One question which is very commonly asked when people start yoga is which style of yoga to go for. More specifically, a lot of people want to know what type of yoga will be the best for their health.
This can be a tricky question since there are simply so many different types of yoga available to choose from. Because of this, there is not one simple answer when you want to consider what type of yoga is best for someone’s health since that will depend on the person and what they want.
The best quick answer to give people is to recommend trying out a variety of styles which sound like they will help you reach your goals, and try them until you work out which one suits you best.
You will be more likely to stick to your goals if you find a style of yoga which you enjoy doing, if you do this, then you will be encouraged to keep going instead of giving up.
Also, if you keep up doing a variety of yoga, then you can switch what you do to match your mood, this will also help with avoiding getting burnt out.
In this guide we will go through some of the best types of yoga to try out, and assess which is best for you.
We are not going to cover every type of yoga, but we will go over some of the most common types people go for when they are trying to improve their health.
Types Of Beneficial Yoga
In this section we are going to go over different types of yoga which are all beneficial for your health in different ways. We all have different goals for our health, and to reach different goals, we need to use different methods.
So, not all of these styles of yoga will help with reaching your specific goal, however, some will, so make sure to closely read each description so you can find the style of yoga that will suit you the best!
You will find that a vinyasa yoga class will involve plenty of the classic yoga poses, including a typical sun salutation sequence.
However, the main difference between vinyasa yoga and other forms of yoga is that you do not hold the poses in a traditional way and instead you flow between the poses.
You go between the poses in a continuous movement, and this is what makes this type of yoga unique from other types, as well as better for your health.
There is constant fluidity and movement between each of the poses and this helps you in better syncing your breath to your movement, this is better as a form of exercise, but it also means that vinyasa yoga has a more calming effect as well.
You will find that a lot of people compare vinyasa yoga to a form of moving meditation.
This practice has been shown to help people who suffer from conditions like anxiety and depression, and there was a small study done in 2010 which showed that vinyasa yoga can decrease symptoms of these conditions.
Vinyasa yoga does not just help with mental conditions as it is also an effective way to build up your own endurance as well. It is a sweat inducing and cardiovascular exercise.
There is actually quite a bit of overlap when you compare vinyasa yoga to ashtanga yoga, this is mainly when you look at the flowing movements which both share, as well as how the breathing style used in both is quite similar.
However, when looking for differences, we notice that vinyasa yoga classes tend to be more varied, however, an ashtanga yoga class will have a more set sequence of poses which you are not supposed to deviate from.
You will notice that an ashtanga yoga class will have a stronger focus on meditation compared to vinyasa, and this can be very helpful for aiding with mental health issues.
Because of this ashtanga yoga can help improve self esteem issues while also decreasing the symptoms of anxiety as well as depression.
While you can use the term hatha to describe a certain type of yoga, the term can also be seen as an umbrella term which encompasses a variety of different styles of yoga as well.
A lot of modern yoga styles are actually considered to be hatha when using an older definition, including the previous two choices, however, in the west, hatha has a different meaning.
Hatha yoga has a stronger focus on holding the poses for a longer period of time, especially when you compare it to vinyasa and ashtanga. In hatha you can hold a pose for longer than a minute, while this would only last a couple of seconds in vinyasa.
These poses are often performed in different positions like sitting, lying, or standing, and this variety is great for helping improve both balance and strength. If you are looking to improve either of these aspects, then going with hatha yoga is a great idea!
Similarly to hatha yoga, iyengar yoga is another style which is pretty slow, and for this one you will be holding your poses for an even longer amount of time. However, iyengar yoga also stands out for the use of other props like straps and yoga blocks.
This type of yoga has a strong focus on the alignment of your body, and this is something which can be beneficial to a lot of people. If you do not have full mobility of your body, then going for iyengar yoga can help you regain this since a lot of these issues stem from poor alignment.
One of the best modern styles of yoga since it was one of the earliest styles of yoga which was designed to take into account and consider that not everyone has full physical control of their body and a lot of people have limitations they can not work past.
Iyengar is one of the best types of yoga when it comes to relieving symptoms of chronic conditions like lower back pain, or osteoarthritis in the knees.
Similarly to ashtanga yoga, hot yoga involves a more rigid sequence, however, the main difference is that you are doing these poses in about 104 Fahrenheit heat. You will do about 26 poses in these conditions for each session.
The practice has been shown to aid with loosening muscles, and this helps with improving flexibility, especially flexibility in the lower back and hamstrings.
Hopefully this guide has given you the information you need on what type of yoga will be the best for you. It can be challenging learning to do a new activity like yoga, but if you know it will aid you in reaching your specific health goal, then this can help a lot with your motivation.
Make sure to look over our description of the different types of yoga that we have mentioned so you know which will work the best for you, however, all of these will help you in different ways, so whichever you end up doing will benefit you in some way!