While I do my yoga in the comfort of my own home (Doggy partner optional but highly recommended for some laughs) I have looked into joining a class once or twice. It seemed like it might be a good idea to get at least a little bit of help with some of the forms! However, I was always a bit stumped when I found out that ‘yoga’ was basically a catch-all phrase for a lot of very different types of exercise. In the end, I just kept following my FabFitFun TV & youtube yoga for beginners and yoga for runner videos but someday I wouldn’t mind signing up for a class! Making sense of all the different types of yoga seems like a pretty good first step so I started researching.
Since I was already spending time making notes and learning in an attempt to make sense of it myself I thought it would make for a pretty good article on here too. I mean if I was having trouble getting it all straight maybe some of you are too!
Different Types of Yoga, Making Sense of all the Classes
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Different Types of Yoga – Gentle, Easy Going Yoga
This type of yoga is generally considered to be a slow-paced form of yoga. This makes it great for beginners because it teaches the basics of form and breathing at a relaxed pace. Unlike some other forms of yoga, you only hold each pose for a few breaths which can make it easier for beginners to handle.
This type of yoga is very slow moving. In fact, it can be so slow that sometimes you might not feel like your doing all that much. Restorative yoga is focused on creating deep relaxation. You will use a good variety of props (including blankets) to help your body relax into the poses. This type of yoga is probably good for everyone in today’s world given how prone we all are to a fast-paced life!
Different Types of Yoga – Fast Paced, Active Yoga
This type of yoga focuses on flowing from one pose to another. It’s typically fast-paced and some classes incorporate music to help obtain the high energy feeling. In this type of yoga, you don’t spend a lot of time lingering in specific poses and is popular with HIIT enthusiasts and people who like high energy workouts and constant movement.
In this form of yoga, you follow a very specific series of poses. You will repeat this series in every class which is great if you like routines. This tends to be a fairly fast-paced type of yoga with not a lot of time in each pose. It’s sure to get your heart rate up!
Different Types of Yoga – Forms and Precision
This type of Yoga places a lot of focus on form. You will spend a lot of time making sure that each pose is performed in a precise manner with a good bit of focus on body alignment and movement. These classes tend to use a lot of props to help you achieve the proper form and hold the poses for a specific amount of time. These classes are perfect for people who are interested in form and movement & anatomy. It can also be great for people who enjoy seeking perfection.
In Yin yoga poses are held for quite a while, sometimes even several minutes at a time. You will use props like yoga blocks to help you achieve good form and relax into the poses, much like Iyengar Yoga. The poses you practice in Yin Yoga are supposed to focus on deep connective tissues which make it a great style of yoga for people who are looking for a really good stretch.
Different Types of Yoga – Hot Room & Spirituality
Like Ashtanga yoga, this type of yoga follows a set sequence of movements and poses. Unlike Ashtanga, however, it also takes place in a heated room with increased humidity. Since the sequence you follow tends to be fairly active, it’s important to stay hydrated and take rests when needed. This type of yoga seems perfect for people who enjoy both routine and an active workout style.
Hot you is exactly what it sounds like. These classes take place in a heated room with increased humidity. Unlike Bikram, the teachers are not limited by a set sequence and can teach what they like. It’s likely that a lot of these classes are different from one another based on the teachers so it’s advisable that you visit a class before committing. If you like to sweat then maybe this type of yoga is for you.
This form of yoga spends a lot of time focusing on the spiritual side of the practice. Meditation and breath work are highly represented. Some classes incorporate the chanting of mantras and place a great deal of focus on hand positions. The practice of Kundalini yoga is supposed to bring physical, mental and spiritual forms of yoga into one unit to relax your entire self and bring about an uplifted state of consciousness. If you are interested in a more spiritual experience then this style of yoga might be for you!
What type of Yoga sounds good to you? Personally, I think I will stick to a more gentle form for now!