Yoga for Beginners- 10 Popular Types of Yoga to Familiarize Yourself With
Throughout our TFLiving Communities, Yoga is the most popular resident and property manager choice for group fitness classes. Though many people are very familiar with the concept of Yoga, there are over a dozen forms and variations that exist, each providing a uniquely different focus and experience. It can be overwhelming to a beginner looking to try out Yoga for the first time, or simply learn more about the art and practice, so we’ve broken down some of the most popular types of Yoga forms with a little information about what you can expect from each one.
Vinyasa tends to be one of the most popular and familiar forms of Yoga classes. A Vinyasa is a fast-paced moving Yoga style that coordinates breath with flowing movement in the form of sun salutations. Sun salutations are sweeping movements that help stimulate blood circulation, awaken the digestive system, and strengthen the lungs. The sequence of movements pairs very well with music and can be compared to a moving form of meditation.
Similar to a Vinyasa style Yoga, Ashtanga also moves quickly, but with the intention to combine the awareness of the eight limbs of Yogic practice. In its most traditional form native from India, this version of Yoga is usually practiced without music in silence, and is typically more intense, as it requires nonstop movement, multiple sun salutations, and the discipline of every day practice. A variation of Ashtanga Yoga that has also started gaining traction recently is Rocket Yoga, which consists of a series of balancing seated and standing poses as well as inversions. the benefits of this include regular benefits of yoga with an additional emphasis on digestion stimulation, soothing of the nervous system, and improved concentration and focus.
Bikram, also known as Hot Yoga, is practiced in a warm room usually set between 95-104 degrees, with the goal of loosening tight muscles for greater posture and alignment while allowing greater purification from sweating through 26 postures and breathing. There is usually no music involved.
Kundalini Yoga takes into account the ideology that we are made up of 7 energy centers known as “chakras” located along our spine up through our crown, and this form of Yoga works to ignite and restore those chakra energy centers through channeled exercises and breaths. The class features 3 parts: an opening “chant” or tuning in, a series of postures for the spine paired with breathing, and ends with a closing song or meditation.
Chair Yoga is a variation of Yoga that includes common postures and stretches from many traditional or Hatha Yoga forms that have been modified to allow you to remain seated or form movements and postures with a chair. This type of Yoga is a great choice for people who are older or have limited movement but are still looking for a gentle form of exercise that can help reduce pain, improve alignment, and curb stress.
Hatha is the most general type of Yoga available for beginners and is typically an all-encompassing series to help relax and strengthen the body and mind through movements and breath. Hatha Yoga is the most popular form of Yoga that many group fitness classes are based on, and usually this practice includes slower movements with longer held poses, greater stretches, and a meditation (savasana) at the end. Classes are typically accompanied with music.
Yin yoga is a variant of Yoga that places direct emphasis on the connective tissue around the joints, and is very meditative in length. The practice works to elongate the muscles throughout the body and allows your body to relax in a comfortable pose without doing any work for several long moments and minimal movement. This form of Yoga is meant to compliment other Yoga forms, such as Yang Yoga flows, that works more on muscular strength, stamina, and flexibility.
Similar to Ashtanga Yoga, Power Yoga moves very quickly through vigorous poses that are sequenced and help to strengthen the core and upper body. These classes are typically paired with upbeat music. Sometimes a Vinyasa Flow can also be seen as a form of Power Yoga when the movements are more geared around muscle strengthening.
Iyenger Yoga is a type of Hatha, or more general Yoga practice that places emphasis on alignment postures and is a great choice for beginners to help familiarize you with poses. Typically most poses are performed while standing, held for long periods of time, and use props such as blocks, straps, chairs, or blankets unlike the fast movement of a Vinyasa, Power or Ashtanga Yoga class..
Jivamutki is a more spiritually intended form of Yoga that incorporates a lesson or a theme into each class. Classes are usually similar in nature to those of Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga flows and typically to include more vigorous movements. Chanting and meditation are incorporated with the sequences to promote inspiration for whatever intention is set by the Yoga teacher for the day.