In a yoga rut and looking to spice up your practice? Try a different yoga style! Here are 18 kinds of yoga to choose from…
If you are new to yoga, you may be wondering which yoga type might be the best fit for you. It’s fun to explore the wide variety of yoga styles that are out there, but if you’re uncertain where to start, the list below can give you an idea of what kinds of yoga might be be a good starting point for your particular needs and goals.
And, if you’ve been doing yoga for a while and aren’t feeling as inspired anymore, maybe a new yoga style would help spice things up a bit! Whether you’re looking for an intense workout, or something more low-key and relaxing, there’s a yoga style out there for you!
Here are 18 fun and interesting kinds of yoga to explore – from A to Z:
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AcroYoga – This is an interesting form of yoga in which one person, who is known as the base, supports a partner, who is known as the flyer, while lying on his/her back and supporting the flyer with his/her legs. While the flyer is in the air, he/she will do various yoga poses that are specifically designed to be performed while being supported by a partner. This kind of yoga is generally done in groups and has become very popular in recent years.
Aerial Yoga – Similar to AcroYoga, Aerial yoga will take your yoga practice higher. However, instead of using a partner, you will be supported by fabric slings suspended from the ceiling. This type of yoga allows for deep stretches and is also great for improving your core strength and balance.
Aqua Yoga – Aqua yoga is very low-impact so it is great for those who suffer from joint pain. This type of yoga is a good way for seniors or those recovering from injuries to increase their flexibility, mobility and strength. Because you are supported by the water, this type of yoga tends to be gentler and easier on the joints than most other types of yoga. Therefore, this kind of yoga works great for those who have had a knee or hip replacement or suffer from arthritis.
Ashtanga Yoga – This type of yoga is usually fairly fast-paced and intense, and may include more difficult poses. You will perform a series of poses in the exact same order every time. It is physically challenging because you are moving constantly from one pose to another and it is recommended that this type of yoga is done daily. If you are looking for a great workout and a fitness challenge, try Ashtanga!
Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga – This unique yoga style focuses on what is called the 5 Pillars and is extremely intense. You should be prepared to sweat with this one! The 5 Pillars focus on Breath, Heat, Flow, Gaze and Core Stabilization.
Bowspring Yoga – This style of yoga introduces participants to a new type of body alignment called “bowspring.” In these poses the knees are bent and the pelvis constantly tips forward to help maintain the curve in the spine. These are different from the traditional yoga poses that most people are familiar with, but if you’re looking for something new in your yoga practice, it may be a good one to check out!
Chair Yoga – This type of yoga is helpful for anyone who cannot stand for a long period of time or who has trouble getting up and down off the floor. Many yoga poses can be modified for chair yoga, so you’ll have lots of exercises to choose from. Seniors often enjoy this type of yoga because they can experience the benefits of yoga even if they have limited mobility and can’t participate in traditional yoga classes.
Forrest Yoga – This kind of yoga involves a dynamic asana series designed to strengthen and purify the body and mind, and release pain and trauma. This will allow your body, mind and soul to heal those wounds. Forrest yoga usually provides an intense workout that focuses on strengthening the abdomen, deep breathing and inversions, together with traditional chanting and singing to help purify the mind as well as the body.
Hot Yoga – This style of yoga – also known as Bikram yoga – is practiced in a room with a temperature of 95 to 100 degrees. You should definitely be prepared to sweat during a hot yoga practice! This practice is thought to be a cleansing experience for those participating, and also helps loosen and relax tight muscles. There is a defined series of 26 poses in traditional Bikram yoga, but be aware that not every hot yoga class will stick to this set.
Hatha Yoga – This type of yoga is a good one for beginners. It will give you a great introduction to the most common yoga poses, without being too strenuous or intense. There are a number of variations of Hatha yoga, so if you’re signing up for a class, be sure to ask questions on the focus of that particular class.
Integral Yoga – This is generally a slower and gentler type of yoga. This style also works to integrate the body, mind and spirit so in some classes, meditating or chanting might be included.
Iyengar Yoga – This practice focuses mainly on the alignment of the body, and is often used for therapeutic reasons. You will generally hold poses for a long period of time rather than flowing quickly from one pose to the next. With Iyengar yoga, yoga blocks, bolsters, blankets and straps are often used to aid in aligning the body.
Kundalini Yoga – This kind of yoga typically involves vigorous, repetitive movements that will get your blood flowing and build strength and flexibility throughout your body. Various controlled breath practices are usually paired with each movement, and meditation, visualization, and chanting techniques are also commonly incorporated to put your mind in a meditative state as you move. This dynamic form of yoga is one of our favorites!
Modo Yoga – This form of hot yoga consists of a specific sequence of 40 yoga poses which include flowing movements and Ashtanga yoga postures. It is done in a room with a temperature of 95 – 100 degrees, so it will really make you sweat!
Power Yoga – Power yoga is an intense form of yoga like Ashtanga, but without the defined sequence of poses. The sequence may vary each time, but you will always flow quickly from one pose to the next, providing an excellent physical workout.
Restorative Yoga – Restorative yoga uses blocks or blankets to help the body relax into different poses. Each pose is generally held for several minutes to help the body relax completely. In restorative yoga you will often practice poses like forward bends, twists, or lying on blocks or pillows to open up and relax the chest. You are encouraged to relax completely and stretch all of your muscles without stress to the body.
Stand-Up Paddle Yoga (SUP) – Stand-up paddle yoga is an interesting and unique form of yoga that is done on a paddle board in the water. This is a great form of yoga for those who love the outdoors, but it’s definitely challenging! Balancing on the paddle board during your yoga poses provides a great workout – especially for the core and legs.
Vinyasa Yoga – Just like Hatha yoga, Vinyasa is a term that can be used to describe several classes of yoga. Vinyasa classes typically focus on vigorous and continuous movement and flow synchronized with the breath.
Yin Yoga – Yin Yoga is a slow and relaxing form of yoga that involves long, deep stretches. You will typically hold each pose for several minutes, giving time for connective tissues and tight muscles to relax and release. This can be a good form of yoga for athletes and those who work out a lot and experience a lot of muscle soreness.
There you have it – an A-Z (or “Y”) list of yoga styles for you to check out! Try a new kind of yoga this month, or start out with the one that sounds best to you, and see where your practice takes you!
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