8 Types of Yoga : A simple guide to choosing the right style of yoga for you.
When going to a yoga class for the very first time it’s common for the teacher to ask: ‘What types of yoga have you practiced before?’
In the beginning, what most of us are actually thinking is…‘Er...the stretchy kind’. If you couldn’t tell your Iyengar from your elbow, don’t worry, you’re certainly not alone!
With a relative feast of yoga types to choose from, whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete newbie, finding the right style to suit your needs can be challenging. Swat up on yoga styles with the help of our handy little guide. That way you can discover the perfect yoga practice for you, and rock out your fab new yoga pants ASAP!
In a nutshell: All yoga is technically “Hatha” as the original meaning is the practice of any physical postures. But from a Hatha class you can expect a gentler, slower moving sequence, that will cover a collection of poses to improve flexibility and strength.
Good for: People who are new to yoga. Hatha provides a great introduction, without being too demanding.
In a nutshell: A “dynamic” style of yoga (which is yoga code for knackering!). It uses 6 series and always follows the same specific sequence of movements, in the exact same order.
Good for: People who enjoy structure. Ashtanga is ideal for lovers of routine who also want a physically challenging practice.
In a nutshell: Yoga postures are heavily combined with breathing, the chanting of mantras and meditation. More so than other styles of yoga, there is a strong focus on improving consciousness.
Good for: People looking for a spiritual practice.
In a nutshell: 26 poses are performed in a specific series (which is always the same) for 90 minutes, in a room heated to 40°C degrees. Hot yoga is similar, yet the temperature ranges from 32-40 degrees instead.
Good for: People who love to work up a sweat.
In a nutshell: Sometimes referred to as ‘Vinyasa flow’, yoga asanas are performed in a fluid and faster paced sequence which moves, in a dance like way, from one posture to the next.
Good for: People who want to keep moving. If you’re more Grateful than Namaste, enjoy cardio routines and HIIT workouts, then Vinyasa yoga will feel like home.
In a nutshell: Precision is the key to Iyengar yoga. The focus is on finding the correct alignment whilst you are in a pose, rather than athletically jumping around. Props (such as blocks, blankets, straps and chairs) are often used.
Good for: People who have suffered an injury.
In a nutshell: A slower paced style of yoga. Postures are held for a longer amount of time, to achieve a deeper stretch of the body, whilst calming the mind. (It’s less physical, so be sure to pack your Celestial sweatshirt to keep warm).
Good for: People wanting to relax.
In a nutshell: This relatively new form of yoga, is also known as anti-gravity yoga. Traditional poses are adapted to be used alongside a suspended silk attached to the ceiling (much like a hammock).
Good for: People who love to play. Aerial yoga is a great addition to an established yoga practice and those looking to try something different.
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