Just like other workouts or exercises, there are many different styles of yoga. And similar to those activities, there may be some yoga style you prefer to others. Let us break down some of the more common types of yoga classes you’ll find at your local studio.
Vinyasa yoga is one of the most common and versatile styles of yoga. It is described as “a flowing dynamic form of yoga, connected to breath or pranayama, in which yoga and mudra [gestures] are embodied as linkages within and between asana [poses].” In other words, a vinyasa class is one where the breath is linked to the poses. Depending on the teacher, this type of class can be taught slow or fast.
Typically for the more seasoned yogi who is looking for a challenge, a power yoga class is a fast paced class incorporating difficult sequences such as inversions and balancing poses, mixed in with traditional exercises like pushups and pilates moves. Expect to leave class sweaty, tired and invigorated. A common variation at studios is Hot Yoga, where the temperature of the room is turned up very high to encourage the body to sweat out toxins.
Less of a workout and more of a chillout, restorative yoga classes typically only focus on a handful of poses. Each pose is held for 3-5 minutes and often utilizes a variety of props, such as blankets and cushioned bolsters. The focus is on relaxation. Suitable for all levels.
A slow-paced class that focuses on holding postures for several minutes. Similar to a restorative class, except that the focus is on building strength, while increasing circulation to the joints and improving flexibility. Most poses are done on the floor. Based on the concept of yin and yang, yin yoga can be described of as “stable, immobile, feminine, passive, cold, and downward moving.”.
Different studios and teachers also have their own style, so try several classes, studios and teachers before you decide what works best for you. Or you may like different styles just depending on the type of day you have had. Try something new, or find your style and stick with it!