What are the Different Types of Yoga?

Yoga is one of the most relaxing exercises that you can do, and it has come a long way in the past few years. In fact, yoga practice is thousands of years old. But it arrived in the United States in the late 1800sand only took root firmly within the last few decades. Since then, yoga has transformed from a practice associated with hippies to one that is practiced by millions of people.

You can find many different types of yoga out there. Some are more physically demanding, while others are easy, relaxing, and meditative. To be able to find the best one for you, giving a few styles and teachers a try before settling on one will enhance your overall yoga experience and challenge you to break out of your comfort zone.

If you are wondering about what your choices are, you’re in the right place. Today, we are giving you different types of yoga.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is considered one of the most athletic types of yoga. The term “vinyasa” means “to place in a special way.” It was adapted from ashtanga yoga in the 1980s. There are also many types of yoga that can be considered vinyasa flows, including power yoga, prana, and Ashtanga.

When you try a vinyasa class, you will notice that the movement is coordinated with your breath, and movement flows from one pose to another. But its styles can vary depending on the teacher. There can also be many types of poses in different sequences.

Anusara Yoga

Anusara Yoga was developed in 1997 by American yogi John Friend. It is quite new to the world of yoga. This style is based on the belief that we are all filled with intrinsic goodness. It seeks to use the physical practice of yoga to help students open their hearts, let their inner goodness shine through, and experience grace. The classes for Anusara yoga are specifically sequenced by the teacher to explore one of John Friend’s Universal Principles of Alignment, and they are rigorous for the mind and body.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Choudhury developed a school of yoga about 30 years ago, where classes are held in artificially heated rooms. It means that in a Bikram class, you will sweat so much as you work your way through a series of 26 poses. However, this type of yoga is kind of controversial because Choudhury trademarked his sequence and has sued studios who call themselves Bikram but don’t teach the poses exactly the way he says they should be done. Bikram yoga is also one of the easiest yoga classes to find. Just keep in mind that you will be staying in a heated room, so don’t forget to bring a bottle of water.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga is based on ancient yoga teachings. It was popularized and brought to the West in the 1970s by K. Pattabhi. This style of yoga is rigorous, and it follows a specific sequence of postures similar to vinyasa yoga, and each style links every movement to a breath. In this yoga type, the same poses are performed in the exact same order. It is a sweaty type of yoga and is physically demanding. Therefore, you need to ensure that you bring a yoga mat towel to class.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha is a generic term that pertains to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. In fact, almost any type of yoga class taught in the West is Hatha yoga. When a class is marketed as Hatha, it means that you will be given a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures. You won’t be sweating that much in a Hatha yoga class, but you will surely end up leaving the class feeling more relaxed, longer,and looser.

Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is very comparable to Bikram yoga. The only difference between the two types is that the hot yoga studio departs from Bikram’s sequence in some small way. With this, they need to call themselves by another name. The room will also be heated, and you will still sweat a lot in this type of yoga. Therefore, it is still essential to bring water, a towel, yoga mats, and other accessories designed specifically for hot yoga classes.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. It is a very meticulous style of yoga, with a focus on finding the proper alignment in a pose. To be able to help each student find the proper alignment, different yoga props are used, such as blankets, blocks, chairs, straps, and bolsters. In this type of yoga class, there isn’t a lot of jumping involved. It means that it will not get your heart rate up. However, it will make you discover how physically and mentally challenging it is to stay put.This type of yoga is the best choice for those who have an injury or chronic condition. It can provide you with the knowledgeable instruction you need.

Restorative Yoga

woman meditating outdoors

Restorative yoga is one of the best ways to relax and soothe frayed nerves. It is also described as yin yoga. In restorative classes, yoga accessories are also used, such as bolsters, blocks, and blankets to prop students into passive poses, to let the body experience the benefits of a pose without the need to exert any effort. Compared to a nap, restorative yoga is more rejuvenating. Most of the time, studios and gym offer this class on Friday nights, when just about everyone could use some deep rest.

Prenatal Yoga

pregnant woman doing a yoga pose

Prenatal yoga is a wonderful workout for moms-to-be. It usually focuses on easing pains associated with pregnancy, including an low aching back and sore hips. It can give stress relief, exercise, and self-care in one session. The breathing exercises can also come in handy during labor and delivery.

Since it is a type of yoga for pregnant women, it excludes poses that might be unsafe for the changing body. It is also important to check with a doctor first before starting a yoga practice if you are pregnant. It can also be great for new moms who want to start back into exercising.

Aerial Yoga

woman performing aerial yoga

Aerial yoga is also sometimes called anti-gravity yoga. It is quite new but is quickly catching on. It involves traditional yoga poses with the added support of a strong, silky hammock that hangs from the ceiling. It is used as a supportive prop in poses like pigeon or downward dog. It can also help in performing inverted poses easily, such as headstands and handstands, which can be beyond some people’s comfort levels and abilities. Aerial yoga classes can either be relaxing or challenging. It is perfect for those who are searching for a nontraditional yoga experience or anyone who wants the benefits of inversions but might fear going upside down on their own.

These are some of the different types of yoga that you might want to try. Each of these has its unique benefits. Sometimes, you might also encounter a mix of many types of yoga in the same class. We hope this helps you in choosing the best type of yoga that will fit your needs.