Updated: Aug 24, 2020
Here is a beginners guide of 6 popular styles of yoga
You've probably heard people say before, 'yoga is for everyone' and that is of course true. But it's about finding the style of yoga that suits you, your body, your needs.
When searching to find the right yoga class, there is so many types out there it might get a bit confusing. So here is a quick guide on some of the more typical styles of yoga you may come across.
In vinyasa yoga the movement is linked with the breath, flowing from one posture to the next in a fluid sequence. You might also hear this be called 'yoga flow' or 'vinyasa flow'. Although vinyasa can be fast and physically challenging it can also be soft with some longer holds in poses. Every teacher will teach in their own style and each class can be sequenced creatively and differently. It isn't necessarily a set sequence like you may find in Ashtanga or Iyengar.
This is a dynamic, high paced and structured yoga class. There are five ashtanga series and each student must master every pose of the primary series before moving onto the second. Ashtanga is for you if you want a challenge and are dedicated to practising frequently, as it can take years for yogi's to move up to the next series of postures.
Hatha yoga is quite a generic term and can refer to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. A Hatha yoga class will typically include yoga poses and breathing techniques but practised at a slower pace than vinyasa or Ashtanga with more static held postures.
Yin classes usually involve more passive floor postures, holding a pose for up to five minutes or more. Yin focusses on targeting deep connective tissues rather than muscles and teaches you to breath and sit through the discomfort as well as your thoughts. The practise of Yin is based on traditional Chinese medicine, a yin yoga sequence can restore the healthy flow of Qi in our bodies and is the balance we may need from our 'yang' paced lives.
Hot yoga can be any style of yoga practised in a warm climate controlled room. Popular styles are vinyasa or Bikram. The addition of heat turns up the intensity of the class, it can help you increase your flexibility and you will definitely leave sweaty! Don't forget your water and yoga towel for this one.
Kundalini is a spiritual and physical practise aiming to increase your self-awareness by quieting your mind and unblocking your chakras, allowing vital energy to flow freely. The term Kundalini means 'a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine', this can be conceptualised as a coiled up serpent. We bring energy up our spine through the chakras and out the crown of the head. Expect chanting, pranayama (breathwork), yoga postures, working with bandha's, (the energetic locks in the body).