You would like to start a yoga practice, but don’t know which type of Yoga is right for you? That is understandable. Because there are many different types of Yoga, accordingly, it can be quite tricky for beginners to find their way through the yoga jungle. This article introduces you to the currently most popular and well-known directions to give you an overview. But remember: Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory. So try different styles and types of yoga and find out which one is best for you.
If you like saunas, you will love Bikram Yoga! Bikram Yoga (or Hot Yoga) is practised at a room temperature of 40 degrees Celsius and 40% humidity. So be prepared for an intensive sweating session with a strong cleansing effect. Bikram consists of only 26 yoga poses, but these are repeated twice, and the main focus is on correct posture. For this reason, this style is perfect for beginners!
Hatha Yoga is the origin of the different Yoga styles. Most forms of Yoga that exist today are derived from Hatha Yoga. It is a classical approach to yoga practice and often serves as a foundation before a specific direction is taken for deepening. In a lesson with “Hatha Yoga,” you will get to know many asanas (yoga poses) that will last you a little longer. And the transition between the exercises is smooth and slow. It is all in all fair practice, which is excellent if you want to end the day in the evening.
Anusara Yoga was founded in 1997 by John Friend in the USA. It is, therefore, a young and prevalent current among yoga practitioners. This school belongs – like the Iyengar Yoga – to the purest form of Yoga. Anusara Yoga differs from the other styles in its focus on the heart. Therefore, many “heart-opening” asanas are performed. These include especially back bending, like the camel, the cobra, the bow and many more. The effect: Anusara brings a love of self and neighbour, as well as acceptance into your everyday life!
Jivamukti Yoga was founded in New York in 1984 by Sharon Gannon and David Life. This style is also one of the young movements and has become increasingly popular in the yoga community, especially in the last few years. The term “Jivamukti” means “liberation while you live”. This yoga style belongs to the school of Vinyasa Yoga and is accordingly dynamic and physically demanding. Furthermore, Jivamukti is very spiritual. Therefore, in such a yoga class, you can encounter both mantra singing and scripture reading.
Vinyasa Yoga (also called Flow Yoga or Vinyasa Flow) is one of the most popular types of Yoga. Why? Because no two yoga sessions are the same. With each teacher, you will experience different sequences.
This style is very dynamic and physically demanding. You will be in constant movement and will slide from one pose to the next. You will synchronize your breath with every move, creating a flow that will make you mentally and physically out of your stressful everyday life and into the here and now.
It is a Yoga school founded by BKS. Iyengar. In an Iyengar class, you will learn to pay close attention to your posture. No other yoga style is as focused on posture as Iyengar. You will practice with many supports such as yoga blocks, cushions, straps and belts. This way, your body is ideally supported and relieved. This style is therefore very suitable for people with physical ailments.
Usually, this style is also called Power Yoga. Ideal for advanced students, this yoga school is physically very demanding. Ashtanga consists of six very strenuous yoga sequences. The practitioner first practices the first sequence and ascends to the next, depending on progress. The movements are performed dynamically and in the rhythm of the breath so that a so-called “flow” is created. Do you want to push your body to limits you have not yet known? Then Power Yoga is just the right thing for you!
The Kundalini practise consists of many dynamic and invigorating poses. These are aimed at awakening the Kundalini energy that every person has in their body. Did you not know that you have such a thing at all? Just imagine Kundalini as a source of power that is curled up like a snake and slumbering in the lower part of your spine. Through the practice of Yoga, this energy should awaken and rise the spine to the top of the head and be released. The Kundalini practise has an immediate and substantial effect on your well-being. Just one lesson can have a tremendous, positive impact on your mental and physical well-being.
Yin Yoga is a calm and meditative form of Yoga. It is often called Taoist Yoga. This style focuses on deep stretching of your body and is designed to balance Yang Yoga, i.e. muscle-building forms of Yoga such as Anusara, Ashtanga, Iyengar and others. The unique thing: Yin poses are passive. This means that you put yourself into an asana and completely relax and let go. Gravity does the rest. A welcome side effect: Since the exercises are very long, you learn patience!
Practice the various types of yoga we’ve explained here and tell us in the comments below which one you liked the most!