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5 Most Common Styles of Yoga

Yoga is a go-to exercise and meditative practice for countless people; attracting those looking for a deeper mind-body connection. It’s sometimes an easier way to get physical activity if you struggle to do or simply don’t like exercises like running or weight lifting, and the benefits are enormous. However, did you know there are several styles of yoga you can try, each with their own unique mark? Here are the top 5 styles of yoga, and a little bit about each to see what would be best for you.

Hatha

This style is perfect for those who are just beginning. You will learn the basics of yoga along with correct postures (called asanas). There is a heavy focus on breathing as well in order to develop a meditative state to enhance your inner well-being. Those who are a little intimidated by yoga should start here to help get comfortable with the basics and gain confidence in the practice.

Vinyasa

This style is often considered the next level up from Hatha yoga. The movements are more dynamic and you’re executing a series of postures. You’ll focus on one breath and one posture at a time but you won’t be holding them for long periods of time. This allows you to keep moving while staying focused. It can help beginners focus more on the mental aspect of yoga than the physical.

Ashtanga

This style is fairly popular because it’s more of an athletic style of yoga. It’s great for those wanting to dig deeper into yoga. It centers on a specific series of poses while focusing your breath to coincide with every movement as either on an inhale or exhale. It’s not as free-flowing as other forms and has a very strict, and for some, and intense routine.

Bikram (similar to hot yoga)

This type of yoga is done in a heated room up to 104 degrees. It involves up to 26 postures from Hatha and a few breathing exercises. This helps protect the muscles from injury, improves flexibility, and gives you the feeling of a great sweaty workout without having to overdo it. Make sure you hydrate plenty before and after this class, your body will lose a ton of water and electrolytes. 

Restorative

The goal in this form is to gain a deep state of relaxation for the body. It involves props such as blocks and blankets. While this may sound like nap time, you will actually be holding different postures for around 5 minutes or more. You will want to have some experience with basic forms of yoga before tackling this style. 

Yoga can be intimidating for those who haven’t tried it before, but the beauty of this exercise is you can choose which style fits your lifestyle and fitness level best. Remember, mastering anything takes practice the hardest part is starting. Which yoga style speaks to you the most? Which would you like to try?


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