Hot yoga, hatha yoga, vinyasa yoga. With so many different classes available, how do you know what type of yoga is right for you?
The answer may depend on what you’re hoping to accomplish, physically or mentally, by practicing yoga poses. Yoga Journal offers a look at some of the benefits a few popular types of yoga may offer.
Hatha yoga is a practice that may refer to many types of yoga. Its poses are designed to help calm your body, mind and spirit through breathing, stretching and balance practices.
Find examples of hatha yoga poses in these videos.
While you may work up a sweat in a vinyasa yoga class due to the constant flow of poses, the practice is intended to help you stretch and strengthen your body to help improve circulation to your organs.
Find examples of vinyasa yoga poses in these videos.
Ashtanga yoga is a practice in which you may quickly work up a sweat. Its poses typically focus on toning the body and strengthening the core through more physically demanding poses than you may find in other classes.
Find examples of ashtanga yoga poses in these videos.
Power yoga shares many qualities with ashtanga yoga, including its focus on increasing your body heat as you practice poses to help build your strength and flexibility. Instructors typically lead their own sequence of poses and students breathe in and out in conjunction with their bodies’ movements.
Find examples of power yoga poses in these videos.
Hot yoga is named to reflect the temperature in the classroom. Classes typically take place in rooms heated to between 85 and 105 degrees to help you rid your body of toxins. Different types of yoga may be practiced in a hot yoga class.
Find examples of hot yoga poses in these videos.
Restorative yoga is among the simplest forms of yoga. In these classes, you’ll likely practice just a few different poses, aimed at helping your mind and body relax.
Find examples of restorative yoga poses in these videos.
In all, there are more than 100 types of yoga, says the American Osteopathic Association, and most involve breathing techniques and various poses to help you strengthen muscles, meditate and improve flexibility.
If you take one class and don’t enjoy it, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should rule out the practice completely. It may just be a matter of finding the type of yoga that is right for you.