Yoga has evolved since it began in ancient times. In this modern-day, there are more than 20 forms of yoga invented for everyone. But here are the eight basic types of yoga to make it easier for you to determine which is the one for you.
Hatha yoga is known as a basic introduction to yoga. It features slow and gentle poses focused on breathing and relaxation. If you are a beginner looking where to start or you just prefer a more relaxed yoga session, this is perfect for you. It is not the most strenuous of yoga forms, but it will leave you with a relaxed body and a clear mind.
In an article written by Deborah Koshaba, PsyD, she stated, “There is a growing body of research to back up yoga’s mental health benefits. Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system.”
Vinyasa yoga comprises of connected movements and poses, followed by synchronized breathing. It is meant to be fluid and energetic. Upbeat music will be played to accompany this dance-like yoga. You will transition from one pose to another and learn how to link your breathing with movement. If you want a dynamic form of yoga, this is the one for you.
Similar to Vinyasa, this type of yoga also encourages you to synchronize breathing with movement. However, Ashtanga yoga has a more traditional approach. Classes are usually silent. Moreover, the sequence of the poses, from start to end, is always the same. Ashtanga yoga is for those who are familiar with fast-paced, vigorous workouts.
“The practice of ashtanga yoga,” wrote Tracy Ochester, PsyD, “asks much of its devotees. In response, we develop “grit”, a quality of determination and perseverance fueled by a deep passion for the practice and its effects. Ashtanga practitioners quickly discover that our behavior in everyday life impacts our practice.”
A guarantee of this type of yoga is you will sweat a lot. Bikram yoga classes are in artificially heated rooms, where the temperature can go up from 95 to 108°F. This temperature can aid you in doing flexible poses. It also encourages you to sweat, which expels toxins from your body. If you are up for a good workout that can detoxify your body and mind, Bikram yoga might be fit for you.
Iyengar yoga is all about the details. The focus of this yoga type is on precision, alignment, and breathing technique. Yoga props will also be involved. These props serve to improve posture and reduce the risk of injury.
Classes are usually held at a slow pace, allowing the students to learn the poses at their own pace. Iyengar yoga is suitable for people with an injury, chronic condition, or under rehabilitation.
Known as one of the oldest forms of yoga, Kundalini is for your inner energy. Movement and breathing are linked together with meditation and chanting. This form of yoga is designed to tap into your seven chakras. It starts from the base of your spine to the rest of your body. It also awakens your creative energy. For those seeking tranquility within the body and mind, Kundalini yoga is for you.
Jivamukti is a combination of Vinyasa-style movements and Sanskrit teachings. The theme of the classes changes every week. After the lessons, you will leave with new knowledge about yoga. If you are into physical fitness, meditation, and learning, this is the type of yoga for you.
“…”Many of the trainees in our teacher-training program brought Restorative Yoga into their
psychotherapy sessions, with tremendous results. Several psychotherapists contacted me to say that the fifteen minutes in which they did restorative poses without processing was incredibly powerful, but in a way that differed distinctly from the verbal breakthroughs they experienced.” – Bo Forbes, PsyD.
This type of yoga is the best recommendation for those who want to relax amid their busy lives. Also known as Yin yoga, it is slow-paced and meditative. It is done with props to help in holding the poses. Restorative yoga can help you in letting go of stress after a long day.
Starting on yoga might be confusing at first. But remember that it’s best to go back to the basics and pick the routine that suits your lifestyle.