Everyone prefers their own style of yoga. Depending on your body type and preference, you might like one over the other!
One of the most popular styles is Vinyasa yoga. The Western-style yoga is known as a fast-paced workout. However, it is not the only style. There are eight styles of yoga, each with variations that make them unique.
Continue reading this article to learn more about the eight styles of yoga, including key examples of these styles and how to identify them.
The eight styles of yoga
There are eight different yoga styles. Although many seem similar, their postures and origins make these different styles entirely unique.
Popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois during the twentieth century, Ashtanga yoga is a popular flow focusing on muscle targeting. Ashtanga yoga tones the muscles by performing repetitive, controlled movements.
Example of ashtanga yoga
Ashtanga yoga uses roughly six levels of fixed postures. Students learn these synchronized postures and then repeat them each class, increasing their flexibility and strength as they do so.
Hatha yoga is a physical hoga, using postures to channel energy into your vital body. In addition to physical postures, hatha yoga also uses breathing techniques to activate your vital energy source.
Example of hatha yoga
Using balanced breath work, hatha yoga combines physical and breath work.
Hot yoga is a popular type of yoga that uses heat to raise body temperature during your practice. Higher body temperature is great for burning calories and increasing flexibility.
Example of hot yoga
Generally, people tend to practice vinyasa flows while performing hot yoga since these yoga flows are intense on the body.
Iyengar yoga was invented by B. K. S. Iyengar after his best-selling book Light on Yoga. The emphasis on alignment meant each posture was performed precisely.
Example of Iyengar yoga
Iyengar yoga is known for using props and sequences in the postures.
Kundalini yoga is a spiritual yoga that uses chanting, singing, and chakra alignment to activate your Kundalini energy. Kundalini yoga focuses on activating the Muladhara Chakra, located at the base of the spine.
Example of Kundalini yoga
An instructor will typically lead the class in singing or chanting. They may also perform pranayama.
Restorative (yin) yoga
Yin yoga is a restorative yoga that is great for healing the body. It is typically recommended by physical therapists as a way to heal injuries like strained or torn muscles since this form of yoga is gentle on the body.
Example of restorative (yin) yoga
The most common poses for yin yoga are typically seated poses.
Vinyasa yoga is the most popular form of yoga in Western society. It strengthens the body and increases flexibility while focusing on steady breath work.
Example of vinyasa yoga
All postures are performed in flows. In other words, they are performed and repeated several times, such as the sun salutations.
Power yoga is a fast-paced yoga focusing on energetic poses and muscle-building. It was developed in America in the 1990s as a derivative of vinyasa and ashtanga yoga.
Example of power yoga
Power yoga is fast-faced, with less focus on breath work or flow.
Finding your ideal yoga style typically depends on personal preference. If you are unsure what yoga style you prefer, try attending a yoga class and explore the different styles until you find one that fits your needs.