What Type of Yoga is the Best for You?
Did you know that there are hundreds of different types of yoga practiced all over the world? Many people tend to think that there is only one main type of yoga and fail to realize how diverse yoga truly is.
To help you navigate and understand the differences, we’ve created this list of 9 popular types of yoga. Hopefully, this guide will help lead you in the right direction of finding the perfect yoga type for your style and needs!
Hatha is a generic term for any yoga that focuses on the combination of postures (or asanas) and breathing. This catch-all category of yoga is normally deemed as yoga for beginners or simply a more relaxed style of yoga.
Perfect if you’re looking for: a beginner-friendly yoga style that won’t leave you sweaty but rather leave you feeling relaxed while also learning the fundamentals of yoga.
If you’re a beginner, feel free to also check out these helpful beginner poses.
In Sanskrit, vinyasa means “to place in a special way” which refers to the sequence of postures in a practice. Vinyasa closely links the breath and the movement of the body, creating a strong mind-body connection as you flow from pose to pose. This type of yoga is very fluid and fast-paced, so expect to be challenged as you sweat through your upbeat vinyasa flow (that might also be set to upbeat music!).
Perfect if you’re looking for: a yoga flow that will challenge you, get your heart pumping, your whole body sweating, and will incorporate constant movement and connection to the breath.
Ashtanga yoga flows are very similar to vinyasas in that they focus on connecting movement with the breath. Traditional ashtanga is very structured and differs from vinyasa as it follows the same sequence of poses in the same exact order every time. This type of yoga is not practiced with any music. Ashtanga is a rigorous and challenging type of yoga that is great for more experienced yogis.
Perfect if you’re looking for: an advanced, structured yoga flow that is very challenging while following a clear sequence.
Iyengar yoga emphasizes proper form. This type of yoga class will include the use of various props like blocks, straps, chairs, bolsters, and blankets to help everyone find the proper form and alignment. This is also a great choice if you experience any chronic pains or have an injury and you would like to continue practicing yoga.
Perfect if you’re looking for: a less intense type of yoga class that will help you find proper alignment through a more classical form of yoga.
In Sanskrit, Kundalini translates to “life force energy.” This practice focuses on awakening the energy in the base of the spine and drawing that energy up through the rest of your body. Kundalini involves repetitive sequences, synchronized with the breath, along with chants and meditation.
Perfect if you’re looking for: a highly spiritual yoga practice focused on the mind-body connection.
Bikram is a very common form of hot yoga, which will be sure to get you dripping in sweat in no time. Bikram is similar to ashtanga as it follows an exact sequence of poses. This practice is a 90-minute sequence of 26 poses that are done in a room of 105°F with 40% humidity. Some yoga studios simply list “hot yoga” as their Bikram-type classes, simply to allow for more flexibility in the practice.
Perfect if you’re looking for: a hot, sweaty yoga practice that is more focused on the physical practice and follows a consistent routine.
Yin yoga is a restorative yoga practice that focuses on relaxation and mindfulness. The goal is to completely rest into each pose, breathe into the stretch, and feel your muscles releasing as you may hold each pose up to even 5 minutes or longer.
Perfect if you’re looking for: a restorative yoga practice that will help you increase flexibility, relax, and practice mindfulness and meditation.
Are you interested in learning more about mindfulness and meditation? Check out our post on it here.
Power yoga is similar to Ashtanga yoga, but it’s less structured and rigid and more flexible to the interpretation of individual instructors. Power yoga is typically more fast-pasted than other forms of yoga. It helps to both strengthen the body and improve flexibility while increasing your heart rate to help burn fat. Power yoga is a great option for those looking to lose weight through their yoga practice.
Perfect if you’re looking for: a physically demanding and challenging, fast-paced yoga practice that is not highly spiritual.
Yes. Aerial Yoga. This is a new form of yoga that is sometimes referred to as “anti-gravity yoga.” This type of yoga involves a silky hammock that hangs from the ceiling and is used as a prop to help not only in poses like downward dog but it also helps beginners to become more comfortable with being inverted in positions like headstands and handstands.
Perfect if you’re looking for: a new, nontraditional way to experience yoga and a way to conquer any fear of inversions and help you become more comfortable with them.
Did you realize that there were so many different types of yoga out there? What types of yoga are your favorite to practice?
Let me know in the comments below!