Different Types Of Yoga Styles To Suit Your Body Type

Yoga is very popular across the world and there are a host of followers who swear by it. To begin with, let’s understand…what is Yoga? The word “Yoga” means the union between the mind and body. It’s derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, which means ‘join or unite’.  The origin of Yoga dates back to thousands of years, believed to have started long before the first religion or belief systems were born. There are so many different types of yoga practices that are possible for anyone to start with, be it kids, teenagers, adults, or old age people. Everyone has unique needs and we need to find the ideal yoga type that suits us the best.

Here Are 12 Different Types Of Yoga And Their Benefits

With so many different types of yoga out there, finding your ideal yoga type may be a little difficult. Here we take you through some popular types of yoga that will make it easy for you to understand your type and enhance your overall yoga experience. Read on to find your yoga soul mate here.

Hatha Yoga

Basically, a combination of breath works with physical postures that have most of the yoga styles. What is Hatha Yoga? “Hatha” means the yoga of sensation or movement is also known as slow flow or gentle flow yoga. It involves a small introduction to basic yoga postures for beginners. There are more than 250 different types of yoga poses from Hatha yoga. They may not leave you sweaty and tired, but surely gives you a relaxed and stretched feeling.

Benefits: Teaches how to relax, breathe and meditate.

Difficulty Level: Gentle

What To Expect: Classes start with a chant, then move on to breath work, poses and ends with a quiet meditation.

different types of yoga
different types of yoga Source: TOI

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga is for people who want to experience the spiritual side of yoga. So what is Kundalini Yoga? The Sanskrit translation of the word is “life force energy”, which focuses on awakening and releasing the energy at the base of the spine. Kundalini yoga poses focus on chanting, singing, meditation, breathing exercises and kriyas with challenging poses. It stirs everything up in your body to the point that it brings out a lot of emotions that are trapped within you.

Benefits: Purifies blood and strengthens the nervous system.

Difficulty Level: Gentle

What To Expect: Kundalini yoga class has three parts: starts with a chant, a brief warm-up and then kriya with breathing techniques. Finally, it ends with chanting and singing.

what is yoga
what is yoga

Source: sleepfoundation.org

Vinyasa Yoga

One of the most popular styles of yoga because of its sensual movements, pleasant music is usually performed with the eyes closed or in a dark room. What is Vinyasa Yoga? Vinyasa yoga, also called flow yoga, means linking breath with movement. Poses in Viniyasa Yoga are usually in a flowing sequence that looks similar to a dance. The slow flow-like movement calms the mind and nervous system. For people who have never tried yoga before, Vinyasa yoga is the one to start with.

Benefits: Improves lung capacity, concentration and self-control.

Difficulty Level: Gentle

What To Expect: Generally starts with a warm-up session for the body and muscles. Then it moves into a variety of postures and asana that include standing, sitting, twists, balancing, inversions and backbends.

vinyasa yoga flow
vinyasa yoga flow

Source: yogapractice.com

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga or the “eight limb path” is very physically demanding and is popular among celebrities all around the world. What is Ashtanga Yoga? The word Ashtanga means “eight limbs”, a traditional Indian Yoga. This involves doing a lot of standing and floor postures with multiple Surya namaskars. One can move to the next level only after mastering the previous one. This is generally performed without music, and sometimes without verbal instruction. Anyone who likes routine or heavy physical practice can opt for this form. It takes years to master this form.

Benefits: Improves flexibility and strength.

Difficulty Level: Challenging

What To Expect: Ashtanga yoga class always starts with Sun Salutations to warm you up. Here there is a nonstop series of yoga poses done in the same order every time without music.

what is ashtanga yoga
what is ashtanga yoga

Restorative Yoga

When the body enters a state of relaxation the mind can also consciously relax as tension is released. What is Restorative Yoga? As the name suggests, restorative yoga poses are meant to relax and rejuvenate. Restorative yoga sequences are performed by holding yoga poses for a longer duration using props like yoga blocks, blankets, and bolsters. This form of yoga helps to tap your parasympathetic nervous system so that you can relax your mind and body. If you are in a stressful job or struggling with insomnia, anxiety and stress-related illnesses, then you should definitely try restorative yoga.

Benefits: Deeply relaxes and rejuvenates the body.

Difficulty Level: Gentle

What To Expect: This style of yoga is practised at a slow pace, focusing on stillness, long holds, and deep breathing. You need to hold a pose for 5 minutes or more hence end up performing only a handful of poses.

restorative yoga
restorative yoga

Aerial Yoga

Aerial yoga, also referred to as anti-gravity yoga, is relatively new and is catching up fast. It shares a lot of similarities with traditional yoga poses. However, in aerial yoga poses, the weight of your body will be supported by a silky hammock that hangs from the ceiling. Due to the reverse flow, blood gushes to your brain and provides the oxygen it needs for the functioning of the brain. Being suspended in the air gives more space to move and even improves lung capacity.

Benefits: Enhances core strength and deepens stretches.

Difficulty Level: Challenging

What To Expect: Same poses performed on the mat will be performed here with a sling that is suspended from the ceiling. You will be expected to do variations of squats, lunges and warrior sequences. Come prepared as for some of the poses you’ll be upside down.

aerial yoga poses

Image Source: delhitesmagazine.com

Power Yoga

Power yoga workouts are generally done at a quicker pace than other styles of yoga. What is Power Yoga? Also known as modern yoga it helps in strengthening the muscles and also increases flexibility. Emphasis is more on the upper body and standing postures because moving your legs gets your heart pumping fast. A key component of core power yoga is cardio. These types of yoga are good for people looking for a good workout with less spiritual practice.

Benefits: Strengthens your cardiovascular health.

Difficulty Level: Challenging

What To Expect: The type of yoga poses are hard as one needs to move from one pose to the other quickly. Here the focus is more on movements rather than on individual attention.

power yoga workouts
power yoga workouts

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga is accessible for all body types and can be practiced in all stages of life. This type of yoga emphasizes detail, precision and alignment while performing the yoga postures. Here the focus is on the structural alignment of the physical body through precision and timing of the asanas. The use of props to assist the students to do the asanas was introduced here. This ensures that the asanas can be practiced safely and correctly by beginners and advanced students.

Benefits: Helps improve physical and psychological health.

Difficulty Level: Challenging

What To Expect: Iyengar yoga has an approach to work towards holding difficult postures longer. This may include standing poses, seated twists, arm balances, backbends, forward bends or arm balances.

Prenatal Yoga

This yoga is specifically designed for moms-to-be who can work out without putting the fetus at risk. Prenatal yoga postures are safe for expecting moms in all trimesters. It’s generally associated with easing pains during pregnancy and labour. They are specifically tailored for stretching, mental centring and focus on breathing. Research suggests that prenatal yoga is safe and comes with multiple benefits for pregnant women and their babies.

Benefits: Relief from pregnancy complaints and preparing for delivery.

Difficulty Level: Gentle

What To Expect: Focus here is on gentle stretching and postures that are suitable for a pregnant body.

The practice of some breathing techniques, which can be of help during labour.

prenatal yoga

Face Yoga

Lack of facial exercise and tremendous stress can cause a lot of pressure and tension on the facial muscles. Face yoga exercises stimulate the muscles, skin, and lymphatic system that help to release tension. Facial yoga can refresh your face within minutes and brighten up your face. Performing these types of yoga can delay the onset of wrinkles.

Benefits: Promotes healthy and glowing skin.

Difficulty Level: Gentle

What To Expect: Face yoga starts with a standing warm-up, seated facial exercises, and ends with meditation. Format is the same each time – exercises, sound work, acupressure, breathing practices, and simple massage techniques.

face yoga

Source: healthista.com

Hot Yoga

In recent years hot yoga has become very popular among people who want to sweat it out during a workout. What is Hot Yoga? Generally in hot yoga, the room is heated above normal room temperature somewhere between 80 and 100°F. The benefits of hot yoga are the same as traditional yoga, it reduces the stress level, gives flexibility and improves strength. This is a vigorous form of yoga that has the ability to give your heart, lungs, and muscles an intense workout.

benefits of hot yoga
Image Source: verywellfit.com

How To Choose The Right Yoga Style

To get the maximum benefit from each of the different types of yoga styles it’s very important that one chooses a style that matches one’s fitness level and personality. Each style is better suited for specific body types, so before you pick on the yoga style that’s right for you ask yourself these important questions to figure out your intention. This will help you zero in on a style that suits you the best.

  •         Are you doing yoga to get into shape or to have a connection between the mind and body?
  •         Do you have an injury or limitations which will restrict your moments?
  •         Any medical condition which needs to be checked by your doctor before starting?

 

Different Types Of Yoga Styles For Different Body Types

Here are a few tips intended to provide general advice on what type of yoga will be most beneficial for different body types:

  •         Thin Body Type – Naturally thin bodies are more likely to tolerate warmth, hence hot yoga will be ideal.
  •         Lean Body Type – Ashtanga yoga is good for lean body types because it is based around the sun salutation sequences where one needs both strength and flexibility to perform these poses.
  •         Curvy Body Type – Though Iyengar yoga is very detail-oriented it works best for curvy body types as it has a slow static format. As per research, flexibility increased in just six weeks with the practice of Iyengar yoga once a week.
  •         Moderate Body Type – one of the best yoga practices for beginners, Hatha yoga is perfect for moderately built as they will have the strength and flexibility to perform most of the yoga postures.
  •         Athletic Body Type – Yin yoga is recommended to counteract a tight muscle-bound athletic body type as it is entirely focused on slow deep stretches.

 

The beauty of yoga is that everyone can practice it, be it young or old, everyone can reap the benefits of yoga. It has the power to calm both the mind and the body. As seen, each and every style of yoga has its unique benefits. Take some time to understand and learn different types of yoga styles with the help of some experienced yoga teachers before settling on the one that suits you the best. When you are ready, roll out your yoga mat and take advantage of all the above different types of yoga for healthy living.

FAQ’s On Different Types of Yoga

Q: What body type is best for yoga?

A: Yoga is ideal for any body type. Choose the best yoga type that suits your body to ensure that you have a positive experience.

Q: How Many Types of Yoga Are There?

A: There are many different types of yoga, some focus on meditation and mindfulness while some focus on strength and endurance.

Q: Is there a ‘best’ type of yoga?

A: There is no one style of yoga that can be the best for you. It’s likely to keep changing depending on your mood and time of day.

Q: What are the 5 major types of yoga?

A: Hatha, Vinyasa, Hot yoga, Ashtanga and Kundalini yoga are some of the most popular types of yoga.

Q: Is the practice of Iyengar Yoga good for weight loss?

A: In Iyengar style, the yoga poses are kept for a little longer period of time. This increases the way a particular pose is performed thereby helping in weight loss.

Q: What is Broyoga?

A: Broyoga is a yoga class specifically geared for men which combines core-strengthening, muscle toning, cardio, de-stressing yoga postures with functional exercises for a startling workout.

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