What Types of Yoga Are Best for You? A Handy Guide for Beginners

By Laurie Fanelli in Healthy Feeling

There are so many types of yoga classes available these days, it can be intimidating for a beginner to start the practice. How to choose a yoga style depends on what you’re looking to get out of the sessions. From relaxing and reconnecting with your inner self to sweating it out during a tough workout, each variety of yoga is designed to achieve certain goals.

Below you’ll find a rundown of some of the most popular types of yoga taught at gyms all over the country. Most instructors are happy to explain what their classes are all about, so give your local yoga studio a call to make sure you choose the best program for you.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga is great for anyone looking to connect her body and soul with a challenging and creative workout.

Fluid movement and seamless flow are at the center of vinyasa yoga. This popular style allows instructors the freedom to combine moves to best serve their students needs. Deep breathing is a key component to vinyasa yoga, as breath and movement are intertwined throughout a variety of challenging poses.

Bikram Yoga

How to choose a yoga style

If you like structure, routine, and heat in your workouts, Bikram yoga may be for you.

Set in yoga studios heated anywhere between 95 and 108 degrees Fahrenheit, the system consists of the exact same series of 26 postures during each 90 class. The poses are designed to work every part of your body while the hot room encourages the removal of toxins through the cleansing effects of sweat. Hot yoga is similar to Bikram yoga, although instructors are given more freedom to change the routine.

Restorative Yoga

Simple poses and deep relaxation are two of the cornerstones of restorative yoga, making it a great option for those looking to slow things down and place a priority on mindfulness.

Restorative yoga is more about healing your body, mind, and spirit than challenging participants with difficult moves. Simple poses, aided by bolsters and blocks, prioritize rejuvenating breathing techniques and help you to quiet your brain and live in the moment.

Prenatal Yoga

As the name suggests, prenatal yoga is designed for pregnant women to help them stay in shape while developing strong breathing techniques that will come in handy during labor.

prenatal yoga

Prenatal yoga students should touch base with their doctor to make sure they’re cleared for exercise while they’re expecting, especially if they’re new to yoga as a whole. Prenatal yoga focuses on flexibility in poses, ensuring that each move can be adapted throughout the duration of a student’s pregnancy.

Chakra Yoga

Chakra yoga features moves designed to channel positivity and light by connecting with your body’s energy centers.

Spirituality and the abstract idea of strength (as opposed to literal muscular strength) are the key points of chakra yoga, as participants open up their chakras to encourage energy to flow through their person. This style can help you free yourself from anxiety while connecting with focus and creativity.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is a great place to start if you aren’t sure which type of yoga is best for you—the technique has inspired many more specific offshoots. When people talk about yoga, they’re often referring to hatha yoga without even realizing it. Deep breathing, meditation, and a variety of common yoga poses are associated with hatha yoga.

Along with all of the previously mentioned types of yoga, many more styles are currently being offered at gyms, studios, and online. Partner poses are a great way to get the whole family involved, and outdoor yoga is the perfect excuse to enjoy a little exercise in the open air. Take the first step on this valuable journey today by trying whichever yoga variety best suits your healthy lifestyle.

Which type of yoga is your favorite? Let us know with a #GoodMatters tweet! Namaste.

Image sources: Pixabay | Flickr | Flickr

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Why It’s Good

Each variety of yoga is special in its own way. Learn the differences between the most popular varieties to determine which style is best for you. That way, you get the most out of your workout and can focus on how your body and mind feel.