The Different Types of Yoga and their Benefits


The number of yoga styles and types of classes available can sometimes make a list longer than your mat but you need to know what is what to land up in a class that works for you. Here goes a brief guide.

Yoga catches on, turning from a fancy to a favorite real fast for those who really put their mind and body to it. However, with a list of styles and types of yoga longer than your mat, you can surely find it difficult to take your pick.

Understanding the types of yoga and their benefits is highly necessary to choose a class of your requirement. Today yoga is recognized the world over not just as a mild stretching exercise but also a valid core strength-building routine, therapy for joint pain, thyroid, asthma and many more chronic ailments, and a mindfulness exercise.

Here are the briefings on some of the most popular yoga styles and their benefits. Take a look--

Hatha Yoga-- Induction Into The Basics

Hatha Yoga is actually an overarching category in which all other subgroups belong. Theoretically, Hatha means forcefulness or will by which your body movements shall be governed in this asana format.

At a typical Hatha class, you will be introduced to the basic asanas divided into the beginner’s, intermediate, and advanced sequences. The pace is set to slow and breathwork is thoroughly interwoven into the practice. The slow, contemplative, and relaxing mood of Hatha Yoga works for unwinding after a long and hard day, getting prepped for more intensive exercise routines, a great unwind and a mind-centering practice.

Vinyasa Flow-- A Moving Meditation

This style demands the practitioner to keep moving. Each asana connects with the next in sequence with the breath as the anchor. The rhythm, pattern, and dynamism of the breathwork remain the same even as the movements keep changing. The core idea of vinyasa yoga is to stay in “flow”. This can be a totally sweat-inducing but a delicious love affair for those looking for a challenge. Benefits of yoga in the vinyasa flow style are increased flexibility, more mental focus, and unwinding of a stress-ridden body.

Iyengar Yoga-- Intensity Workout

An Iyengar Yoga sequence is a hand-picked catalog of the most intensive asanas. The class is not set to a quickly changing flow like the vinyasa. Rather, it encourages the practitioner to stay in a pose for a long time. Holding it at a particular climaxing stretch or bend, expanding one’s breath, and at times using props to stay in alignment-- this is the key idea of Iyengar Yoga.

Bikram Yoga-- Sauna and Detox With Asanas

This one is like a sauna and yoga class packed into one. The primary proponent of the style, Bikram Choudhury created a 90-minute sequence out of 26 postures to be performed in one typical session inside a room with the temperature drawn up high somewhere between 35 degrees to 42 degrees with 40% humidity.

It makes you sweat profusely leading to a thorough detox, weight loss, regulated metabolism, and improved circulation. Don’t forget to carry water and stay wary of low salt levels.

Ashtanga Yoga-- A Structured Power Practice

Ashtanga Yoga is the classical form of yoga, structured and codified in the modern age by K. Pattabhi Jois. The postures are greatly defined, greatly challenging, and require hands-on assistance for achieving the ideal body alignments. It is not a very fluid form and the practitioner needs to follow the pre-defined sequences. The practice is often performed in a constant flow, though at individual paces.

Jivamukti Yoga-- An Intentful and Ethical Lifestyle Practice

This yoga has a definitive spiritual undertone. A Jivamukti follower practices yoga to be more mindful environmentally and recognize the oneness in nature. The five tenets of Jivamukti are-- Shastra (scripture), Bhakti (devotion), Ahimsa (non-harm), Nada (music), and dhyana (meditation).

Kundalini Yoga-- Uncoiling Your Dormant Potentials

Kundalini is a very meditative form and relies on the notion of Chakras or focal points of energies at different rungs of the body. Chanting, meditation, mudras, and breathing are the main tools of Kundalini. Receiving the benefits of Kundalini yoga, you will be waking up to your highest potential, enabling subtle sensations, cleansing of the physical body, and overreach into the subconscious mind.

Yin Yoga-- Cultivating Patience, Relaxation, and Peace

With its roots in Taoist teachings, Yin Yoga was developed to enhance patience, peace, and restedness in the practitioner. The postures extend over quite a few minutes, the connective tissues are stretched and increased in their elasticity, and the life energy in the body is activated.

Now that you have some insight into types of yoga and their benefits, choose the one that works best for your temperament.