15 types of yoga: choose the best for you

The ancient practice came to us from India. There are many types of yoga and this is one of the main reasons why it is so popular. From deep, slow yin yoga to yoga paired with gymnastics and tough, dynamic ashtanga vinyasa, spiritual practice has something for everyone. This is great for two reasons. First, it allows you to search for a long time and methodically until you find the style that suits the best. Secondly, each type of yoga has benefits and may work for you at different times. Essentially, the yoga world is your matrix.

Description of the types of yoga

Before starting classes, make sure you are allowed to practice. Visit your doctor and get their approval. Despite the simplicity of some asanas, the movements and postures are full of meaning and touch the depths of your body. The main and popular varieties are described below. Consider this your cheat sheet if you can’t decide what type of practice you want to try or quickly remember what to expect from each lesson.

Hatha yoga

The oldest basic art of Hatha Yoga has traditionally been to create balance in the autonomic nervous system by performing strengthening asanas that relax and improve flexibility. Pranayamas (breathing) play an important role in the practice of Hatha Yoga. Breathing and movement together create a balance of body and mind.

During the lesson, you need to try to hold each pose for 5 to 10 breaths, paying particular attention to stability and building strength. Hatha is suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners. You will create the foundations of breathing and body awareness needed for all other styles. The practice is suitable for:

  • improving sleep;
  • relieve stress;
  • increased care.

This is a great opportunity to relax, calm your body and mind, and improve your basic posture technique.


Literally, the word means “stream”. This can be a flow from asana to the next asana, for example, from dog pose down to chaturanga and back up to dog. You can put a more general meaning in the meaning of “flow”: a dynamic style of yoga, where poses pass one into another, with 3-5 breaths in each.

This view is good for those who need movement for meditation and is great for learning to use the breath as a tool. In general, a good activity for those who want to try yoga, but would like to choose active, dynamic exercises.

Vinyasa is suitable for:

  • general toning;
  • strengthening;
  • lengthening and aligning the body.

Since it is a dynamic style, it develops the cardiovascular system, endurance. Vinyasa can help you focus and improve your overall psychological well-being and is a good antidote to stress.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga

Popularized by world celebrities, Ashtanga, or “the path of the eight limbs,” requires physical stamina. If you are a beginner or not in great physical shape, you need to be careful not to jump into it. The practice consists of several Surya Namaskar (aerobic elements) followed by standing and floor postures. The lesson includes 6 series of poses.

This type is also called power yoga. If you do decide to do it, start with the first episode, and then move on to the next level when you fully master the previous one. It takes years to master this practice.

Ashtanga is suitable for:

  • building up physical strength;
  • cleansing the nervous system;
  • calming the mind.

Try it when you feel the need to move, sweat, and focus.


5 principles are included in classical practice. These are correct: exercise, breathing, relaxation, nutrition, understanding. Highly spiritual practice is based on the study of the scriptures, training the body and mind, serving the world, selfless labor. These are mainly static asanas, relaxation, meditation and chanting of mantras.


The founder of this practice B.K.S. Iyengar was an influential teacher who became famous for using supports such as blocks and chairs in the classroom. The supports are designed to achieve ideal technique and body position. In the future, you need to develop enough strength in yourself to take the correct position without support. Static Iyengar is a form of Hatha Yoga that focuses on alignment and precision. Poses last longer than Vinyasa or Ashtanga, and props are often used for this.

The practice is suitable for:

  • studying the intricacies of poses;
  • building a safe, healthy balance, individual for each student.

Try Iyengar when you feel the need to focus or if you are a very stiff newbie.

Kriya Yoga

Translated from Sanskrit, kriya means movement, flow. This is a very ancient practice, and to this day it has come down in a modified and supplemented form. The Kriya lesson consists of Hatha Yoga exercises as a warm-up, training for mindful breathing.

Yin yoga

The practice includes postures and stretches that lengthen the muscles and fascia (connective tissue) that cover the joints, thereby helping to improve their mobility and overall flexibility. You need to hold the poses for 2 to 10 minutes each, giving enough time for the deep patterns of tension in the body to begin to release.

Yin yoga:

  • increases mobility and flexibility;
  • eliminates muscle tension;
  • promotes the growth of cells necessary for the synthesis of elastin and collagen;
  • deeply affects the connective tissues of the body.
  • great yoga style for sound sleep.

The slow pace of yin yoga helps calm the nervous system and gives students the opportunity to slow down, relax, and enjoy this meditative style.

Yoga nidra

An effective yoga style for relieving mental and physical stress. Its author Swami Satyananda calls his creation a “yogic dream.” The essence of the classes is that during the practice, all human senses seem to be turned off. The nose does not smell smells, the eyes do not focus on objects, the skin does not feel touch. By turning off all the senses, the student completely relaxes the body, calms the soul and head, and at an advanced level restores the taste for life and self-confidence. Nidra Yoga is combined with other practices.

Restorative yoga

This is also a slow kind, suitable for calming down, relaxing and giving the body a chance to rest. To support the body during the lesson, supports (blocks, belts, pillows, bolsters) are used, contributing to deep relaxation. Sitting down in passive yoga asanas, we allow the nervous system to relax. It relieves the effects of stress, which we face in everyday life, and is very useful in times of fatigue, illness and emotional stress.

Restorative yoga takes you to a quiet place to meditate and which is suitable for tranquility. The sessions are very gentle, which makes them a good addition to more vigorous exercise. It is a great antidote to stress as your body can fully rest in a series of poses.


If you have ever seen people dressed all in white come out of a yoga studio, they may have just finished a Kundalini lesson. The practice combines invigorating movements, dynamic breathing, meditation and chanting to strengthen vitality. During the lesson, students practice kriyas – strong, repetitive hand movements. They also work with breathing and gestures, which will help developmental stamina and strengthen the nervous system.

Suitable for:

  • strengthening intuition, tone;
  • development of spiritual practice.

Initially, traditional Kundalini teachings focused on improving the flow of energy throughout the body. Modern Kundalini Yoga is a powerful system of processes that stimulate neural networks in the body and brain.

Power yoga

The term is used to describe a dynamic practice involving hand balancing and inverted body positions. Strength is almost always a style of soft Vinyasa with strength sets to increase your heart rate and strengthen your torso.

It is similar in style to Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga, in fact harder, faster and stronger than traditional Ashtanga. Strength training is designed to make you sweat and strengthen your muscle corset.

Suitable for:

  • building up the strength of the whole body;
  • endurance of the cardiovascular system.

Try power yoga when you feel a bit stagnant in your body, need a change, or when you have a lot of energy.

Bikram yoga

The “hot” direction of Hatha yoga is practiced in a humid, warm environment (about 40 ° C). Heat allows the body to move more freely, and warmed-up muscles do not risk being stretched. Naturally, students sweat more in Bikram yoga than others, so you need to drink a lot and also have a towel for your feet to keep them from slipping on the mat.

Suitable for preventing injury, restoring balance and flexibility, improving breathing comprehension and mental endurance.

Bikram Yoga:

  • reduce joint stiffness;
  • improve blood circulation;
  • strengthens the immune system;
  • release endorphins.

The practice is suitable for losing weight, but there are contraindications: any stage of pregnancy, hypertension/hypotension, problems with the cardiovascular and endocrine systems.

Perinatal yoga

Yoga for pregnant women is easy and comfortable to do. However, if you have any doubts, concerns or concerns, please report them to your healthcare professional. If you have been given a complete carte blanche, everything is in order.

Perinatal yoga focuses on postures that are appropriate for pregnant women. A typical class includes breathing work and posture. Participants are encouraged to focus on breathing. A common technique taught in yoga classes for pregnant women is Golden Thread breath-holding to aid in childbirth.

The perinatal yoga class uses props such as blankets, pillows, and straps for support and comfort.

Yoga for pregnant women can:

  • reduce back pain;
  • relieve nausea;
  • remove headaches and shortness of breath;
  • improve sleep;
  • reduce stress and anxiety.

Exercise will help increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of the muscles needed for childbirth.


A visually impressive style that flexible pros adore for showing sublime poses. It is rather a sport on the verge of acrobatics. The lesson is not for beginners, but an interesting option for intermediate and advanced yogis.

Acro Yoga uses yoga and gymnastic training to enable participants to achieve incredible physical results. Classroom activities often involve working with a partner, so it is best to come together. In addition to building strength, Akro is suitable for building trust with a partner, initially, asanas can even take you out of your comfort zone.

Aero yoga

Aerial yoga involves the use of suspended hammocks (or slings) to allow students to adopt positions that would otherwise be impossible. Hammock beginners can easily do head, arm, and shoulder stands. This is a very entertaining lesson, a kind of aerial gymnastics that opens the door to the benefits of inverted postures for everyone.

Inversions are great for:

  • decompression of the spine;
  • saturation of the brain with oxygen;
  • redistribution of fluid on the face (which can give an anti-aging effect);
  • acceleration of lymph.

Aero yoga practitioners admit that the best moment is relaxation when you burrow into a hammock and feel as if you have returned to your mother’s womb. Suitable for beginners who want to work with flips.

Tips for beginners: what clothes to choose for yoga

Choosing the right yoga clothing makes it easy to forget about it during your classes. It is quite difficult to learn new asanas, but the task becomes even more difficult if you are wearing an inappropriate suit – too tight or sagging. When you try to tune in to your inner sensations, chafing seams, prickly tags, fabric adhering to the body, a T-shirt hanging from your head in an inverted position is distracting and annoying.

Yoga clothing is made from a variety of natural fibers: organic cotton, bamboo and linen. Light colors and earthy tones harmonize well with the Zen yoga effect. Fashionistas can find outfits with designer details – rhinestones, prints, embroidery. It is very important to buy breathable and comfortable clothing. Choosing a yoga suit should be based on the style you plan to practice.

A basic wardrobe can be like this:

  • breathable wide leg pants . This is a suitable option for slow practices such as Restorative or Yin Yoga. They are not recommended for dynamic lessons, as the student may become confused in them when performing complex asanas. Many people like loose pants, in them you feel more confident and freer. But they should end at the ankles with a cuff or lace;
  • leggings (leggings) from sports fabrics . Must meet criteria such as breathability, comfort and stretch. Good leggings move with you without pinching your body in different places, folds, and wick away sweat. For convenience, you can purchase leggings with a high elastic waist . This way, when you bend down, you will not show others the color of your underwear. Leggings usually range from mid-calf to ankle length;
  • a tight-fitting top that will not hang over your head in an inverted position;
  • a sports bra or undershirt that provides sufficient bust support for the type of yoga you are practicing;
  • a comfortable, warm and spacious hoodie that you can wear after class so as not to catch a cold. If the room is cool, layered clothing made from thin, soft fabrics is best.

Yoga classes include bending, stretching, tying, lunge, pulling, rolling, inversion. Your clothing should match all movements.

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