Yoga is the only body science that is over thousands of years old. It continues to hold prowess in the health and wellness world. The science originated in India and some of its oldest styles are known as Hatha, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa. Ever since, with the changing times more versions of yoga have arrived, some of them named after the masters themselves such as Iyengar Yoga, Bikram Yoga, while some yoga styles are named after the kind of experiences they carry such as Restorative Yoga, Power Yoga, Yin Yoga, etc. While each yoga style is crafted to work on different dimensions of the body and mind, there is a point at which each yoga style unites. That is forming the eternal link between the mind, body, and breath. Picking the right kind of yoga style that suits one can be challenging owing to the various types offered at the yoga schools and studios.
In this article, we have discussed seven types of yoga that are widely renowned for offering different outcomes and benefits. By the end of the read, you shall be able to select the style from various types of yoga that resonates the most with you.
7 Different Types of Yoga & Selecting the Right Yoga Style:
#1 – Hatha Yoga:
It is nearly impossible to discuss yoga styles without mentioning Hatha Yoga. After all, this is where it all began, the first-ever yoga style and the style that laid the foundation for the yoga styles whether traditional or contemporary. The style is slow-paced with a series of standing and sitting postures that are held for several breaths before releasing the pose and moving on to the next one. Hatha Yoga focuses on gaining strength, flexibility, and relaxation while purifying the sun and moon nadis (energy channels) by syncing each asana with the breath.
If you are starting with yoga then a Hatha Yoga TTC in Rishikesh is the excellent place and style to start your yogic journey with. Enroll in a yoga school in Rishikesh and attain authentic Hatha Yoga teachings from the land of origin of Yoga.
#2 – Ashtanga Yoga:
The second yoga style that deserves a mention right after Hatha Yoga is Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is all about fluidity, motion, and rhythm while working on syncing the breath and poses as the yogi moves from one pose to the next in a fluid motion. Ashtanga Yoga is more of an aerobic exercise that works your cardiac muscles and helps with weight management as well. There are six levels in Ashtanga Yoga from the beginner level series (the primary series) to the series with advanced poses. It takes about 90 minutes to complete the primary series.
Performing sun salutations is also a part of Ashtanga Yoga and is one of the most important preparatory series of the Ashtanga Yoga style. If you are keen on studying a traditional Ashtanga Yoga course, then there is no place better than Mysore, India, the place where Ashtanga Yoga was born.
#3 – Restorative and Yin Yoga:
The restorative and yin yoga styles combine two forms of yoga and can be practiced together. These styles are slow-paced and more apt. for those who want to tap into stabilizing their meditative energies and work with yoga asanas that are more grounded. These yoga styles are perfect for relaxing the mind and body while recharging them for the day ahead of us. If you want to focus on one of these styles, then you can go with yin yoga if your goal is to gain more flexibility in the muscles as you hold each pose for several minutes before moving on to the next. Yin yoga is a floor-based style and it makes use of props (optional) to maintain the position.
On the other hand, restorative yoga aims at complete relaxation of the body and mind. During a restorative yoga session, you work on restoring the balance of the body and mind while relieving any pressure from joints and connective tissues. During a restorative yoga session, you will hold the pose for 10 minutes and even longer. This yoga style is often picked by athletes for the purpose of healing and attaining restfulness in the body.
#4 – Power Yoga:
This contemporary style of yoga is similar to the Ashtanga Yoga style, except for it does not follow a preset series. It is more focused on gaining a flow along with a good amount of cardiovascular activity to the yogi’s body. If you want to work on gaining a well-toned body along with increasing strength and endurance levels, then this is a great yoga style to go for. It also helps burn calories, especially when performed in a heated room. So, if you are looking to shed a few extra pounds, then head to a power yoga studio.
#5 – Kundalini Yoga:
Kundalini Yoga is a traditional style of yoga and ideal for yogis who aim to tap into the spiritual potential of their body and mind. Kundalini is the powerhouse that each one of us has in our bodies right close to our belly button. For most of us, it remains untapped and dormant. But if we activate it even a little, it has the potential to help us reach the height of spiritual energy and self-awareness.
During the Kundalini Yoga class, through the work of mantra chanting, extensive breath work, asanas, mudras, and meditation, the yoga masters help the students to channel their energy upwards through the chakras that exist in our bodies starting from the base of our spine where the kundalini energy is located. With regular practice, this yoga form leads the way to the spiritual enlightenment of the yogi, also known as the ‘Kundalini Awakening’. This yoga style should be studied and practiced under the guidance of a yoga master only.
Also Read: Surya Namaskar – A Spectacular Side of Yoga
#6 – Iyengar Yoga:
Named after the master and innovator of this yoga style, B.K.S Iyengar, Iyengar Yoga is one of the yoga styles that can be practiced by anyone and from any age group. The main element of this yoga style is performing standing and seated asanas and holding each posture for a few minutes. The beauty of this yoga is the use of props like chairs, blocks, straps, bolsters, etc., to offer variations and alignment to suit different abilities and body types.
#7 – Hot and Bikram Yoga:
Both of these styles are akin to each other. Infact, hot yoga is more of a subset of the Bikram yoga with much less structure. Bikram Yoga is named after its master and developer, Bikram Choudhary. During a Bikram Yoga session, you will perform yoga in a heated room up to 104 degrees fahrenheit for a duration of 90-minutes. The asanas are performed in a series of 26 poses and two pranayama exercises. Both of these are ideal yoga styles for those who are looking for a rigorous workout through yoga.
Whichever style you choose, it is best to consult your healthcare provider first.