In the age of global exposure, thanks to social media giants like IG and Tik Tok, most people are aware of the benefits that practicing yoga provides. Still, many people aren’t aware that there are various styles of yoga and that while they may absolutely despise one version, another may suit them perfectly.
I’ve created this brief little reference list of 7 of the most popular styles of yoga to help you decide which type of yoga is right for you. Please note this is not a complete list of types of yoga, and I encourage you to research the additional types to find your best match.
Some things to note about practicing yoga:
- Pain should not be present throughout your practice, but you will likely feel some muscle tension; it is helpful to be aware of the difference.
- You do not have to attempt or move into any postures or situations you are not comfortable with; you have the freedom to rest in a child’s or corpse pose or quietly leave without disrupting other students.
If you are practicing at a yoga studio- you should remember:
- Our bodies are diverse, so your body and posture will look different than everyone else.
- With that being said- try to avoid adjusting your posture based on those around you. If you are uncertain if you are executing a pose in the best way, ask the teacher.
- If you are uncomfortable or unsure at any point, communicate with your teacher, they are there to assist and guide you during your practice
1. Hatha Yoga
- Hatha yoga traditionally describes any style of yoga that couples or partner’s yoga poses with breathing techniques.
- Classes focus on proper pose alignment and are typically slower-paced.
- Great for all levels, especially beginners.
2. Ashtanga Yoga
- Ashtanga yoga is a systematic style of hatha yoga that partners movement with the breath.
- One of the more strenuous styles of yoga during which practitioners advance through six levels of sequences, beginning with the primary series.
- Great for individuals who have an active existing exercise or yoga routine.
Learn more about Ashtanga Yoga.
3. Vinyasa Yoga
- Vinyasa yoga is a flowing style of hatha yoga that partners movement with the breath.
- Classes typically have a peak pose or area of focus in which all poses connect to help your body and mind prepare, accomplish, then rest.
- Great for all levels as classes can range from gentle to advanced.
Learn more about Vinyasa Yoga.
4. Yin Yoga
- Yin Yoga is the opposite of yang styles of yoga, like Vinyasa and Ashtanga, in that it is slower-paced and targets deep connective tissue versus the muscles.
- Classes typically consist of seated poses held for at least two to five minutes each.
- Great for individuals looking for a deeper and slower yoga practice.
5. Restorative Yoga
- Restorative yoga is a gentle and supportive style of yoga that supports relaxation and passive stretching.
- Classes utilize props like blankets, blocks, and bolsters to support the body while resting in a handful of postures for at least five minutes each.
- Great for all levels.
Learn more about Restorative Yoga.
6. Adaptive Yoga
- Adaptive yoga is a style that is easily adaptable to suit individuals of all levels, including individuals with physical disabilities, injuries, and conditions that may require specific modifications.
- Classes are slower-paced and provide props, such as chairs and blocks, for practitioners to use throughout their practice.
- Great for all levels, especially individuals who experience physical limitations.
Learn more about Adaptive Yoga.
7. Yoga Nidra
- Yoga Nidra, which translates to yogic sleep, is a meditation technique for deep relaxation.
- Classes are structured to encourage the practitioner to develop a deeper awareness of our physical and mental states.
- Great for everyone looking to deepen the connection of mind and body.
- Hatha yoga is an umbrella term representing any style of yoga that partners movement with the breath.
- Ashtanga yoga is an intense and rigorous version of Hatha yoga.
- Vinyasa is the gentle flowy style of Hatha yoga.
- Yin yoga is seated postures held for at least 2-5 minutes.
- Restorative yoga uses blocks, bolsters, and blankets to rest in poses for upwards of five minutes.
- Adaptive yoga is ideal for individuals with injuries or conditions that impact physical abilities.
- Yoga Nidra is guided yogic sleep.
It is best to experience various styles and teachers, then incorporate those that resonate with you into your practice. Class styles vary between teachers, even if the classes are the same type of yoga.
If you have questions about which style is best for you, feel free to email me or contact your local yoga studio for more information!
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