So you’re looking to get into yoga and aren’t sure which style is best? It’s easy to get a little lost when there are so many different variations. Generally speaking, the type of yoga that you do will depend on your level, your fitness, and your desired experience.
Here we’ll take a look at a few of the most popular types of yoga so you can see what’s what.
One type of yoga that might be for you is Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga uses both breathing and body postures together and is the basis for most modern types of yoga. Yoga classes will often also use meditation techniques. Hatha is generally a slow-paced practice, using basic poses. In Hatha, you will hold a static pose for a little longer compared to some other styles.
With this in mind, Hatha can be a great place to learn your basic poses and find your feet as a beginner. During Hatha, you’ll learn postures such as cat pose, downward dog, chair pose, or cobra. As your yoga practice advances, you’ll find that you can stretch deeper into each primary pose. When you’re starting out, you’ll want to get the basics right; simple things like choosing comfortable yoga gear and a good clean yoga mat will set you up just right!
Another great yoga post is Vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga is about the connection between one pose and the following; using the breath to make this connection. It’s often considered as ‘flowing’ from one posture to the next. You will connect each pose with a transition that should be smooth and graceful. As your practice advances, you’ll become more skilled at doing so.
The sequence that is repeated throughout a vinyasa class is: ‘Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward- Facing Dog’. This sequence of poses itself is also named ‘Vinyasa’. Vinyasa yoga is faster than Hatha, so if you have a good level of fitness; this could be the class for you. Vinyasa is suitable for beginners if you’re a fast learner. If you would like a slower class to master the basics, Hatha could be preferable.
Yin Yoga is a very slow form of yoga, involving lots of floor postures. In Yin you’ll hold each pose for anywhere between three and five minutes, but sometimes longer. The intention is to meditate while you hold each posture. Yin helps one to relax and access the deepest stretch possible for the muscles and bones. Yin is great for those who wish to ease stress and tension. Those who regularly practice high-level cardio could benefit from the calming and restorative stretches involved in Yin. Such classes are great for beginners to yoga and not so ideal for those who want to burn lots of calories!
Lastly, another type of yoga is Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga focuses on six different sequences that you’ll work through at a fast pace. Each pose is intended to be synchronized with the breath. Ashtanga is aimed at those who’ve been practicing yoga for some time. If you jump straight into this class without the basics, you might be a little put-off. Even if you have a high fitness level, it’s a good plan to master the foundation poses first. Once you’ve got it sussed, Ashtanga is great for breaking a sweat!