often arises in your mind, the Sivananda yoga style is designed specifically for you. It includes 12 basic postures that increase the flexibility and strength of the spine. It is based on some main principles: proper relaxation (Savasana); proper diet (vegetarian); positive thinking (Vedanta); proper exercise (asanas); proper breathing (pranayama); and meditation (dhyana).
Viniyoga is practised for developing an integrated practice for each person as they grow and prosper in their life. It is a yogic tool to individualize and actualize the process of self-analysis and individual transformation.
This yoga is ideal if you want flexibility, body awareness, relaxation and recovery from an injury.
Ladies who are expecting a baby and are in their trimesters, can do this yoga after taking proper advice from their doctor. This is the best yoga style for expectant moms as it includes breathing exercises and pelvic floor work which strengthens the bond between the mother and the baby and also prepares her for labor and delivery of the baby.
Yin yoga can be quite challenging for you as a beginner. It is a slow-paced style in which poses are held for a longer time to apply moderate stress to the connective tissue- the ligaments, fascia, tendons. It increases the blood circulation in the joints and improves your overall flexibility.
Which style of yoga will suit your personality?
Before deciding this, you should analyze various factors such as your main aim of practicing yoga, your fitness level, your overall personality, etc.
- If you are inclined towards mediation and spiritual aspects, you can try those kinds of yoga which include plenty of meditation, chanting, and philosophic parts of yoga like the Kundalini yoga and Jivamukti yoga.
- If you want to recover from any injury or any other medical conditions, you can try Iyengar yoga, Kripalu yoga, or Viniyoga.
- Lastly, if you seek physical fitness and proper posture, go for Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga yoga, Hatha Yoga or Power yoga.
Now that you know about the different types of yoga, follow the guidelines given above to choose the best yoga style for yourself. However, it is advisable to visit your doctor before practising any form, especially, if you have any medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes or if are in your 30s.