There are many different types of yoga, but how do you know which type is best for you? There’s no right or wrong answer, we promote yoga for everybody and every body, so explore and find the yoga styles you enjoy! We’re going to shine a light on the top 10 types of yoga, and maybe you’ll find a new one you’d like to try.
1 - Hatha Yoga
Traditionally described as the ‘yoga of force’, Hatha yoga includes physical postures, which will train you to experience better meditation. Hatha yoga classes often include a fusion of breathing exercises, yoga positions and meditation. This is the type of yoga you are likely to think of when thinking about traditional yoga.
If you’re new to hatha yoga try the vrikshasana pose, also known as the tree pose, it’s a classic yoga position and will get you on your way to learning hatha yoga.
2 - Integral Yoga
Integral yoga combines elements of Hatha, Raja, Bhakti, Karma and Japa yoga. This yoga style has a heavy focus on breath work, helping you to manifest the physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of your being. Integral yoga is very spiritual, and will encourage you to address your life, including physical, intellectual, spiritual and relational issues. Integral yoga classes are known to be gentle and non-competitive.
Want to try integral yoga? Get started from home and practice the bow pose, a yoga position often featured in integral yoga.
3 - Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga, meaning ‘8 limbs’ is a very physically demanding yoga style. The same series of poses is followed in a precise sequence, repeatedly. Ashtanga yoga is energetic, with a focus on synchronizing breathing techniques with the series of movements. Classes are not held on new or half moons.
If ashtanga yoga sounds like something you’d enjoy, why not give the big toe pose a go, its one of the key standing poses in the ashtanga yoga position series.
4 - Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa yoga is very similar to Ashtanga yoga. Vinyasa yoga incorporates many of the positions used in ashtanga yoga, however the series of the poses is often varied. There is a focus on breathing, with teachings on how to match your breathing with the yoga positions. Expecept a vigorous flow of sweat inducing positions to get your blood pumping.
To get started with vinyasa yoga, give the downward dog pose a try, not only is this a position featured in vinyasa yoga, it is also featured in integral, hatha and ashtanga yoga too!
5 - Power Yoga
Power yoga stems from ashtanga yoga, the moves are similar but a lot faster. Each teacher adds their own spin on the routine and classes can take place in either standard or hot yoga facilities. Power yoga will definitely get your heart rate up, with the fast transitions between positions, power yoga is designed to build internal heat, strength and flexibility - all whilst calming the mind.
If you’re new to yoga and power yoga sounds like something you’d like to try, get started by practicing the child's pose, recommended alongside 5 breaths.
6 - Jivamukti Yoga
Jivamukti yoga was invented in the 80s, by David Life and Sharon Gannon. Jivamukto yoga is of Hindu nature, and incorporates many of the traditional yoga poses seen in hatha yoga. This yoga style provides a physical workout, but is also spiritual and ritualistic, each class starts with chanting.
A slightly trickier pose is the blooming lotus pose, this seated pose will help to increase yur flexibility and get you on your way to becoming a jivamukti yoga master.
7 - Kundalini Yoga
The main aim of Kundalini yoga is to activate your Kundalini energy, or shakti energy, which is said to be the spiritual energy located at the base of your spine. Kundalini yoga involves repetitive chanting, singing, meditation and breathing exercises to awaken the sleeping energy at the base of your spine.
Kundalini yoga is all about energy, and controlling your breathing. To get to grips with the basics of this yoga style try alternate nostril breathing, cover one nostril with your thumb and slowly inhale and exhale 5 times, then switch nostril.
8 - Bikram Yoga
Prepare to get hot and sweaty! Bikram yoga, often referred to as hot yoga, takes place in yoga rooms heated to approximately 100 degrees. A bikram yoga class will take you through a precise set of 26 postures in a specific series, trademarked by Bikram Choudhury in the 70s. These days you may find that bikram yoga classes don’t always follow the set 26 positions, they may have their own unique spin, however one thing is for sure, you’ll experience a great workout and some incredible heat. For more information on bikram yoga read our blog here.
If you’re a yoga newbie and would like to give bikram yoga a go, try the triangle pose, you may not have the high heated room but practicing the moves ahead of class may help you feel prepared and will hopefully be fun too!
9 - Aerial Yoga
Combine asana yoga with a fabric hammock and you get aerial yoga - a super fun, zero gravity yoga experience! Aerial yoga allows you to explore traditional yoga positions whilst suspended in the air by a fabric hammock, it’s a truly freeing experience, which may feel scary at first but you’ll soon experience the liberating feeling of practicing yoga in the air. To read more about aerial yoga click here.
Now this one will be a bit tricky to practice from home, but trying out traditional seated yoga poses such as the seated eagle or seated pigeon will help you get ready for taking these poses into the air at an aerial yoga class.
10 - Iyengar Yoga
Iyengar yoga focuses on the physical alignment of the body through practice of the asanas. This type of yoga is great if you want to learn the form and positions of pose, expect to experience long holds in the postures, the use of props to help you achieve the correct physical alignment and breathing techniques to get you in and out of the positions effectively.
If you’re new to iyengar yoga why not try the seated spinal twist position, it’ll help you feel relaxed and stretched, ready to tackle even more yoga positions!
So, there you have it, the top 10 yoga types. We hope this has inspired you to explore some different yoga styles, perhaps there were some you hadn’t heard of, or perhaps you knew about them all - either way, no matter the yoga style, we hope you enjoy exploring yourself through the wonderful practices of yoga.