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The 5 Most Popular Types Of Yoga & How To Know Which One Is Right For You
Wellness

The 5 Most Popular Types Of Yoga & How To Know Which One Is Right For You

There’s nothing like keeping your body in movement while reducing stress, strengthening your full body, and cultivating a new level of mindfulness. While you might think you have to find five different exercises to experience all of these benefits, yoga is a practice that can provide these and more.


Yoga is a holistic practice that combines physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, to promote overall well-being through movement. There are countless benefits to practicing yoga that extend to the physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of our health and well-being such as improved flexibility, strength, and mental clarity. While some may think of yoga as a one-size-fits-all practice, one might be surprised to learn that there are different forms of yoga that can meet your needs.

Through a range of positions and postures, breathwork, and the utilization of blocks and props, there’s a style of yoga that’s sure to suit your specific needs and goals, and today we’re here to guide you to the one that’s just right for you.

Hatha Yoga: 

Hatha yoga is a traditional form of physical yoga practice that focuses on harmonizing the body and mind through various postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), and meditation techniques. The term "hatha" is derived from two Sanskrit words: "ha," which means sun, and "tha," which means moon. It symbolizes the balance and integration of opposing forces within oneself.

Hatha yoga aims to create a state of balance and unity between the physical body, energy channels (nadis), and the mind. It involves holding asanas (postures) to improve strength, flexibility, and balance while promoting the flow of energy throughout the body. These postures are often combined with conscious breathing techniques to deepen the experience and help calm the mind.

You should try this if:

You’re a beginner looking to create balance between strength and flexibility and understand the fundamentals of yoga.

Vinyasa Yoga: 

Vinyasa yoga is a popular style of yoga that emphasizes the synchronization of breath with movement. The term "vinyasa" refers to “a flow” and in Vinyasa yoga, practitioners flow through a series of poses in a smooth, continuous manner, connecting each movement with a breath.

Unlike some other styles of yoga that have a fixed sequence of poses, Vinyasa yoga offers more flexibility and creativity in structuring a class.

While there are foundational poses and sequences that are commonly used, Vinyasa classes often vary in terms of the specific poses, pace, and sequences employed by different teachers.

You should try this if:

You like a more dynamic style of movement that will result in increased strength, stamina, toning, and endurance.

​Ashtanga Yoga:

Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic and physically demanding style of yoga that refers to the “eight limbs" in Sanskrit. This style is made up of a specific sequence of postures (asanas) that are practiced in sequential order. This sequence is designed to purify and strengthen the body, improve flexibility, and cultivate mental focus and discipline.

You should try this if:

You’re looking for a challenge as it is physically demanding and recommended for more advanced individuals in the practice.

Hot Yoga: 

Hot yoga consists of a series of 26 postures practiced in a heated room. The high temperature helps to warm and stretch muscles, enhance flexibility, and promote detoxification. The sequence of postures is designed to provide a full-body workout and improve strength while building endurance and mental clarity.

You should try this if:

You’re looking to turn up the heat on your yoga practice, relax, and give your body a good detox.

Yin Yoga: 

Yin yoga is a gentle, slow-paced practice that targets connective tissues, joints, and deep fascial networks in the body. It is a meditative practice that focuses on holding poses for an extended period aiming to improve flexibility, increase circulation, and cultivate relaxation.

You should try this if:

You’re looking for a calming yoga experience. This style is perfect for beginners who are looking to cultivate mindfulness and inner stillness.

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Featured image by anon-tae/Getty Images

 

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