The choices are really open to those who are new to yoga as there're many types of yoga to choose from. You can improve your flexibility, strength, and balance with any kind of yoga, plus all types of yoga will release tension in your body, help you relax and quiet your mind. To get the most out of yoga, you need to pick a style which matches your fitness level at the current time, your goals for practicing yoga and your own personality. You can try out different teachers and classes to see what works for you.
Types of Yoga
Ashtanga (or Astanga) Yoga
Best for: Weight loss, heavy cardio, strength gain without weights, and making you feel young again. This type of yoga will get you cut fast with repetition of athletic poses.
Synchronizing breathing with continuous series of postures and breathing which produces intense heat from inside and a purifying, profuse sweat to detoxify your organs and muscles, Ashtanga (or Astanga) is no doubt physically demanding, but beneficial too as it can help to improve flexibility, circulation and stamina, plus providing a strong and light body as well as a calm mind. It is an athletic yoga which is not for beginners.
Best for: Mood enhancement with an upbeat vibe. It is good to practice when you are out of shape since you won’t be pushed too far, plus you’ll be learning the right alignment to stop injuries both on and off the mat.
This is many times described as lyengar, a purist form of yoga, with a bit of humor. Made by John Friend, Anusara is meant to be heartfelt, and accepts the individuality of everyone instead of trying to make them fit into the standard cookie-cutter positions.
Best for: Weight loss as it burns 350 to 600 calories in just one class. You will also build stamina.
This workout is comprehensive with all the fitness components like muscular, strength muscular endurance, cardiovascular flexibility and weight loss. Bikram Choudhury, the founder, was a god medal Olympic weight lifter in 1963, also a disciple of Bishnu Ghosh, brother to Paramahansa Yoganada. One of the most beneficial parts of this yoga practice, though unusual, is the 95-105 degree temperature that promotes more detoxification, flexibility and prevention of injuries. It is the only yoga style that specializes in using heated environment.
Best for: De-stressing, calming down, and many other physical benefits.
A basic and easy-to-learn type of yoga which has become quite popular in the USA and it is the foundation of all types of yoga. It incorporates Pranayama (regulated breathing), Asanas (postures), kundalini (Laya Yoga) and meditation (Dharana & Dhyana) into a total system which can be used to achieve self-realization or enlightenment. It has become quite popular as a source of stress management and exercise.
The perfect way to practice the Hatha Yoga poses is to do it with a meditative and clam mood. Sit quietly for a bit, and then start the series slowly with grace and control, inwardly being aware as your body performs the different poses selected for the practice session. Take it easy and enjoy it, rather than overdoing the asanas or trying to compete with others.
Best for: Learning the basics, a great foundation for other types of yoga. It also systematically works for each part of your body, giving you a great muscle definition instead of mass.
This is based on the teachings of yogi B.K.S. Iyengar, and the style of this yoga is centered on the alignment of the body. It generally emphasizes holding the poses over long periods instead of moving quickly from one pose to another. It also encourages the use of props like yoga blocks, blankets or straps to bring your body into alignment.
Best for: Experiencing a yoga practice that is all-encompassing and authentic. It is part of the five tenets including a tolerance toward all types of religious beliefs and vegetarianism.
Jivamukti came from one of the best-known yoga studios in New York. Influenced by the rigor of Ashtanga yoga, Sharon Gannon and David Life combined meditation, chanting and spiritual teachings together and founded Jivamukti. They’ve trained a lot of teachers who have brought this style of yoga to gyms and studios, mostly in the United States. The classes are intense physically, and many times include an inspirational theme that is chosen by the teacher.
Best for: Skyrocketing your energy, while the meditation and postures keep you focused and grounded.
Kundalini focuses on the connection of breath with physical movement, with the goal of freeing energy in your lower body and letting it move upwards. Any asana practices make use of controlling your breath; however in this yoga type, it is more essential to explore the effects of breath on the different postures.