Comparing 6 Types of Yoga: How to Find Your Perfect Yoga Style

Last updated on May 6th, 2022 at 12:58 am

Discover the types of yoga that work best for your physical fitness goals.

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Yoga has become an increasingly popular physical fitness trend. According to the National Institutes of Health, yoga has grown from a fringe exercise to a mainstream activity. The number of yoga studios in the United States has grown from 6,000 to over 30,000 over the past decade. However, it’s not always clear which style of yoga is best for you.

There are many different types of yoga, and each one offers a different physical difficulty. There are yoga styles that focus on flexibility and there are yoga styles that focus on strength and endurance.

For beginners, all forms of yoga are likely to be a challenge, so consider signing up for a yoga class. There are plenty of classes all over the United States and many of the poses & movements take a lot of practice. A good yoga teacher can help guide beginners in learning the correct poses and developing good habits which will increase the enjoyment of yoga.

Define Your Goals

The restorative properties of regular yoga practice are well known. You need to know goals are before you can begin your practice. Are you looking to build strength? What about flexibility? Perhaps you’re looking for something to improve your mental health or you want to lose weight.

It’s important to define what it is you want to get out of yoga before starting. Each style has different focuses and balances the different elements of well-being. Poses can be common from one kind of yoga to another, but the movements between them, the sequence, and breathing methods differ quite a bit.

In this post we’re going to talk about 6 different styles of Yoga and what goals they’ll help you to acheive. With this information, you’ll be able to choose a style or combination of Yoga styles that will help you reach your goals.

Woman doing Hatha yoga asana Purvottanasana - types of yoga
Hatha yoga asana Purvottanasana

Hatha Yoga

If you’re unsure what your goals are and know you just need to get started with something, Hatha yoga is a great place to start. It’s the most popular style of yoga and it’s the type of yoga that is practiced in most studios and classes. It’s a gentle, flexible form of yoga that focuses on stretching and strengthening the body.

Hatha yoga is a type of yoga that is focused on the physical aspects of the practice. This includes asanas (postures), breath work, and meditation. It can help to improve flexibility, strength, and balance. It can also be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. Going to a Hatha yoga class is a great way to start learning the poses and breathing methods.

Hatha yoga is a great form of exercise. It’s gentle and relaxing, so it’s perfect for beginners and people with injuries or conditions that make other forms of exercise difficult. Hatha yoga also has many benefits, including helping you to become more flexible and stronger. It’s also a great form of exercise for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level.

Hatha Yoga Primary Benefits

  • Improves Balance
  • Increases Strength & Power
  • Helps with Weight Loss
  • Reduces Stress & Anxiety
  • Increases Flexibility
Woman doing Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga asana Navasana - boat pose - types of yoga
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga asana Navasana

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is a style of yoga that was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar in the 1970s. It is a slow, flowing style of yoga that is characterized by linking together a series of postures. It uses a flow of poses that are linked together in a sequence. As you move from one pose to the next, you breathe in and out.

The purpose of vinyasa yoga is to build strength, flexibility, and coordination. The sequence of poses taught in a Vinyasa yoga class is great for beginners. While it’s slightly less gentle than Hatha yoga, it is still a great low impact exercise that anyone can do.

Vinyasa yoga has several benefits, including improving your overall health and fitness, increasing flexibility, improving your balance, improving your posture, and improving your strength. It can also help you lose weight, improve your mood, and reduce stress. It is one of the most restorative forms of yoga.

Primary Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga

  • Improves Posture
  • Improves Coordination
  • Increases Strength & Power
  • Improves Balance
  • Increases Flexibility
  • Reduces Stress
  • Improves Cardiovascular Health
Woman doing Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga asana outdoor
Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga asana

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga is a practice of 8 poses (or asanas) that are performed in a particular order. The series of poses is designed to be done in a certain order so that the benefits of the practice are maximized. The practice itself can be done in a single session or over the course of several days. The practice is very demanding and requires the practitioner to dedicate a significant amount of time to it. Even a beginner should be somewhat physically fit prior to trying the poses.

Astanga yoga is physically demanding and will make you sweat. It is important to note that the practice has a lot of variations. As a result, some people believe that it’s more effective to do Ashtanga yoga in a class with a teacher, while others practice without one.

If you take a class, you may find that Ashtanga is frequently combined with other forms of yoga such as Vinyasa or Hatha. This is frequently something that’s defined by the class guide.

Primary Benefits of Ashtanga Yoga

  • Improves Balance
  • Improves Flexibility
  • Improves Concentration
  • Relieves Stress
Young woman practicing yoga indoor.
Iyengar yoga poses require strength and endurance

Iyengar Yoga

Next, we’re going to take a look at a form of yoga that has been gaining popularity in the last few years – Iyengar yoga. This particular form of yoga is very effective because it focuses on aligning your body and making sure that you’re doing the poses correctly.

This form of yoga was created by B.K.S. Iyengar, who was an Indian yogi. He came up with this style of yoga back in 1966. It focuses on developing the muscles and joints of the body while working to improve flexibility. This type of yoga is based on the idea that if you have strong muscles, you can easily move into various positions.

This form of yoga is also known for its ability to help with a variety of ailments, including asthma, arthritis, and back pain. If you’re looking for an effective way to relieve stress, improve your overall health, and get in shape, then Iyengar yoga might be just what you need.

Primary Benefits of Iyengar Yoga

  • Increases Strength & Power
  • Relieves Back Pain
  • Relieves Joint Pain
Young woman doing yoga exercise in Bridge Pose
Bridge Pose

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that incorporates breathing exercises, meditation, and chanting to help the practitioner achieve a higher level of consciousness. This form of yoga can be practiced by anyone who wants to experience the benefits of a regular practice. The word kundalini is derived from the Sanskrit words kunda (“coil”) and linga (“manifestation”). Kundalini yoga focuses on the energy that lies dormant within every human being. When this energy is awakened and released, it can be used to heal and empower the body, mind, and spirit.

Kundalini yoga is characterized by specific breathing patterns, typically very short and quick breaths, that aren’t normaly seen in other types of yoga. The poses can really be tough on the muscles and help make them stronger and more defined.

Primary Benefits of Kundalini Yoga

  • Increases Mental Clarity
  • Improved Emotional Well-Being
  • Increases Oxygen in the Blood
  • Helps Develop and Deeper Sense of Self-Awareness
  • Increases Muscle Strength and Definition
Woman relax in Hatha yoga asana Balasana child pose
Child’s pose resting position

Bikram Yoga

If you’re looking for a simple, low-impact workout that’s great for your health, then you should try Bikram Yoga. Also known as “hot yoga”, Bikram Yoga is a type of yoga that was developed in India over 40 years ago by a man named Bikram Choudhury. It has since become one of the most popular types of yoga in the world. The reason it’s so popular is that it’s designed to help people reduce stress and improve their overall health.

Bikram Yoga is a form of yoga that involves going into a hot room (usually around 105 degrees Fahrenheit) and doing various poses. The poses are designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles. You’ll be working out for about an hour and a half, and the workout is designed to help you relax after a long day at work.

The heat that comes with Bikram yoga will really make you sweat. This sweat is thought to remove toxins from the body and have restorative properties.

Primary Benefits of Bikram Yoga

  • Relieves Arthritis Pain
  • Relieves Back Pain
  • Relieves Asthma Symptoms
  • Increases Flexibility
  • Helps Maintain Blood Sugar Levels

So Which One is Right For You?

Now that you know the benefits offered by various types of yoga, you can compare those to your goals and which out which type of yoga is best for you. As a beginner, all yoga classes may seem difficult at first, but good yoga teachers can help guide you. Practice makes perfect and increases enjoyment.

Are you concerned primarly with improving your mental health? In that case, Kundalini Yoga might be the best option. On the other hand, if you’re looking for improve your balance and posture, you might go with Vinyasa yoga or Iyengar yoga.

You can also combine different types of yoga to stack multiple effects and further improve your health and well-being.

It’s important to consider what you’re trying to achieve when choosing a style of yoga. You can do additional research and find other forms of yoga that aren’t discussed in this article and get the perfect match to meet your goals.

If you’re not a beginner and have practiced yoga for some time, what type of yoga do you prefer for your wellness routine?

Writer & Blogger

I'm an aspiring writer from Santa Monica, CA who writes about a little bit of everything. I love paranormal stuff, working out, nature, wildlife, and general humor.

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