Discover Your Yoga: A Guide to Different Types

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Discover Your Yoga: A Guide to Different Types


Yoga, an ancient practice originating in India over 5,000 years ago, has gained popularity worldwide due to its numerous physical and mental health benefits.

Understanding Yoga Styles

To elucidate the various yoga styles, we consulted with yoga experts Charlotte Douglas, founder of Charlotte Douglas Yoga, and Anri Shiga, instructor at The Yoga Lane.

According to Douglas, yoga styles may vary based on the following aspects:

  • Movement and breath synchronization
  • Postures, breathing techniques, and meditation practices
  • Alignment and use of props
  • Therapeutic focus
  • Intensity and pace

Shiga emphasizes that regardless of the style, yoga aims to foster a connection to the present moment, promote healing, and enhance overall well-being.

  • Vinyasa Yoga
  • Hatha Yoga
  • Iyengar Yoga
  • Yin Yoga
  • Kundalini Yoga
  • Hot Yoga
  • Ashtanga Yoga
  • Yoga Therapy
  • Restorative Yoga

Vinyasa Yoga

This style emphasizes linking movement and breath, typically practiced in flowing sequences.

Douglas notes that Vinyasa classes may focus on specific poses, chakras, or philosophical aspects of yoga, ranging from dynamic and strength-building to gentle and mobility-focused flows.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha derives its name from Sanskrit, meaning “sun and moon.” It seeks to balance opposing forces through postures, breathing, mantras, and hand gestures.

Iyengar Yoga

Developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, this style emphasizes precise alignment in postures, often incorporating props.

Douglas describes it as a disciplined system with meticulously planned and timed sequences.

Yin Yoga

Yin targets deep connective tissues, promoting relaxation and meditation through prolonged held postures.

Shiga explains that props like blocks, bolsters, and blankets are used to assist with maintaining poses.

Kundalini Yoga

“Kundalini,” meaning “coiled serpent,” refers to the energy believed to lie at the base of the spine.

Douglas explains that Kundalini yoga uses specific meditations and breathing techniques to release this energy and promote spiritual awakening.

Hot Yoga

This style involves a sequence of 26 postures, practiced in a heated room to facilitate detoxification and deeper stretching.

Shiga cautions that it’s not recommended for individuals with certain health conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga is a dynamic, physically demanding style that follows a set sequence of poses.

It emphasizes linking movement and breath, progressing through a series of poses.

Yoga Therapy

This form of yoga focuses on postures and breathwork tailored to address specific physical and mental needs.

Shiga emphasizes that yoga therapy can be beneficial for individuals with injuries, chronic conditions, or emotional challenges.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga involves holding poses for extended periods, incorporating props to reduce stimulation and promote relaxation.

Shiga suggests it for individuals seeking to address physical or emotional exhaustion.

Choosing the Right Yoga Style

Consider your fitness level, health conditions, and personal preferences when selecting a yoga style.

For beginners, Douglas recommends joining a beginner’s class to grasp the basics. Individuals with specific needs may benefit from yoga therapy, Hatha, or Iyengar.

Shiga emphasizes that yoga is accessible to everyone, regardless of age, fitness levels, or physical limitations.

Finding a qualified and supportive teacher can enhance your experience and guide you in choosing the most suitable style.

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