Are you thinking about trying yoga classes? May be you are already practising yoga but are not aware of the styles of yoga which are currently available to people who enjoy movement and meditation. Whatever your case is, I am encouraging you to check this list of popular styles of yoga you can come across nowadays.
Some of them are quite similar to each other whereas others are pretty distinct. Some are more requiring whereas others are suitable for beginners. Check them all and pick the one you prefer most of all.
One of the most common styles of yoga today is hatha yoga. The word “hatha” in sanscrit is actually used for describing all postures of yoga, whereas in the Western world this word is used for referring to all of the yoga styles which are including physical practice. Note that there are some styles of yoga which for instance karma yoga, raja or kriya which are not included into the yoga practices based on physical activity.
If you are a beginner, hatha yoga might be the best choice for you. Its pace is not thus rapid as in some of the other yoga styles, while it allows you to practice a classic way of exercising and breathing.
In case you are looking for a particularly athletic form of yoga, vinyasa is something you might need. The word “vinyasa” means “to place in a particular way”. Used as a name for a yoga style, it refers to placing your body in a particular way or in special postures. This yoga style was based on ashtanga yoga and it has been around since 1980s. According to some practitioners, ashtanga yoga as well as some other dynamic styles for example prana or power yoga are themselves types of vinyasa yoga.
Vinyasa yoga is quite demanding as it will invite you to participate in a quite dynamic flow of pses which are performed in coordination with breathing.
Ashtanga yoga itself is rather demanding offering its practitioners quite a complex flow of advanced postures. Actually, it might be good for more experienced yogis. The practice of this yoga style should be started with sun salutation. Then comes an entire series of postures which are performed in a standing position as well as on the floor.
For people who have overcome some injury and would like to start exercising, Iyengar yoga can be particularly useful. This yoga style is named after its inventor, B. K. S. Iyengar.
The idea of this particular yoga style is focusing on the precision of the movement and alignment. Breath controlling is also a crucial part of the practice.
Iyengar yoga is a quite slow practice since you will spend a relatively long time adjusting your body to a particular posture. This is crucial for getting into a posture gradually and avoiding possible injuries. Still, such an approach allows people get very relaxed and stretched even though the classes of Iyengar yoga do not include dynamic movements.
Another slow-paced style of yoga is yin yoga. During the classes of yin yoga you will be able to relax deeply going into posture many of which will let you stretch your muscles and release energy. The postures in this style are kept between 45 seconds and 2 minutes. This is a perfect yoga style if you want to incorporate mediation with exercises.
The style is perfect for both beginners and more advanced practitioners as you will be able to practise different postures and go in them as deep as you can allowing gravity to help you.
One of the most untypical styles of yoga is probably Bikram yoga which was invented by Bikram Choudhury. Its specific feature is the environment in which this yoga style is practised which is quite close to sauna. The room for the Bikram classes has to have the temperature of 105 degrees whereas humidity has to be around 45%. Also, the classes of Bikram yoga usually include 26 postures. Each of these postures has to be performed twice.
If you are interested in working not only with your body, but also with your spirit during yoga classes, you can try kundalini yoga which offers specific exercises for releasing kundalini energy. During the classes of kundalini yoga you will be able to perform quite invigorating postures at a fast pace combined with active breathing exercises. This is a great way to work your core too. Practising kundalini yoga also includes mantra, meditations and chanting.
Special yoga practices have been developed for pregnant women of all the trimesters. The classes of prenatal yoga are gentle and safe for pregnant women, however, they are very helpful for keeping a good physical condition and are also focusing on the exercises which will help women to go through labour more easily. In addition to it, the classes of prenatal yoga are helping women to feel the contact with their growing babies.