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9 Types of Yoga: Which Style Is Best for You?

9 Types of Yoga: Which Style Is Best for You?

Not all yoga is created the same. If you’ve never tried yoga, or you tried it but didn’t like it, maybe it’s because you simply haven’t found the right yoga. 

There are so many different types of yoga. One might be completely wrong for you, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one out there that would fit your lifestyle and give you the benefits you want.

Types of Yoga

Let’s take a closer look at the types of yoga, and perhaps you can find one that you want to try. If you like the idea of several of them, go ahead and try them out–maybe variety is the key to living your best life.

1. Vinyasa Yoga

This is probably the most common type of yoga class, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one in your area. It’s what most people have in mind when they think of yoga, which is a slow and gentle transition from one pose to the next with a focus on breathing. 

You’re not going to burn many calories in most of these classes, but you will get a good workout that stretches, strengthens, and works on balance.

2. Hatha Yoga

Hatha is much like vinyasa yoga, it’s pretty common, and classes will be what you expect. The focus is on breathing, mind, body, and poses. 

Hatha means force. It’s not that you’re forcing your body to do postures, but you’re forcing your breath. The modern classes have a two-pronged approach that’s both physical and spiritual and working together, they create a ton of benefits. 

This is an ideal class for a beginner or someone who likes a more gentle workout. If you want a bigger challenge, try vinyasa.

3. Hot Yoga

This has been a huge trend for several years, and you’ll probably find at least one hot yoga studio near you. The idea of hot yoga is that the warmer your muscles are, the deeper your stretch will be.

There’s some flexibility in these classes, so that the positions may change regularly. Music is optional, the heat level will vary, sometimes humidity will be added, and the length of each class is different. This means if you don’t like the class at one studio, you might like it at another–it really all depends on how you feel about heat. 

4. Bikram Yoga

This type of yoga is the precursor to hot yoga, but it’s very rigid, and you’ll find that it’s the same everywhere you go. There is a set sequence of poses that you do in a 90-minute class. The temperature will be 105°, and the room will be set at 40% humidity. 

It’s a scripted class, so if you love routine and a challenge, then this is it for you.

5. Katonah Yoga

This is the latest trend in yoga, and it’s so new that you maybe haven’t heard of it, and you might not be able to find a class around you. 

While Katonah Yoga was developed 40 years ago, that’s not a very long time when you consider that yoga’s roots reach back about 5000 years. The best way to picture this type of yoga is traditional poses that are enhanced with props and a heavy focus on math, well geometry to be precise. 

This is actually a fun new way to do yoga, and people who like to see patterns in the world and meaning in patterns will love it.

6. Yin Yoga

This form of yoga is also more obscure, and it might be challenging to find in smaller cities. You might also hear yin yoga referred to as Daoist yoga. 

The approach to this type of yoga targets deep connective tissues. This means there are fewer positions, and they’re easier to achieve, but you hold them longer to get the most out of each one. 

Think of it as a deep stretching class, which makes it great for people with joint problems who are working on their flexibility. 

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7. Kundalini Yoga

If you want a more spiritual approach to your fitness, then this is the yoga class for you. Created by Yogi Bhajan, this approach is designed to awaken the practitioner’s inner energy. 

Expect mantras, meditation, breathing techniques, as well as stretches. For physical results, this might not be the best choice, but if you’re looking for a mental boost and improved cognitive function, give it a try.

8. Iyengar Yoga

This yoga is ideal for beginners and anyone who is recovering from an injury, or anyone who needs posture and alignment work. It’s also wonderful for young people to help them learn body and positional awareness.

The focus is all on alignment, and the teachers are very well trained in proper positioning. Think of this as physical therapy yoga. It’s fantastic for reteaching your body how to align correctly. 

9. Ashtanga Yoga

This is for those of you who love a challenge and are perfectionists at heart. 

This practice features a set series of poses. There are six different series, but you only get to move on to the next one once you’ve perfected the previous series. 

While no yoga class is a competition, this is the closest you’re going to get, and the competition is with yourself. If this is what inspires you, then ashtanga is your yoga.

These are just a few different types of yoga. As you can see, there are many options available, and finding the right one is just a matter of learning what’s available and giving it a try. If you want help sticking to your new journey of living a life in balance, follow LiveWell on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs, for inspiration and information.

Living Well

Who says yoga isn’t for them? They obviously haven’t found the right yoga yet. As you can see, there are a bunch of different yoga classes you can try. Start with an easy and low-intensity class, and work your way up to a very challenging class or an extremely hot one. Or transition to a more spiritual class, and work your mind and body at the same time.

Yoga is so full of benefits that there’s literally something for everyone. No matter what your health or fitness goals are, give the studio you’re interested in a call to see what types of yoga they practice. 

Check if they have classes geared towards beginners and if there is one class that better suits your needs. You’ll never know how yoga can help you until you try.