The 6 Most Popular Types of Yoga You Must Know!

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Posted By Alex Perez - Mental Health Writer, B.A.

Are you someone who is trying to get on a yoga voyage? But you are confused about what type of yoga to choose and where to start? Internet is full of knowledge, we agree, but It can be challenging to find the right type of yoga for you without getting confused.

Summary of some Yoga Types to Get Started

 Yoga has been trendy for a very long time because of its therapeutic and relaxing effects supported by science and researches. You can choose between different types of yoga. Whether you are a complete beginner or have been doing yoga for many years, there will always be something new for you.

1. Hatha Yoga:

Hatha yoga

The word “Hatha” translates to “ha,” meaning sun, and “tha” meaning moon. Hatha yoga balances the two opposite forces. It balances the active /agitated, masculine aspects with the passive/calm, feminine traits within ourselves.

Hatha yoga is a combination of asana (poses), pranayama (breathing techniques), mudras (hand gestures) and, meditation.

It is beginner-friendly yoga. If you are entirely new to yoga, you can consider taking your first steps with Hatha yoga.

Who should try Hatha Yoga?

Someone struggling with balance, postures or, back pains must try Hatha yoga. Physical postures are synergized with breathing movements. This combination increases flexibility and strength.

This slow-paced type of yoga will not make you sweat as it does not involve strenuous kinetics. You will feel more relaxed, rejuvenated, stretched after a Hatha yoga class.

This type of yoga is proven to relieve stress and is an excellent non-pharmaceutical alternative treatment for depression. Studies have proven that people practicing hatha yoga reported significant stress reduction.1 So, instead of taking pills for stress relief and better sleep, try hatha yoga instead.

2. Vinyasa Yoga:

vinyasa yoga

Vinyasa is derived from the Sanskrit word “nyasa,” which means to place. It must be interpreted as “to place in a special way.” “To place” here means asanas (poses).

 Vinyasa yoga is the dynamic connection between two poses, where one pose is transitioned to the next without any break and synergized with breathing movements. Vinyasa yoga is often known as “flow yoga.”

A flow of movements is maintained when doing different poses.

Vinyasa yoga is entirely different from Hatha yoga. Vinyasa yoga is a more athletic and vigorous approach. It includes movements instead of rest. This type of yoga was adapted from Ashtanga yoga. You can determine your own pace of yoga from slow to dynamic.

You will likely see a series of poses done as a part of “the sun salutation” routine in this yoga class. Class ends with some relaxed, fixed poses like corpse pose.

Some of the poses you might see in your vinyasa class are:

  • Cobra pose
  • Downward facing dog
  • Upward facing dog
  • Plank (Chaturanga)

Who Should Try Vinyasa Yoga?

Beginners should not jump into vinyasa yoga directly. They should begin with a more rested one, focusing on poses with breaks in between, such as Hatha.

Vinyasa yoga is an excellent way to strengthen your muscles and is a great cardio workout as well. You can lose weight and build muscles at the same time. If you are looking for a sweaty workout session at a slow pace, you should join a Vinyasa yoga class!

3. Yin Yoga:

yin yoga

Yin yoga is a bit different from your other yoga practices because it pays attention to your ligaments, joints and, fascia instead of your muscles. A Ligament is what holds two bones together, and fascia is thin tissue covering our muscles.

Healthy joints have healthy ligaments and fascia. Joint health is needed for mobility and stability.

Yin yoga is a special slow-paced, restorative yoga where each pose is held for 2 minutes to 10 minutes. The aim is to put gentle pressure on joints.

Yin yoga is good for deep stretching and relaxation. It increases circulation in joints and improves flexibility.

 Research showed a marked decrease in stress biomarker adrenomedullin (ADM) after five weeks of yin yoga practice. 2 This means that yin yoga helps fighting depression as well.

It doesn’t involve dynamic movements like vinyasa flow: no planks or downward dog positions. Poses are more relaxed while sitting or lying on the floor. Use props like blocks, bolster or, folded blankets for extra comfort.

Some of the poses you might try in your yin yoga class are:

  • Child’s pose
  • Happy baby pose
  • Reclining twist
  • Shoelace
  • Dragonfly

Who Should Try Yin Yoga?

Whether you are a complete beginner or a more advanced practicer, you should dive into the holistic benefits of yin yoga. This yoga opens your doors of meditation. Yin yoga is great after a strenuous workout, hike, or run. Deep stretching will heal you from within. Yin yoga is also proven for relieving stress and anxiety. 2

4. Kundalini Yoga:

Kundalini yoga is not your regular yoga. It involves more spiritual practice and meditation. It is a mix of breathing, singing, chanting, movements in specific, precise patterns known as kriya.

Kundalini comes from the Sanskrit word “Kundal,” meaning “coiled snake” Here, coiled snake means coiled energy trapped in the seven body chakras.

 The seven chakras are the main energy centers in the body where the Kundalini shakti (energy) is trapped. Kundalini yoga aims to unlock those chakras so that energy can flow through them freely, connecting the body and mind better.

5. Bikram Yoga or Hot yoga:

Bikram yoga is named after the founder: Bikram Choudhry. But many studios now call it hot yoga to disassociate themselves from Bikram’s Choudhury.

Bikram yoga is performed at 105 degrees F with 40% humidity to mimic the climate of India. This yoga has strictly 26 poses performed in heated studios with two breathing techniques. The yoga Studio must be carpeted with big mirrors on the wall, and participants are not allowed to talk to each other during yoga.

Hot yoga is slightly different from Bikram yoga in poses and temperature. Bikram yoga is comparatively more sizzling with a fixed number of postures, while in hot yoga, you can do different styles in every class.

6. Ashtanga Yoga:

This yoga demands physically challenging postures, so it’s not recommended to a beginner at all. Vinyasa yoga took birth from ashtanga yoga. Vinyasa is more of a freestyle sequence, where poses and sequences vary from class to class.

Ashtanga yoga aims to make you sweat and detoxify your body. Students follow a fixed sequence of postures every time, flowing from one series to another. The entire series is six; primary, intermediate and, four advanced series.

Ashtang yoga begins with five sun salutation A and five sun salutation B standing poses, gradually progressing to a more advanced series.

Becoming a yogi takes time, but If you are a yoga aspirant and practicing for a long time, you should try this.

References and Citations:

  1. Hofmann SG, Andreoli G, Carpenter JK, Curtiss J. Effect of Hatha Yoga on Anxiety: A Meta-Analysis. J Evid Based Med. 2016 Aug;9(3):116-124. doi: 10.1111/jebm.12204. Epub 2016 May 20. PMID: 27203378; PMCID: PMC5116432.

2. Daukantaitė D, Tellhed U, Maddux RE, Svensson T, Melander O. Five-week yin yoga-based interventions decreased plasma adrenomedullin and increased psychological health in stressed adults: A randomized controlled trial. PLoS One. 2018 Jul 18;13(7):e0200518. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0200518. PMID: 30020987; PMCID: PMC6051627.

Mind Body Green.com: Types of Yoga

Yoga Medicine: Types of Yoga, A Guide

Yoga Journal.com: Find Your Match Among the Many Types of Yoga

DoYou.com: 8 Types of Yoga Explained

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