Yoga 101: Types of Yoga

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There are many types of yoga and it's hard to figure out which is what and what it is good for. Here is a simple guide of the different types of yoga out there. This list is not a complete list as there are many many types of yoga!




Ashtanga
Many people know it as "power yoga". It is fast paced and intense using forms of lunges and pushups. It is typically a particular set of poses that are in the same order. It is more difficult because it goes from one pose to the next; this is called a "flow".

Good for: strength, stamina, weight-loss, stress, improves coordination
My experience: I liked going to an Ashtanga yoga class. It was definitely a work out and more difficult that what you would think yoga would be. It got my heart rate going up!

Bikram
Also known as "hot yoga". It is typically practiced in a room that is 95-105 degrees and 45% humidity. This is too loosen your muscles and become more flexible. The poses are usually the same 26 poses but it depends on the instructor.

Good for:  getting rid of toxins, getting drippy sweat all over yourself,
Note: Before going to Bikram, be prepared. Bring TONS of water and probably two towels: one to lay over your mat and one to clean up with afterwards. Mentally prepare yourself for what you are about to do. 
My experience: I barely survived Bikram yoga. I did it with Michael this past year; he survived. I would say that I am glad I tried it but I don't think I would do it again. The amount of sweat I was in by the end of class was just ridiculous. I sweat through my clothes AND my towel. It was also over an hour, I had to step outside because I was getting light-headed and I seriously could not breath. My advice to you is to definitely try it, but not as a first time into yoga. It's intense.



Hatha
More of a relaxing flow intended to go into meditation after. This yoga focuses more on slowing down, deep breathing, and meditation. It encompasses almost all types of yoga. It is a great way to learn all the basic poses.

Good for: stress, improves breathing, great for beginners, advanced yogis, just good for everyone
My experience: This is my style of yoga. I typically like to meditated after my practice and this helps me slow down. I have a difficult time just jumping into meditation because I get to excited and a good Hatha flow helps me calm down. It's also great if you want to get introduced to yoga. It's very simple and teaches you how to breath during the poses. Hatha yoga is definitely one of my favorites!

Kundalini
This yoga is intended to release the Kundalini (serpent) energy throughout your body. [This is linked to the chakras, refer to picture above. Learn more from Michael's blog about Chakras.] The purpose is to free your body to move the energy from the root to upwards. This yoga also focuses on breathing with the poses.

Good for:  getting the yoga "high", those who want to go on a spiritual journey, mind and body awareness
My experience: I do not have experience with this type of yoga but I am super interested. I'll keep you all updated when I do finally try it! Michael has been reading a lot about this which made me get excited about trying it!



Vinyasa
Similar to Hatha with linking breathing and movement, as well as, simple yoga poses. Usually starts with the Sun Salutation and goes into deeper poses and stretches.

Good for:  strength, beginners and advanced yogis, waking up, deep breathing
My experience: Vinyasa is my other favorite yoga style. I typically practice a version of the sun salutation in the mornings followed by 15-30 min meditation. I like this style because of the movement and breathing into each pose and the way it flows.



There are many types of yoga. These five are the most popular and what I have had experience with (excluding Kundalini, I am just really interested in that one). Remember that you are not limited to these types of yoga. There are far more different styles and types that you can try.

What is your favorite type of yoga that you enjoy?






NOTE: This is a recycled post from October 2012 from Live Towards Love
 Adapted from: 
Women's Health Types of Yoga
Daily Cup of Yoga
About.com: Yoga Style Guide
The Yoga Lotus: Sun Salutation
Dr.Yogi: About Kundalini Yoga
living-healthy-for-life Tumblr
thehealthyveggie Tumblr


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6 comments:

  1. uuuh I needed this! Great article!!!

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  2. This is so helpful! Before I just thought there was normal yoga and bikram yoga

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  3. my favorite is ashtanga :) but ive yet to try kundalini and hot yoga so who knows!

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  4. I like Hatha yoga, I can't wait to read about your experiences with kundalini yoga!

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