What Type of Yoga Class is Right For You
There are hundreds of different types of yoga. And if you’re a beginner, the sheer variety of yoga practices can be a bit overwhelming. So, if you’re looking to start practicing yoga more, where do you start? To help you find a yoga class that’s right for you, below we’re taking a closer look at some of the most popular types of yoga. We’ll talk about what they’re like and give some tips on who they may be best for.
As you browse this guide, think about what you’re looking for in a yoga class. Do you want a practice that’s more physical, more healing, or perhaps more spiritual? Also, remember to think about any personal physical needs you may have. For example, starting with something slow and gentle may be best for your body. Or, you may feel that something more energetic or invigorating would be best for your body. Just consider your goals and needs, then consider which practices would best fit what you’re looking for.
What It’s Like: The sanskrit word for hatha translates to “force,” meaning physicality. Hatha yoga is actually a broad category that encompasses many types of yoga that are focused on physical practice. But in the U.S., if a yoga class is described as Hatha yoga, it will generally be a more slow and gentle practice that incorporates longer yoga posture holds.
It’s Best For: Hatha yoga is excellent for beginners, since it’s a slower and more gentle style of yoga. Hatha yoga is also a great option for beginners because taking a Hatha class is an excellent way to learn the basics of yoga in a more slow-paced environment.
What It’s Like: In a Vinyasa yoga class, you’ll move through asanas (yoga poses) while synchronizing your breathing with your movements. Vinyasa yoga is also called “Vinyasa flow yoga,” since you flow through asanas with fluid transitions in between your poses.
It’s Best For: Vinyasa yoga is great for people who want to get their heart rate up in a yoga class. It’s also great for those who love variety, since your yoga instructor will lead you through many poses in a Vinyasa class.
What It’s Like: Restorative yoga is a gentle and restorative practice that’s focused on healing the mind and body. Restorative yoga is slow-moving, with long holds that allow you to relax in your poses. In a restorative yoga class, you’ll often use a variety of yoga props (like blankets and soft blocks) to help you feel supported in each pose.
It’s Best For: Restorative yoga is an excellent practice for anyone. It’s particularly good for those who have a hard time relaxing or slowing down, people who are recovering from illness or injury, and those who are struggling with emotional trauma or stress.
What It’s Like: Ashtanga is a Vinyasa-style practice in which you’ll flow through a series of poses while focusing on your breath. In an Ashtanga class, you’ll flow through the same six specifically sequenced poses throughout the entire class.
It’s Best For: Ashtanga yoga is great if you like to work up a sweat and you love the orderly nature of the practice. This form of is repetitive, which makes it a favorite of people who like order and strict guidelines (like people who are Type-A).
What It’s Like: Bikram yoga is a type of hot yoga, which means it’s done in a hot and humid room. All Bikram yoga classes feature the same set sequence of 26 asanas, which you’ll flow through twice in a 90 minute class. All Bikram yoga classes are also at the same temperature and humidity (105 degrees F and 40 percent humidity). Many people believe that Bikram yoga can help flush out toxins and promote detoxification.
It’s Best For: Bikram yoga is considered a more intense yoga style, since you’ll sweat a lot in a Bikram class, both from the heat and the sequence. Bikram yoga is great for those who are looking for an intense power yoga practice and like discipline and order in their practice.
What It’s Like: Kundalini yoga is a more spiritual practice that blends asanas, pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and chanting. Kundalini yoga is designed to awaken energy at the base of the spine and move it through the chakras. Kundalini classes generally feature an opening chant, a warm up sequence (to warm up the spine), an asana sequence, and a closing meditation.
It’s Best For: Kundalini yoga is often loved by yogis who want a more spiritual yoga practice. It’s also often a favorite of people who like variety, since Kundalini yoga teachers ensure their classes are always different.
There you have it: our guide to some of the most popular yoga practices! We hope this guide to the various forms of yoga has been helpful as you search for a yoga class that’s right for you. We also hope that it encourages you to try more styles of yoga! Trying different types of yoga can be very beneficial. Of course, it can help you find the right class for you. But then, doing different styles of yoga in general can help your practice become more balanced.
If you’re looking to try some new yoga classes in Studio City, check out our Events Calendar to view the upcoming classes at our yoga studio! Or, follow us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with what’s new at Mosaic Wellness.