Different Types of Yoga Poses
Many different kinds of yoga exist and it can be difficult to figure out which particular style is right for you. Most styles of yoga are based on the same basic yoga poses (called asanas), however the experience of one style can be radically different than another. In this quick guide, we have outlined the most popular forms of yoga, along with their essential characteristics, to make it easier for you to know where to begin.
Yoga and its Benefits
No matter what style of yoga you choose to do, you will likely see improvements in many areas of your health. By practicing regularly you can:
- increase your flexibility
- increase muscle tone and strength
- improve your circulatory and cardio health
- helps you sleep better
- increase your energy levels
- improve athletic performance
- reduce injuries
- detoxify your organs
- improve your posture
- improves anxiety and depression
- helps with chronic pain
- release endorphins that improve your mood
- and so much more...
Now that you know some of the benefits of doing yoga, we begin our list of yoga styles below with classical hatha yoga. As you move down the list it goes from vigorous, flow-style classes to the more relaxing passive classes, finishing with restorative yoga. You will also find a list some of our most popular yoga videos at the bottom of each style.
Hatha is a general category that includes most yoga styles. It is an old system that includes the practice of asanas (yoga postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises), which help bring peace to the mind and body, preparing the body for deeper spiritual practices such as meditation.
Today, the term hatha is used in such a broad way that it is difficult to know what a particular hatha class will be like. In most cases, however, it will be relatively gentle, slow and great for beginners or students who prefer a more relaxed style where they hold poses longer. It can vary a lot, so it is a good idea to call the studio before attending the class.
Popular hatha classes include:
Yoga for Hips, Hamstrings and Back - David Procyshyn
Hatha Yoga For Beginners: Better Balanace - Melissa Krieger
Seated Hatha Yoga - Anastasia Hangemanole
Hatha Yoga to Release the Lower Back - David Procyshyn (subscriber-only video)
Like hatha, vinyasa is a general term that describes many different styles of yoga. It essentially means movement synchronized with breath and is a vigorous style based on a rapid flow through sun salutations. You may also see a vinyasa class referred to as a flow class, which refers to the continuous flow from one posture to the next.