Yoga doesn’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to fitness and spirituality. There are many different types of yoga with unique health benefits. Therefore, beginners often struggle with deciding which yoga styles best suit their goals. In this article, Russell Jack, a Southland-based yoga and mindfulness teacher, introduces the most popular types of yoga for novices to find their perfect mind-body workout match.Anusara
This type of yoga was developed in 1997 by American John Friend. It’s one of the newest forms of yoga and aims to have students open their hearts, experience grace, and let their inner good shine. Anusara yoga can be a vigorous activity.Bikram
This is a popular form of yoga that you have probably heard of. Bikram yoga takes place in heated rooms providing a very sweaty workout, but it is not the same as hot yoga. Bikram is composed of 26 poses. Bikram classes are typically in a bright room with students facing mirrors. This helps students check that they are properly aligned while doing the poses.Hot Yoga
This style of yoga is similar to Bikram because the room is heated. But, hot yoga is not constrained to the 26-pose sequence. The sweating is thought to have benefits on the experience.Vinyasa
In Sanskirt, Vinyasa means “place in a special way.” Vinyasa yoga is known for its fluidity and intense movements. In a Vinyasa yoga class, you will typically find music playing and people linking breath to their movements. The movement is coordinated with your breath and your movement and is meant to flow from one pose to the next.Yin Yoga
This is a slow-paced type of yoga with seated postures. These poses are held for longer periods of time than other forms of yoga. Yin helps yogis find inner peace through meditation.Prenatal Yoga
This is yoga for pregnant women and can be practiced through all trimesters of pregnancy. The prenatal yoga postures work on a woman’s pelvic floor and have a focus on breathing and bonding with the baby.Restorative Yoga
This kind of yoga is a relaxing, gentle style that focuses on relaxing and stretching the body. Poses can be held for up to 10 minutes.Iyengar Yoga
This style of yoga is all about precision and detail. In these kinds of classes, you will use blankets, straps, yoga blocks, and other props that will help you work within a range of motion that works best with your body.Hatha Yoga
This kind of yoga encompasses most yoga styles that combine breathwork with physical postures. This is a good class for beginners.Kundalini Yoga
This focuses on repetitive movements that are synchronized with breathing, chanting, and meditating. The purpose of Kundalini yoga is to awaken the energy at the base of your spine to draw it up through each of the seven chakras.Jivamukti Yoga
This style of yoga incorporates vinyasa with weekly themes, those range from Sanskrit chanting, meditation to affirmations. Students will learn new things all the time, whether it is a pose or an ancient yoga teaching.
There are more forms of yoga than what we listed above, but we wanted to provide you with some details on some of the most popular types. Remember that each yoga teacher will conduct their classes a little differently, but that’s the beauty of yoga: everybody can do it in their own way.
About Russell Herbert Jack:
Russell Herbert Jack is a 24-year-old yoga instructor and mindfulness teacher from Southland, New Zealand. He is passionate about spirituality, the vegan lifestyle, animal rights, and living in sync with nature. Russell specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. Vinyasa yoga or flow yoga heightens consciousness by moving from one position to another seamlessly, using breath. Just like Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong has many healing properties to body, mind, and spirit.