In Yoga we say, “Practice makes Practice.” Because Yoga is a never ending practice that can allow for changes in different areas of the body from minute to minute and day to day. Each day your body will not be the same as it was the day before.
Some days your concentration is deeper than others and your body will move to your breath and concentration. So no matter how often you practice or where you are on your yoga journey remember your mat is the room. There is no comparing in yoga, everyone’s practice is different. Everyone had a different day and has different things going on in their lives and in their bodies. Focus within and read the below guide to help you decide which practice works best for you in each moment.
We felt that these 9 types of Yoga are the most commonly seen types of practices and that having a definition of the class and what to expect might be helpful when choosing which path to take, each practice on your journey.
Hatha is a great place to start your Yoga practice if you haven’t done much or any Yoga in the past. The term Hatha is a word that refers to the teaching of the physical postures and poses in Yoga. It’s usually a very gentle class that will leave you feeling long and limber however this is not a class where you will work up a sweat.
Iyenger Yoga uses lots of Yoga props from straps and bolsters to rope walls and chairs. This type of yoga works in detail to find the proper alignment of your body in poses. It is both physically and mentally challenging, however it is generally not a practice that works up a sweat but it can build strength.
Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word meaning “flow.” in a class called Vinyasa you can expect to never to stop moving. This class is often referred to as Power Yoga. There will be brief holds on poses but for the most part, you will work through a routine that raises your heart rate and depending on the level can really be a work-out that gets you sweating.
Ashtanga is very similar to Vinyasa in that it works through a routine of poses and aligns the movements to the breath. Ashtanga is different because it’s always the exact same poses in the exact same order. It is a physically demanding practice that will raise your heart rate and get you sweating.
Anusara is a flow class that focuses on alignment. Like Ashtanga and Vinyasa, Anusara is not an easy class and can be very fast paced. You can definitely get your heart rate up and expect to sweat in this class.
Yin & Yang
Yin & Yang Yoga is only half calm and the majority of the poses are done in seated or lying down positions. Meditative music is often played. Close attention to breathing is paid in this class. Not a rigorous, sweaty class.
Bikram also known as Hot Yoga is when you move through a series of 26 poses in an artificially heated room. You really get your heart pumping and you really get sweating. Be sure to stay hydrated in this class. It’s also a good idea not to have eaten before class to avoid nausea.
Restorative Yoga aligns the physical body with the mental. In this class sometimes props such as blocks or blankets are used in an effort to help you hold poses for a longer duration of time. Restorative is meant to be restorative and generally you do not raise your heart rate and work up a sweat.
Kundalini is known to be a calming Yoga. Sessions are exercise, breath, meditation and relaxation. There is also known to be chanting in most Kundalini classes. Generally not a class that will work up a sweat.
Let us know in the comments below if you have any other types of practices you think should be added to the list.