What Are the Different Types of Yoga?

    what are the different types of yoga

    Whether you’re craving a deep stretch or a sweaty workout, there is a type of yoga that will meet your needs. Many don’t realize the wide array of styles that exist: Hatha, Yin, meditation, Vinyasa, and Ashtanga, to name a few. Each kind serves a different purpose, nourishing the mind-body connection in its own exceptional ways.

    Hot Vinyasa

    Hot yoga has become the trendy new way to get in a workout. Many studios crank up the heat to 105 degrees for an hour-long sweat session. The intense heat increases your flexibility by expanding your range of motion. In other words, touching your toes feels a bit easier as you flow through a hot class! The benefits of the high temperatures go beyond just deepening your practice; hot yoga can benefit your skin, cardiovascular health, and stress. That said, hot yoga is not for everyone. If you have preexisting health conditions, you should certainly check with your physician before diving into such high-intensity yoga.

    Ashtanga Yoga

    Vinyasa stems from Ashtanga yoga, which anyone could predict given both of their challenges. Vinyasa relates to Ashtanga in the ‘flowing’ sense, where you connect your inhales and exhales with each movement throughout the flow. On a different note, Ashtanga yoga is a series of unchanging postures that you are guided through each class; the postures and the order in which you practice them is always the same. The series starts with a ton of Sun salutations, followed by standing balances and floor postures. The poses are demanding, even for some of the more experienced yogis. If you are up for a challenge, Ashtanga classes can provide you an invigorating experience on your mat.

    Yin Yoga

    Contrary to the intense workout of hot yoga, Yin yoga focuses on meditation as you embrace bodily sensations. In this kind of class, you are led into deep meditative states during deep posture holds. Yin yoga promotes deep stretching of your connective tissues by breathing into the poses. For those who like a slow-paced style of yoga, Yin is the way to go. You can be sure to find stillness in your thoughts during this class, and likely leave feeling more flexible than when you walked in.

    Hatha Yoga 

    Hatha yoga is the umbrella term for many types of yoga. It provides a harmonious blend of stretching, strengthening poses, mindful breathing. Whereas vinyasa is fast-paced and fluid, Hatha yoga slows it down. This kind of yoga guides you through posture holding and developing core strength. In other words, Hatha will provide you a happy medium between the peace of yin and the intensity of vinyasa.

    What Are the Best Types of Yoga?

    Some think yoga is solely a difficult workout, and some think it is merely sitting on your mat humming, “Ohm’. Neither stigma captures the versatility of the practice. The best type of yoga is dependent on you. Yoga is what you make of it, and the absence of rules makes it all the more fun to hit your mat. Whether you prefer a slow flow to a fast flow or a hot practice to a cold one, there is absolutely a style of yoga for you. 

    Main Photo by Carl Barcelo on Unsplash

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    • Laura is a passionate writer, and especially enjoys writing about the latest in science and mental health. She is on track to becoming a certified yoga instructor, currently leading meditation classes at a local nursing home. In addition to writing for New Theory Magazine, Laura works in an elementary school with autistic students as an ABA Aide. She hopes to one day pursue a PhD in clinical psychology so she may work towards bridging the gap between yoga therapy and psychological treatment.

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