7 most popular yoga types you need to know about

Exploring the world of yoga can sometimes feel like navigating a vast ocean – there are so many types to choose from!

As a yogi, I’ve been through this journey and know that understanding different yoga types is essential to finding the one that suits you best.

Yoga, in essence, is about finding harmony between body, mind, and spirit.

However, each style has its unique focus and benefits.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, knowing about these popular yoga types could be your key to a deeper, more fulfilling practice.

In this article, we’ll dive into the 7 most popular yoga types you need to know about.

1) Hatha Yoga

If you’re new to the yoga world, Hatha Yoga is likely the first style you’ll come across.

Hatha is the umbrella term for all physical yoga practices, but in the West, it’s often used to describe a slower-paced class that focuses on basic postures and breathing exercises.

It’s the perfect type for beginners or those looking for a more relaxed yoga experience.

Remember, Hatha yoga is all about balance.

The word itself means “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha), representing the balance of opposites.

So if you’re after a gentle introduction to yoga or looking to find balance in your hectic life, Hatha Yoga could be just what you need.

But don’t let its slow pace fool you; Hatha can still provide a challenging workout and bring substantial benefits to both your body and mind.

2) Vinyasa Yoga

As a personal favorite of mine, Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic practice that links movement with breath.

I remember when I attended my first Vinyasa class; I was initially taken aback by the pace.

It was quite different from the slow and gentle Hatha yoga I was used to.

But the more I practiced, the more I fell in love with it.

In Vinyasa, each movement is synchronized with the breath, creating a smooth flow from one pose to the next.

The classes can be challenging and sweaty, but there’s something incredibly rewarding about completing a well-executed Vinyasa sequence.

What I love most about Vinyasa is its creativity.

There’s no fixed sequence of postures, so every class feels fresh and different.

Plus, its fast pace can provide a great cardio workout.

So if you’re looking for a yoga type that’s dynamic, creative, and can get your heart pumping, why not give Vinyasa Yoga a try?

3) Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is one of the more physically demanding styles out there.

It consists of six series of specific poses performed in the same order, each linked with a breath.

Originating from Mysore, India, Ashtanga was taught by the yoga master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, who learned it from his guru, Krishnamacharya.

The practice was developed to build internal body heat, purify the body, and improve circulation and flexibility.

One unique aspect of Ashtanga is the method of learning.

Traditionally, students progress at their own pace under the guidance of a teacher, in what’s known as Mysore-style classes.

Once they’ve mastered a pose, they’re given the next one in the sequence.

4) Bikram Yoga

If you’re looking for a yoga style that really turns up the heat, then Bikram Yoga might be the one for you.

Bikram Yoga is performed in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with a humidity of 40%, designed to mimic the climate of India.

The practice consists of a fixed sequence of 26 postures and two breathing exercises, all performed in a 90-minute class.

This heat serves a purpose.

It helps to loosen your muscles, increase flexibility, and induce sweating, which is believed to help detoxify the body.

Bikram can be intense, but it’s also highly predictable, as the poses never change.

This allows you to focus on perfecting each posture and pushing your personal boundaries.

5) Iyengar Yoga

Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar, this style of yoga is all about precision and alignment.

Iyengar Yoga is known for its use of props like blocks, straps, and bolsters to assist in performing poses correctly.

This allows students to hold poses for longer periods, leading to increased flexibility, strength, and mind-body awareness.

This style is particularly beneficial for those dealing with injuries or chronic health conditions, as it offers the opportunity to safely explore postures while minimizing the risk of strain or injury.

6) Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga is a practice that invites you to slow down, tune in, and let go.

In a Yin class, postures are held for extended periods, typically between three to five minutes.

This prolonged holding allows for deep stretching of the connective tissues around the joints, promoting flexibility and improving circulation.

But Yin Yoga isn’t just about physical flexibility; it’s also about mental and emotional flexibility.

By sitting in stillness with your thoughts and emotions, this practice can lead to profound inner peace and emotional release.

For anyone living in today’s fast-paced world, Yin Yoga could be a much-needed sanctuary, a place to find calm, balance, and connection with oneself.

Trust me, your body and mind will thank you for it.

7) Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is quite a unique style.

It combines physical postures, breathwork, meditation, and chanting to awaken the Kundalini energy said to be coiled at the base of the spine.

I remember feeling a bit apprehensive before my first Kundalini class.

The chanting and energetic movements were new to me, and honestly, I felt a bit out of my comfort zone.

But as I allowed myself to embrace the unfamiliar, I found a sense of liberation and joy that was truly transformative.

The practice helped me tap into my inner strength and brought a sense of clarity and calm that I carried with me long after leaving the mat.

Kundalini Yoga can be quite intense but equally rewarding.

If you’re open to exploring your spiritual side and seeking a practice that goes beyond the physical, Kundalini Yoga could be quite an enriching experience.

Embracing your yogic journey

At the heart of yoga lies the essence of self-discovery and self-improvement.

Each yoga style, from the gentle Hatha to the vigorous Ashtanga, offers a unique pathway towards this journey of self-exploration.

They all share a common thread – the pursuit of balance, unity, and harmony.

Whether you’re drawn to the tranquility of Yin, the intensity of Bikram, or the spirituality of Kundalini, it’s all about finding a practice that resonates with you.

Remember, yoga is not a destination but a journey.

It’s about evolving with each breath, each pose, each moment on your mat.

It’s an exploration of the boundless potential within you.

So whichever style you choose to practice, embrace it with an open heart and mind.

Let your yogic journey be a testament to your growth, resilience, and inner strength.

Dania Aziz

Dania Aziz

"A spirited lifestyle and love advocate, who loves to explore the two to help herself and others discover what they are really searching for."

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