There are so many unique yoga styles for you to try out, from the most energetic and demanding to the super gentle and relaxing. Scroll down to check out the most popular styles and find one that’s right for you!
Physically demanding, dynamic yoga styles are mainly for younger people in good health. They are ideal for people who already do another sport such as running, diving, surfing or dancing, and who need a high degree of concentration, flexibility, endurance, resistance, etc. Yoga is an excellent complement to other activities and increasing numbers of high-level athletes are using it to boost their performance. Young people entering the workforce and teenagers are also fans of these styles because they relieve stress and help them get re-energized.
• Ashtanga: this yoga style is based on a series of poses that are completed one after the other at an even pace. It uses a variety of breathing techniques (Ujjayi and Vinyasa). The highly dynamic nature of this style helps cleanse the body and eliminate toxins.
• Hot Yoga: inspired by Bikram yoga, which is named after its founder, hot yoga sessions last approximately one-and-a-half hours in a room heated to 40°C. These classes tend to attract people who are keen to get moving, improve their flexibility, and sweat, as well as those looking to lose weight.
• Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa is a Sanskrit word meaning "to synchronize movement with breath". More creative and free than Ashtanga yoga, the brisk series of poses is performed according to the practitioner’s ability.
• Lyengar: this is a very physical and postural yoga that involves a strong focus on the breath. To achieve these poses, yogis use straps, bricks, walls, and more.
Gentle yoga styles are suitable for people of all ages to help with their fitness and flexibility as they grow older! These styles are aimed at active youth or retirees in search of well-being, mothers who need a break, or people who have given up sports and want to continue with a gentle activity that won't lead to injuries.
• Hatha Yoga: this is the most common form of yoga in the West. It’s perfect for winding down and gently relaxing your body after a day’s work, and giving you a better night’s sleep. It is based on focused breathing (pranayama), standing or seated poses (asanas), and twists.
• Yin Yoga: the defining feature of this yoga style is its extremely gentle and slow nature, allowing you to fully let go and release stress-induced tensions. The idea is to move as little as possible and to hold the poses for long periods while not pushing the body. This yoga style is very similar to meditation.
• Restorative Yoga: this style puts a lot of emphasis on postural work. Poses are held for a long time in a darkened room with background music. This yoga style is great for recovery from injuries, and for gently loosening up your body. It is perfect for people undergoing physical therapy or for pregnant women.
You now have an idea of the main styles of yoga to help you choose the right one for you. Remember, this is just a sample of the many various types out there, which only keeps on growing! Feel free to meditate over which style is best for you.