Types of yoga
What are the different types of yoga ? There are many types of yoga for every taste and benefit. Here’s a few of the most popular:
Vinyasa is one of the most popular types of yoga classes. This creative practice links breath with movement in order to flow gracefully from one pose to the next. Depending on who is teaching, vinyasa classes can vary significantly in terms of poses and sequences. Many teachers incorporate music as well as pranayama (breathing) exercises into their classes. The best are challenging yet creative classes which allow you to get your heart rate up while still focusing on breath control and movement coordination.
Hatha yoga is another great option for beginners since classes are usually paced slower than other styles of yoga. Hatha classes are often seen as a classic approach because they incorporate breathing exercises (pranayama) and physical postures (asana). If you’re brand-new to the practice, hatha is a great way to ease into your journey without being overwhelmed by too much instruction at once. However, don’t be fooled – even though this style is more gradual, it can still provide an intense workout! Plus, if you’re looking specifically for relaxation and stress relief rather than a vigorous practice then hatha may be just what you need.
First introduced to the western world in the late 70s by Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini yoga is a combination of breath, movement, and sound. It derives from the Sanskrit word kundal which translates to “coiled energy”; this refers to the idea that we all have energy gathered at the base of our spine that needs to be released through specific practices such as chanting mantras and breathing exercises. The ultimate goal of these practices is to bring that energy up our spine through the seven chakras until it reaches the crown of our head.
Kundalini yoga practice is equal parts spiritual and physical—it will really work your core and breath with fast-moving, invigorating postures and breath exercises. These classes are pretty intense and can involve chanting, mantra, and meditation—all leading toward building self-awareness and inner peace while also strengthening your muscles in unique ways not found in traditional yoga styles like Hatha or Vinyasa Flow classes.
Ashtanga & Mysore Yoga
Ashtanga is a more advanced style. The first series begins with sun salutations followed by standing and floor poses meant to challenge your balance, flexibility and strength
Mysore is ashtanga done at each practitioner’s own pace of breath. The teacher doesn’t lead the class as so much as keep the pace and offer adjustments. This style is recommended for yogis who have mastered Ashtanga’s first two series.
Iyengar is all in the details: teachers give detailed cues and adjustments to refine postures. These classes use props to deepen and focus the alignment, making this style powerful for rehabilitation and healing.
Yin & Restorative Yoga
Yin yoga is slow-paced style which targets the connective tissues — tendons, ligaments, and fascias — rather than the muscles. In traditional “yang” yoga styles — such as Ashtanga or Bikram — it is common to move from pose to pose quickly; yin yoga poses are held for a longer period of time, allowing for a deeper stretch and meditation.
Restorative Yoga focuses on relaxation and regeneration. Often done in candlelight, many props, pillows and blankets are used to offer complete comfort.
Hot Yoga, Bikram Yoga & 26+2
Hot yoga’s heat loosens muscles, raises the heart rate, silences the mind, and promotes a sweat. First popularized when Bikram Choudrey brought a series of 26 asanas and 2 breathing exercises to America, teaching his series in hot and humid rooms.
Since Bikram’s sexually predatory nature has been revealed, many studios have distanced themselves from him, but not hot yoga, Some hot yoga offer Bikram’s style under a different name or entirely new variations, from Modo yoga, to Core Power Yoga, to sculpt classes, to hot yin.
Prenatal yoga is designed for mothers-to-be. It adapts traditional asanas to be safe for all trimesters. Sequences often focus on pelvic floor work, breath, and connection with the new baby.
Founded in the eighties by Sharon Ganon and David Life, Jivamukti is a vinyasa which has returned to its Hindu roots, teaching the other 7 limbs of yoga and Hindu parables alongside the asanas.
A blend of acrobatics, therapeutic stretching, and yoga, Acro yoga is a partner-based yoga. Typically, one partner acts as a “base,” lifting and supporting the “flyer.” With consistent practice, both partners will see improvements in their alignment, balance, and strength, but the flyer will also see improvements flexibility.
Is a fringe practice which cultivates laughing, levity, and joy. Teachers get the group belly laughing, often hard enough for an ab workout.
Face yoga uses massage techniques and exercises to relax the face, releasing stress, tension, and worry. TikTok has made face yoga more popular, with content creators claiming it makes you look younger and healthier.
The benefits of yoga
The benefits of yoga can be experienced on both a physical and emotional level. Physically, regular practice can lead to better posture, increased core strength and flexibility, improved balance and coordination, improved respiration, and a healthy heart rate. It can help reduce stress levels by promoting relaxation, calming the mind and improving breathing techniques. Emotionally, it helps to reduce anxiety and depression as well as improve overall moods. It teaches greater self-discipline which could help individuals to focus better on day-to-day tasks or activities. Regular practise can also increase one’s sense of self-awareness that enables people to manage their emotions better and make better decisions quicker.
Studies show that yoga can help regulate hormones in women – leading to healthier menstrual cycles for some –and improve fertility for men as well as aiding sexual performance. Additionally, yoga practitioners have been known to experience increased productivity levels at work thanks to enhanced concentration abilities brought about through consistent practice that are capable of outlasting even after sessions are finished!
And with such a rich variety of options, there truly is a yoga class out there for everyone. From yin when you need to decompress, to vinyasa when you want a good workout, each style has its bene
Yoga Events & Retreats
- Tuesday Feb 15| Online
- Sunday Jan 8| Santa Monica
- Friday Feb 10| Islington
- Saturday Feb 11| Culver City