8 TYPES OF YOGA YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ~
Whether you’re just starting with your yoga journey or you want to try something new, it would be beneficial to be familiar with different yoga practices. If you’re one who stresses over what to try first or what to focus on, that’s absolutely normal! Given the wide range of yoga practices today, being familiar with the common methods will give you a pretty good start.
The style you choose, needless to say, should match your need, your ability, and your comfort. There is a wide range of yogic techniques, but if you have just started doing these exercises, here are 8 types of yoga every beginner should know about. Not only do they involve simple and basic poses, but these techniques are also a good foundation for taking it to the next level. For now, let’s start exploring 8 most common types of yoga to help you at the beginning of your journey.
Ashtanga yoga is actually one of the most common and most popular practices around the world. Ashtanga, meaning eight limbs or branches, is a method that entails performing a progressive sequence of postures and synchronizing each style to your every breath. This process is physically challenging, but it is known to improve blood circulation and detoxify your internal organs. The synchronization of each sequence of poses to your breath is called ‘vinyasa’, which is also a well-known practice.
- Bikram and Hot
Bikram yoga, created by Bikram Choudhury, is done in hot, sauna-like rooms. While doing a sequence of poses (26 basic postures in total and each carried out twice), you are also likely to burn calories because of all the sweat you produce while performing each posture. The room is heated up to 105 degrees, so you’ll already sweat before even doing the poses. Hot-yoga is almost the same as Bikram-yoga, but there is just some difference in the sequence and the poses. If you decide to try either of them, lots of water and a towel come in handy!
Prenatal yoga, as the term implies, involves yoga postures applicable for expectant mothers. The postures involved in prenatal yoga are customized to give expecting moms the assistance and exercise their bodies need during pregnancy. Prenatal yoga is also appropriate and helpful as postpartum exercise, especially for those who want to regain their strength and to get back in shape.
Yin yoga, which is also called Taoist yoga, is a recommended practice if you want to relax and find your zen. Yin yoga is a meditative yoga method, which helps provide balance to your mind and body. Unlike other yoga practices that demand challenging physical effort, the postures in yin yoga do not necessitate exertion of power, although this method may require your patience and a bit of strength, as poses in yin yoga are held much longer.
Anusara yoga had only been introduced to the yoga world in 1997, by American yogi, John Friend. In other yoga practices, you are somehow required to adhere to certain sequences, specific postures, as well as breathing and timing. In Anusara yoga classes, students are encouraged to express themselves through their poses, using their own grace and capability.
Vinyasa, Sanskrit word for ‘to place (something) in a special way’, is a yoga practice that incorporates fluid transition of movements, linking your breath to every action. Although Vinyasa does not really demand lots of physical effort, a 60-minute class is known to burn relatively more calories than other yoga practices. If you’re one who loves challenges and variations, you might just love Vinyasa.
A sequence in restorative yoga involves a few poses only, compared to other yoga practices. Poses include gentle body twists and bends, which you have to hold longer. In restorative yoga, students use props to assist them in their poses to give them a more relaxing feel by not exerting too much strength. Since restorative yoga is meant for relaxing, it would be fitting to do this with a calm ambiance, and preferably on a weekend, when you can continue resting afterward.
- Yoga Hybrid
Once you’ve tried different yoga practices and you want to try something new, fun, and more challenging, yoga hybrids might be a good thing to consider. Also, if you’re having a difficult time choosing from the available yoga classes, why not try combining your favorite yoga methods and postures? You can try aerial yoga, Bikram-Vinyasa hybrid, and maybe crossfit with yoga, if you’re up for a bigger challenge!
There is no such thing as ‘the best practice’. Again, choosing the yoga method for you depends on your goal, your need, your comfort, and your capabilities. But isn’t it a good idea to try different techniques to know which fits your style and the one you most enjoy and most comfortable with?
If you still can’t decide on which yogic techniques to focus on, don’t fret. We’ll surely explain each practice in detail in our succeeding articles!