Are you curious what it’s like to do yoga on a stand-up paddleboard with dolphins nearby? What about holding the boat pose in a pool of your own sweat in a steaming hot studio? As yoga has increased in popularity, so too has the variety of yoga styles offered. From doing cat/cow with actual goats to laughing your way through a yoga session, there is something out there for everyone. Explore the most common forms of yoga to figure out what yoga styles might suit you best!
Here are Eight of the Most Popular Yoga Styles
Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa
“Hatha” can be used to describe any yoga class that features poses, or asanas. These sessions can include “vinyasa.” A vinyasa is a series of poses linked by fluid transitions that are coordinated with breaths. These types of sessions can include poses that will stretch your muscles and challenge your balance and strength. Common props used are stretching straps and blocks. Some sessions might consist of stability balls, chairs, goats, you name it. There is usually a stress-busting relaxation period at the end.
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Bikram Yoga/Hot Yoga
Bikram and Hot Yoga sessions are held in a room that is heated to 105 degrees. The humidity level in the room can be at 40-percent. Bikram Yoga involves a set of 26 poses done in a specific order. “Hot Yoga” is a generic term for any yoga sequence set in a sweat-inducing setting. The idea behind Bikram and Hot Yoga is that you will sweat like crazy and focus as the heat challenges you and enhances your mental and physical flexibility, strength, and fitness.
Take the technique of using strict sequencing of a regular set of poses, fuse it with flowing vinyasas, and you get the challenge of Ashtanga. Every breath is linked to a movement. Ashtanga is a powerful strenuous practice that will make you both sweaty and strong!
You’ll dig into stretches and releases for the core and lower body during Yin Yoga. Poses may be held for several minutes at a time. Yin Yoga can help you experience a deep release of tension in muscles and connective tissue.
These sessions draw on stillness and encourage centering. The leader might use a chime or other device to help you focus and ultimately clear your mind as you sit in silence or listen to guided meditation cues.
If you want to work on breathing, explore chanting mantras, and physical movement, then Kundalini might be for you. You’ll work on balance, flexibility, and strength inside and out through poses, vocalizations, and deep breathing techniques.
Use blankets, bolsters, blocks, and straps to get into stress-relieving positions so you can breathe deeply and effectively. Try Restorative Yoga if you’re looking for a practice that can dissolve physical and mental tension, and maybe even help relieve pain.
Sit down and yuk it up in a Laughter Yoga session that will help improve your overall mood, boost your immune system and lower stress!