As the centuries passed, many varieties of yoga evolved, each one emphasizing different criteria-continuous movement, the precision of body placement, length of time spent in the hold, intensity or depth of stretches or spiritual renewal, and psychic restoration.
Whatever your fitness or spiritual goal, you will find that yoga offers something for nearly everyone. The following list covers some of the most popular versions of yoga taught today, along with tips on their target audience and level of difficulty. You might want to take a few sample classes covering several types of yoga until one click. You may also find more than one discipline that works if you desire different results at different times. Always remember that at any level of yoga, the instructor is there to answer questions and guide you safely.
This slower type of yoga, which unifies body and mind, requires the practitioner to hold basic poses for the count of a few breaths. Technically, the Sanskrit term Hatha-from ha “sun'” and tha, “moon”-refers to any yoga that teaches physical posture. As a gentle introduction to yoga, it is ideal for beginners.
Here the students learn to link continuous movements and to breathe in a dance-like, dynamic flow. Transitions are quick, and sessions become aerobic-like, with rhythmic music. Vinyasa is especially great for runners and endurance fans.
This discipline focuses on precise movements and correct body alignment while the poses still; utilizes props such as bands, blankets, and blocks. Detail-oriented students will enjoy these classes but will need at least one beginner session to learn the technique. Iyengar works well for older students or those recovering from injuries.
This discipline features six sequenced poses that create internal heat as you work your way through them. Some classes have a leader calling out poses. Mysore style requires students to work on their own. Ashtanga is a good fit for anyone who likes movement. Routine and strict guidelines.
You’re guaranteed to sweat as you progress through 26 poses and two breathing exercises in a room heated to 105*F. All classes feature the same 90 minutes sequence. Newbies should take things slowly at first. Bikram is best for students who like an established routine and want to strenuous workout.
Like Bikram, this performance is in a heated studio, but the instructor does not limit the poses of 26. Muscles can move into deeper poses, but there is also a risk of overstretching. These classes appeal to those who require the guarantee of a robust, drenching workout.
With its cult-like following, including many celebrities, this discipline combines challenging mental and physical requirements with controlled breathwork and the inclusion of chanting, singing, and mediation. It appeals much to those seeking a spiritual or internal connection to their workout.
This slow, studied form of yoga incorporates minutes-long holds that target connective tissues and fascia and restores elasticity and length to limbs. It also combines meditative qualities that have therapeutic potential and for tense or stressed individuals who need to unwind and stretch.
This slow-moving discipline with its longer holds in meant to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing students to achieve deep relaxation. A prop may include bolsters, blankets, and blocks. It works well to reduce insomnia, anxiety, and the jitters, and benefits athletes taking a recovery day.
No matter what style of yoga you choose to do, you will likely see improvements in many areas of your health. By practicing regularly, you can:
- increase your flexibility
- increase muscle tone and strength
- improve your circulatory and cardio health
- helps you sleep better
- increase your energy levels
- improve athletic performance
- reduce injuries
- detoxify your organs
- improve your posture
- improves anxiety and depression
- helps with chronic pain
- release endorphins that will enhance your mood
- and so much more…
Now that you know some of the benefits of yoga, you can begin your practice.