Picking the Right Yoga Style For You
Whether you’re just embarking on your yoga journey or a seasoned yogi, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of different yoga styles and classes that are on the scene today. Picking the right yoga style for your own unique needs is essential to your practice, because no one wants to end up in an hour long class completely confused about what they signed up for. Here’s our breakdown of the 5 most common types of yoga, what they entail and who might benefit from them:
Vinyasa is a bit of an umbrella term that can be described as a “flow.” In a vinyasa-style class, you will learn a series of poses and then connect them all using your breath. The focus of a vinyasa is to create a rhythm of breathing in and out in synchronization with your movements. The cool thing about vinyasa yoga is that it can be for pretty much anyone! Vinyasa can be beginner or advanced and may even incorporate more of a “power” yoga style. You’ll want to do vinyasa anytime you’re in the mood to move your body and get your blood flowing.
In contrast to vinyasa, hatha yoga focuses on aligning your body and breath in one posture and then holding that pose for a period of time. Hatha is generally considered to be a more traditional form of yoga, as it is intended to quiet the mind by placing attention on breathing and static poses. You may want to try a hatha class anytime you’re feeling anxious, stressed or just in the mood to slow down.
Ashtanga might seem similar to vinyasa yoga, but the two actually follow very different structures. While ashtanga yoga also focuses on movement connected to breath, the poses or “asanas” are strictly organized and a student must master the first asana before moving on to the next. This aspect of ashtanga yoga can make it one of the most physically demanding practices, since there is little variety in the poses you will experience during class. You can go for an ashtanga class whenever you are ready for a challenging experience for both your body and mind.
Hot yoga is another sort of umbrella term for any yoga practice that is performed in a heated room. Temperatures for a hot yoga class can range from 91 to 105 degrees fahrenheit! You’ll likely notice that hot yoga classes take on a variety of styles including vinyasa, hatha or Bikram. These classes can detoxify your body while intensifying your yoga practice. However, you should not attend a hot yoga class if you are pregnant or have a history of cardiovascular problems.
When you imagine a relaxing yoga experience, you’re thinking of restorative yoga. This format focuses on deep breathing exercises coupled with long, deep stretches and may even incorporate blankets and essential oils. You should try a restorative yoga class anytime you feel the need to chill and unwind.
Keep this breakdown handy to pick your next yoga class with confidence.