What are the Best Types of Yoga for You?

How many yoga styles do you know about?  Before I first began my yoga journey, all I thought I knew was the kind that twists you like a pretzel. However, when you dig deeper, you find that there are many options, and for some, it can be downright intimidating. Never fear, though! We’re here to break down below the best type of yoga for you.

There are many various kinds of yoga. Some might be challenging; others are more relaxing. It’s essential to pick the correct kind of yoga for you, especially if you’re a newbie to the practice. Don’t be intimidated, as yoga isn’t necessarily a ‘one-size-fits-all’ practice, either. Different types of yoga might be best for different people. I’m going to do my best to break down a few commonly practiced types of yoga. Think of this as a crib sheet where you won’t get in trouble!

Restorative Yoga

Forget sweating and think relaxation. Restorative yoga is all about restoring the mind and body through simple poses often held for as many as 20 minutes. Because of the reflective quality of this practice, it’s helpful for those recovering from illness and injury, including emotional trauma like divorce or the death of a loved one.

Vinyasa Yoga

Think fast-paced, energetic, and dynamic. Vinyasa yoga often refers to continuous and rapid yoga flows emphasizing coordination between breath and movement. Often taught to music, vinyasa yoga classes are usually lively and fun. Vinyasa is a great way to push your physical limits, plus it’s known to raise your heart rate and increase your strength, flexibility, and stamina. However, for newcomers to yoga, it’s probably not recommended to start here first.

Iyengar Yoga

This style of yoga focuses on alignment. The class doesn’t quite have a quick flow, like the Vinyasa style, but each pose in Iyengar is intense, and you need to hold it for a long time and expand as you breathe. This yoga style works with a lot of props, like straps, blocks, and blankets. If you like to go into the details and feel and learn the pose intensely — this is for you! This class also works for those who have injuries and chronic problems. This style tends to accommodate all limitations and makes you stable, flexible, and strong.

Yin Yoga

Not a tongue twister, but named for the calm half of yin-and-yang. This style requires you to move slowly into poses (most of them seated or lying down), then to stay there for up to five minutes to allow for a deeper stretch. Not surprisingly, Yin yoga is particularly good at activating the part of your nervous system that helps you bounce back from pain and stress.

Ashtanga

One of the longest-practiced forms and is based on ancient teachings, Ashtanga is a physically demanding practice that synchronizes movement with breath. In fact, a lot of what you see in vinyasa yoga stems from Ashtanga. What differentiates Ashtanga from other types of yoga is the set series of postures every single time. A class will start with sun salutations and then move into a set sequence of standing poses and floor poses.  For an interesting and better understanding of the history of Ashtanga yoga, click here.

One More Thing

Is there a yoga practice that you love to perform? What did I miss? I’d love to hear your thoughts at hello@heartandsoulblog.com. Also, be sure to subscribe to the Heart & Soul Newsletter to receive more great tips straight to your inbox each Friday. If you’re interested in more yoga articles, I encourage you to check out 5 Basic Beginner Yoga Poses. Enjoy, and namaste!

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