So many types of Yoga! – 5/6 Roxane
I’ve had many friends ask me what type of yoga I’m doing and teaching.
Me: Hatha Vinyasa!
Friend: Hmm what’s that? I only know of hot yoga!
So I thought this would be a good chance to break down the different types of yoga asana practice I know of, and the ones that are popular in many studios.
This style of practice usually consists of static poses held for a longer period of time. This allows you to focus on your breathing, your alignment, how your body feels.
Possibly my favourite! This style of practice have us moving from pose to pose in a flow, taking note of the inhales and exhales as we transit into the next pose. Can be combined with Hatha such that we flow into each pose, and holding it for a moment before flowing into the next pose.
This is the 90min practice of the classical sequence of 26 poses and 2 breathing techniques founded by Bikram Choudhury. This is usually practised in a heated room of around 40 degrees Celcius.
This is slowly becoming my favourite, as it focuses a lot on the little details of proper alignment. Iyengar style of practice includes the use of many props (blocks, straps, wall, blankets, etc etc) and in this way, it allows many beginners especially to be able to practise the asanas without the risk of getting injured. This style is created by B.K.S. Iyengar, who wanted to allow his students to experience the poses they were not capable of doing, and is pretty amazing imo!
Founded by K. Pattabhi Jois, Ashtanga is a set sequence of poses, similar to Vinyasa in which practitioners flow from one pose to another. Ashtanga consists of a total of six sequences or series, in which one starts with the first and then proceed on once they have mastered each series. Studios usually have led classes, where the instructor leads you through the entire sequence, or Mysore classes where one practices the sequence on their own and the teacher guides you where needed.
Restorative yoga is generally slow paced and consists of gentle poses and allows you to tune inwards and focus on your breath. This is especially beneficial if you are looking for a practice to help in restoring any injuries that you might have, or just to experience complete relaxation.
Yin is similar to restorative yoga such that it is slow paced and poses and held for a longer period of time, perhaps 3-5min (of course this can vary too). However, Yin differs in terms of the intensity of the poses and works deep into the tissues, bones and joints. To me, it can be a pain literally! But it allows us to focus on our breath, slows down our minds and just focus on what our body is feeling right there and then. Yin is probably one of the most underrated type of yoga to practise (I think I can count with one hand the number of Yin classes I’ve been to!), but it’s so beneficial not just to the body but the mind as well. So, time to give that a change!
As a practitioner, it’s good to explore different styles and change things up a little! Probably time to give that Yin class a go 😉