Ultimate Guide to All Different Types of Yoga


There are different types of yoga to consider when planning on practicing it. All of them help your mind and body in some way. Are you wondering which type of yoga is right for you? Read on to find out a description of some of the common different types of yoga

Hatha Yoga for Beginners

hatha yoga for beginnersThe hatha yoga is a physical and spiritual form of yoga. It prepares the body so that you can explore your spirituality more effectively. When most people think of yoga today, this is the form of it that they are most familiar with. It is a great yoga for the beginning practitioners too.

This yoga type is made up of asanas (postures) that work to stretch out, tone and strengthen your body. You will be asked to do a number of these postures usually holding them for a given time. They are also done in a specific order to prepare the body for the next one; this slowly warms the muscles up and prevents injury.

Hatha is also a gentle, slow-paced yoga. It is a great introduction into yoga postures (asanas) for the beginner. This includes a lot of focus on breathing too. Good one to use in the evening before bed.

Hatha Yoga Poses

Some of the hatha yoga poses take strength, ability and focus to do them. This is all gradually learned as you get further into the yoga. The poses are usually mixed with breathing exercises or what is called pranayama. The instructor may even have you work on just your breathing during the session. It is said that to control you body you must first control your breathing. This also makes you focus inward which is what makes it easier to work on your spirituality.

Practicing this type of yoga can bring out mental and physical potentials that you may not know exist. As you continue to do the asanas you will become stronger and more flexible. You will also start learning how to relax even when in stressful scenarios. Hatha even has relaxation exercises which open up your channels of energy this permits your spiritual energy to emerge more easily.hatha yoga poses

Hatha Yoga Asanas

There are those hatha yoga asanas that tone and massage your body’s organs. This helps prevent certain diseases from happening like diabetes for one. It can also lower blood pressure. These postures can also bring balance to your internal workings. The breathing exercises are great for respiratory problems like asthma.

When you participate in this yoga you can relieve the tensions of the day, relieve anxiety as we have mentioned before and lift your mood and keep depression from happening. It helps get your mind ready to meditate too so you can attain true enlightenment.

Practitioners of any yoga have bodies that are in good shape when they do it on a regular basis. Since some of the exercises are demanding the body builds strength. These people also gain clarity in their minds. Hatha is a journey in self improvement allowing the practitioners take these lessons and use them in their daily lives.hatha yoga asanas

There are many places to learn hatha yoga. Surely there is a class being given near you. Many other forms of yoga are available too. So if this one does not suit you just try one of the other yoga types we will cover during the rest of the post, but by the end you will surely find one that fits your needs. With all of today’s stresses it is nice to know that there is a discipline that will help you cope with them. So look into Hatha today and see if it is for you.

Bikram Yoga

bikram yoga calories burnedThe bikram yoga was developed by Bikram Choudhury, a yoga master, who is still living. This is considered a type of Hot Yoga. It is called hot because it is done typically in a well-heated room at temperatures between 95-degrees to 105-degrees Fahrenheit. The sessions are designed to be vigorous and to bring on sweating. The warmth is said to make the body more flexible.

Bikram is a type of hot yoga done in room heated to about 95 degrees to 100-degrees Fahrenheit. It is more vigorously done than some other forms of yoga. The warm temperatures are said to improve flexibility to cut down on the possibility of injuries.

Bikram Yoga Poses

The bikram yoga method involves 26 different poses which are performed two times each in the course of a 90-minute session. There are also 2 breathing exercises too. Each one of the poses is designed to be challenging in some way providing some health benefits that are very effective. You can find classes for beginners as well as more seasoned participants.

Various yoga poses are done with supervision and in a room that is heated. The point of the heat is to loosen up the muscles so there is less resistance, by doing this there is a lower risk of injury. These poses are done in a specific way as to get your body ready for the next pose, through this comes the healing power.bikram yoga poses

By the time you finish the sequence of poses in this type of yoga session, you have exercised each joint, muscle, tendon, ligament, gland and internal organ while moving freshly-oxygenated blood throughout your whole body. The postures used get your body functioning in balance again.

Benefits of Bikram Yoga

  • The bikram yoga develops balance, flexibility and strength through gently massaging and stretching your muscles, spine, joints, tendons and your body’s internal organs.
  • The capacity of your lungs will be improved too, with better breathing comes more energy.
  • Your muscles become well toned, more flexible and stronger along with numerous other benefits.
  • This yoga with its sequence of poses can help repair and heal injuries, help you recover from illnesses, accomplish weight loss, and calm your mind.

Bikram Choudhury believes that this yoga deeply affects the blood circulation in your body through the processes of compression and extension. These processes work jointly to provide each organ, muscle and joint in your body with oxygen. When performing specific poses (asanas) you either compress or stretched a specific part of your body. This results in the blood flow being temporarily cut off. When this happens your heart has to then pump out more blood to the area to make up for it. This pumping of the new blood is what is considered extension.

Bikram Yoga Video

As you complete the pose and come out of it, the freshly oxygenated blood rejuvenates your arteries that were compressed during the pose. This is said to help remove the toxins, bacteria and infection from your system.

Before doing this form of yoga, make sure you are in good enough health. It has been reported that some students get dizzy and nauseous in the heat while performing the asanas. If you are just learning and feel strange then rest a bit until you feel better. Then join back in.

If you find that the bikram yoga is for you, you will reap many benefits from it as you can see. In the event that you feel that it is not for you though, there are many other styles of yoga to choose from.

Kripalu Yoga

what is kripalu yogaThe goal of this form of yoga is to develop a strong and healthy body along with an open heart and peaceful mind. Its beliefs are based upon the principal that we are all born divine and therefore capable of tapping into our spiritual natures.

What is Kripalu Yoga?

Kripalu yoga is a gentle form of yoga that seeks to integrate the body, mind, and spirit. It is a form of hatha yoga and incorporates meditation and flowing postures. The teachings of Kripalu yoga encourage practitioners to get to know their own bodies and listen to inner wisdom rather than simply follow step-by-step exercises.

Kripalu yoga is also very introspective. It encourages the participants to hold postures for the purpose of exploring and releasing spiritual and emotional blocks.

History of Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu yoga was founded by Yogi Amrit Desai. Desai was heavily influenced by his mentor and guru Swami Kripalvananda who was adept at kundalini yoga. Kripalu yoga was named in honor of him and was taught at the Kripalu Center by him. Kripalu yoga has since spread around the globe because the center has trained many teachers in this form of yoga.

The Stages of Kripalu Yoga Poses

There are three stages to Kripalu yoga  poses. The first is breath and body awareness. In these beginner classes, students learn basic hatha yoga poses along with relaxation and breathing techniques. Poses are held for a short time while the body muscles are strengthened, flexibility is developed, and concentration is improved.

The second stage of Kripalu yoga is holding the poses. During this phase, students learn to hold poses for longer and longer periods of time. This forces focus on inner sensations while it further develops coordination and balance. During the second stage, students become attuned to the life force, prana increases and negative emotions are released.

The final stage of Kripalu yoga is meditation in motion. During this stage, prana is flowing more freely throughout the body. Movements become spontaneous as students listen to their inner voices. Meditation becomes an important aspect of the exercises and can be done while sitting or while in motion.kripalu yoga poses

In all phases, Kripalu yoga emphasizes proper alignment and breathing along with developing one’s spiritual aspect. This form of yoga is a tool for personal growth and empowerment. The skills learned with this type of yoga are carried over into day to day life. Kripalu yoga doesn’t depend a whole lot on fitness levels so it can be practiced successfully by people of all ages, body types, and fitness levels.

kripalu yoga video

Gentle poses combined with controlled breathing helps you relieve stress and calm your mind. While your body is more relaxed, your mind becomes sharper and you are more spiritually present. This is an ideal form of yoga to undertake if you are on a spiritual journey and have an interest in meditation and self improvement.

Restorative Yoga 

It is good to start your day with restorative yoga as a way to ease into your day and set the stage for a relaxing day to come. Evening is also a good time to practice since it helps you unwind from the stress of the day. To do the poses you need comfortable clothing that does not restrict you, a yoga mat for comfort, and folded blankets or bolsters for support.

What is Restorative Yoga?

Restorative yoga is a style of yoga that helps your body to relax. Because we are all under so much pressure these days, most of us rarely get the chance to fully relax our physical bodies. People of all fitness levels can benefit from this type of yoga because you do not have to in shape to handle the routines like you would have to be for power yoga. Of course, the more you practice the poses in restorative yoga, the more relaxed and stretched your muscles become so it will get easier to do over time.

Restorative Yoga Poses

restorative yoga pose 1

Legs against the wall

One good restorative yoga pose you can do is to lie on the floor with the small of your back supported with folded blankets while your legs are outstretched against a wall. Try to be close enough to the wall that your legs press against it all the way down to your thighs. While in this relaxing position, concentrate on your breath so you can quiet your mind at the same time.

The child’s pose is another exercise in restorative yoga. To do this, sit on your knees on the yoga mat and then lower your upper body onto the mat while stretching out your arms. You may need to insert folded blankets or bolsters between your knees or under your chest for comfort.  Maintain this position as long as it is comfortable while you focus on letting the tension and stress drain from your body.

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

restorative yoga child pose

The child’s pose

Restorative yoga is called that because it restores balance and harmony to your body. This can bring with it a whole host of benefits. For example, studies indicate this type of yoga may help lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and blood glucose levels while boosting levels of good cholesterol. This would be helpful for people afflicted with cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

Restorative yoga may also stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system. This in turn may be able to boost your overall good health and immune system. It is well known that constant stress is detrimental to our health. Taking time to do yoga a couple of times each day helps you unwind and restore peace and harmony to your mind and body.

Restorative Yoga Video

Restorative focuses on relaxation. This is the perfect yoga for quieting your mind or winding down from your work day.

You can learn restorative yoga poses by watching online videos, DVDs, or taking classes. The exercises are pretty easy to pick up so you don’t need to attend classes unless that is something you enjoy doing. To get the optimal stress reduction benefits, you should practice the poses on a consistent daily basis.

Namaste Yoga

what does namaste mean in yogaThe namaste yoga is just one of the many forms of yoga. All forms of yoga are aimed at balancing the body and mind. They use different approaches to achieving this goal. Some are done with traditional poses, slow stretches or heated rooms. All are of equal usefulness though it is which one is best for you. Try a few types of yoga out and see which one you like. Any of them might include Namaste too.

Before starting any yoga class though, it is recommended that you learn something about the various types of yoga first. We will be explaining the Namaste type of yoga in this article to give you general information on it.

What Does Namaste Mean in Yoga?

he namaste yoga is typically done at the start of the class and or at the end of it. This is done by putting your hands together at your chest on the heart chakra. Make sure you fingers point up, close the eyes and bow your head. There are some variations of this move too.

This move is said to clear the mind for outer stresses and worries. That is why it is good to do this before beginning the yoga work out. It is symbolic of the body be free from these worries and stresses when done at the end of a session. The word Namaste means “bow I you” in Sanskrit. So by doing this type of yoga and the start and end of a class you are showing respect and stating you have released the stresses from your body and mind. Namaste is also a verbal greeting in India. So it can also be spoken in a yoga session also.

Along with the yoga posture the greeting can be spoken as simply as the instructor thanking you for attending class and then saying the word Namaste. He will then put his hands together along with bowing to the students. The students in turn should do this back to him. This is a mutual exchange of respect.

After doing the namaste yoga at the beginning of the class, the rest of the class will contain basic-yoga poses as well as breathing exercises. Most of the classes that contain the Namaste postures are simple enough for beginners. However, these postures can be mixed in with any yoga so know which type is being taught before attending, when you are just starting out. You can start out slow and gradually learn yoga.

Prana Yoga

prana power yogaPrana is an energy that permeates all of life. It is often called the life force. It is an important concept in yoga. Yoga focuses on the breath as a form of meditation and also as a means of taking in more prana. By breathing in more and more prana, our bodies take on greater strength and vitality. Prana yoga offers many physical benefits to the body but it takes a strong mind to perform.

3 Important Aspects about Prana Power Yoga

  • Prana yoga requires purification of the mind, heart, and body. It is a spiritual practice that takes a lot of practice to master. Part of the process is simply deep breathing. Breathing exercises improve oxygenation in the body. This influx of oxygen is transported throughout the body, into the cells where it nurtures them and promotes good health.
  • Another aspect of prana yoga is control of the breath. Controlling the breath requires a disciplined mind. Developing strong mind power pays off in different ways such as improved focus and will power.
  • The third aspect of prana yoga is taking in vital life force. This can be enhanced by visualizing breathing in silver white light through the crown chakra. Some experts advise to practice prana yoga slowly because taking in too much prana too soon could result in nervousness or other mental disturbances.

Prana yoga can be practiced on its own or in combination with another type of yoga. For example, it is a perfect fit with restorative yoga. While assuming a relaxing, restorative pose, you can perform the breathing exercises of prana yoga.

prana yoga chakraPrana yoga doesn’t have to be relaxing though. It can also be combined with more invigorating types of yoga like power yoga. Controlling the breath and increasing prana while performing intense poses can produce profound physical and mental effects.

In whatever form it is practiced, prana yoga is powerful and can leave you feeling invigorated. But the effects go beyond the physical. In order to fill your body with more prana, you must make way for it by removing blocks and negative emotions. It is said the state of your mind is closely linked to the amount of prana you have. If you are happy and content, then you have a lot of prana inside you. However, if you are anxious or depressed, then you are lacking in prana or essential life force.

Benefits of Prana Yoga

Consciously and consistently practicing prana yoga can help build up your reserves of prana so your mental and emotional health stabilizes so you are happier overall. Prana can be directed into various parts of the body. Attention should be placed on exhaling waste matter as much as inhaling life force.

When you learn yoga, you must not only develop physical strength and learn basic physical poses, you must also learn about prana, or breath. At first you will learn how to breathe deeply and control your breaths and as you advance you will learn how to breathe in life force to increase your reserves of prana. The end result should be a happier and healthier you.

Power Yoga

Power yoga is very popular in the West, but not as much in the East, where traditional forms of yoga are still practiced a way of life. Because most people in the East that practice yoga as a way of life, they have no need to use it for fitness purposes or to tone because they also eat a healthy diet, so weight loss is never a goal in traditional yoga. With power yoga, it is the fitness portion that attracts many because it is a way to practice a form of yoga and still see some toning and weight loss benefits.

What is Power Yoga?

what is power yogaPower yoga is a term that is exclusively used in the West, which describes yoga as a vigorous fitness and weight loss and it is the basic form of Ashtanga style of yoga. The Ashtanga yoga was developed in 1948 by Pattabhi Jois. This style of yoga is concerned with aligning each movement with the breath, which in turn makes the traditional static yoga flow dynamically. By continuing the “flow” the yoga is becomes more of a fitness regimen than the more spiritual ancient ways of being practiced as a lifestyle as with traditional form of Eastern yoga.

Ashtanga means power yoga because of it being so demanding physically. This is recommended for someone who wants to sculpt their body and has been or is an athlete.

Benefits of Power Yoga

Power yoga, unlike traditional forms raises your heart rate, so there the cardiovascular benefits involved as well, depending on how quickly you get through the workout. With tradition yoga practice, the idea is not to increase heart rate, but to bring everything into a peaceful balance, so there is quite a difference between the two types of yoga. Many people in the East discount that power yoga is actually yoga at all because it has pulled away from the traditional “way of life” as yoga has been practiced for thousands of years in the East.

However, for those involved in the rigorous power yoga and those that teach it defend it as a way of life that can help all aspects of the body, mind, and spirit with the added benefit of offering weight loss benefits. It is a popular way to get in shape, have fun, and know that the practice is somewhat related to an ancient way of life.

When to Learn Power Yoga?

Many people engage or learn traditional forms of yoga before they learn power yoga, because this gives them a firm foundation of what yoga is truly about. On the other hand, there are many people in the West that jump into power yoga without ever learning the traditional way of yoga, which for some can be disheartening because it is such an old practice that knowing the traditional form will actually enhance learning the more rigorous ways of yoga, which improves the connection before body, mind, and spirit.

Other Less Popular Types of Yoga

Svaroopa is very comfortable for new students. It often starts out with chair positions. This encourages transformation and healing.

Kali Ray TriYoga uses a series of dancelike, flowing movements. This also includes meditaion and breathing exercises (pranayama). It was created in 1980 by Kali Ray.

Kundalini focuses on moving the energy in the lower part of your spine and bringing in up into the other areas of the body. On top of the poses a normal session will also use meditation breathing exercises and chanting.

Integral is a tradition yoga which includes poses, meditation and breathing exercises. This also uses selfless service, prayer, self-inquiry and chanting.

Prenatal yoga is specifically designed for pregnant women and is safe for them to do. This accents the core and breathing exercises.

Viniyoga is used often for therapeutic reasons. It is great therapy for recovering from surgery or injuries. It helps people heal gently and is altered to suit each person’s needs.

Sivananda is another traditional style of yoga. It includes dietary restrictions, breathing, poses, meditations and scriptural study.

Ananda uses gentle poses that are for moving energy to your brain and to get the rest of the body ready for meditation. This one of the types of yoga also concentrates on correct alignment of the body and how to control breathing.

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