When you think of yoga, do you think of tree-hugging, granola eating very flexible people?
Just like the word “sauce” can refer to everything from a hearty Bolognese to a delicate beurre blanc, you may be surprised to find out that yoga is not just one thing. It’s a blanket term that refers to almost a dozen different practices from meditation and gentle stretching to an all-out sweat-inducing aerobic experience! Here are some of the more popular types of yoga – find the one that is right for you!
A great place to start if you’re new to yoga is with a class in Hatha Yoga. Technically, the term “hatha” refers to all physical postures in any type of yoga, but here in the west, it generally refers to a slower-paced style of yoga that focuses on breathing and gentle exercises.
Iyengar yoga focuses on alignment and very precise movements as well as strict, controlled breathing. This type of yoga involves a smaller range of movement than others, but poses are held for longer providing for a very thorough work out! If you suffer from any injuries, Iyengar yoga, with its slower and methodical movements, may be right for you.
This is where yoga really turns up the heat…literally! Bikram yoga takes place in a room set to 105 degrees F and 40% humidity. You will complete two series of 26 basic postures during a typical 90 minute class…and you will sweat!
Ready for a workout? Vinyasa yoga will really get you moving! In this style of yoga, poses flow seamlessly from one to another rather than having participants hold each pose for a set amount of time before moving to the next.
A more advanced style of yoga, Ashtanga is physically demanding and is not recommended for beginners. This form of yoga starts with 10 set poses and then moves into a series of standing floor postures. More experienced yogis often practice this in groups where each member of the group knows the exact routine to follow, but they do it at their own pace.