The Different Types Of Yoga Classes
Taking yoga classes is an excellent way to relax, deal with stress, and even be used as a source of exercise but if you have ever looked for yoga workouts for the first time, you quickly realized that there are many different types of yoga classes. Before you decide to join a class, make sure you understand exactly what type of yoga workouts you will be getting yourself into. Here are 8 of the most common types of yoga classes that you will see:
Hata yoga is the most basic type of yoga class and is the source of many of the free yoga workouts that you see on the internet. If you are interested in taking yoga for the first time, Hatha yoga classes are probably the best choice. They incorporate different poses and breathing techniques, but are designed to go through basic movements without a lot of additional complexities.
If you have ever seen those stunning videos of freeform yoga that flows from one pose to another, you are probably watching a Vinyasa practitioner. Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word that means to flow and is one of the types of yoga classes that rely on fluid and smooth transitions from one pose to the next. Vinyasa workouts can be quite intense and are perfect for those who do not want to worry about routine; if you are a beginner, though, trying to keep up may be overwhelming.
Ashtanga yoga is one of the most popular types of yoga classes and it is actually quite similar to what you would experience in Vinyasa with one major difference: unlike Vinyasa which is based on freeflowing movement, the poses in Asthanga yoga are very specific and repeated in the same way each time. As with most yoga, every movement corresponds to your breathing and Astanga classes are typically some of the most intense yoga workouts.
Bikram yoga is named after Bikram Choudhury because he started a series of very different yoga classes that are all based on being in a heated environment. Bikram classes are actually very specific and they are a brand of classes. It is similar to Spin classes, Spin classes are an actual brand of stationary bike exercises; Bikram is a branded form of hot yoga. If you want to sweat with your workout, Bikram yoga workouts may be the way to go. In these classes you will follow a series of 26 very specific poses.
As mentioned, Bikram yoga is a particular branded type of yoga class owned by Bikram Choudhury. There are similar yoga workouts available that incorporate training in a hot room, but these are often referred to as Hot Yoga classes if they do not actually belong to Bikram’s brand. While they are in a heated environment and you will definitely sweat a lot, the poses may differ from Bikram.
Anusara yoga is one of the relatively new types of yoga classes and was created in the late 1990s by John Friend, an American yogi. What makes Anusara yoga classes different than any other type of yoga classes is that it not only focuses on poses for the body, but has a large focus on yoga for mental health as well. Anusara is a type of yoga class that has a very specific set of instructions carried out by trained teachers to follow the Universal Principles of Alignment.
If you are a person that pays extreme attention to detail, Iyengar yoga is the best type of yoga classes to be in. Iyengar has different poses, but unlike other types of yoga classes, these yoga workouts focus on every single pose being perfectly aligned. There are often a lot of different yoga props (such as chairs, blocks, and rope walls) available to ensure that every pose is executed perfectly. Anyone that teaches Iyengar yoga must have specific training to ensure they are teaching proper methods which make this type of yoga great for anyone with injuries that they do not want to agitate.
As the name suggests, restorative yoga is one of the types of yoga classes that put an emphasis on relaxation and restoration. Most of the poses that are executed on props so that a pose can be completed but there is no effort or exertion required. There are free yoga workouts that often mimic restorative yoga at home, but going to a studio where they have the right type of props usually results in a more relaxing experience.