When it comes to incorporating yoga into your workout routine, things can get a bit tricky. If you are one of those people who has googled yoga classes offered in your area, you might have experienced an initial feeling of confusion. How is Ashtanga different from Iyengar, and what the heck is a Vinyasa Flow? You might have asked yourself if your body can handle a hot yoga class, or is it better to start out at room temperature? Here are all the answers you are looking for when it comes to different styles of yoga.
The traditional style of yoga known as Hatha is perfect for beginner level yogis, and it is considered to be a gentle workout because it is instructed at a slower pace than many other forms of yoga. You will learn the basic yoga poses during a hatha class, and it will help you improve your flexibility, strength, balance, and overall mental state.
Ashtanga is a much more challenging style, and is ideal for those looking for a legit workout. It is very easy to pick up on ashtanga since it is a series of only six different poses, repeated over and over again. The poses are done in an orderly flow, so your body will be constantly moving and your body will heat up from the inside out. This is perfect for both beginners and more advanced yogis, and anyone new to ashtanga will learn it quickly.
Iyengar is all about the regular use of props, so in one of these classes you’ll get the chance to use everything from blocks to straps to blankets. Alignment and precision are key aspects to iyengar, and the props will allow you to achieve these things. This style is better for people that are extremely detail-oriented, and not as ideal for those who just want to go with the flow.
Vinyasa – sometimes also referred to as vinyasa flow – is all about movement, and can even resemble a dance in some ways. The main goal is to link each movement and posture with your breath, no matter how fast or slow the “dance” may be. Vinyasa can be extremely fast-paced, so expect to get your heart rate up when you come to one of these classes. This style is not always ideal for beginners, but if you are athletic and have strong endurance this might be the yoga for you.
Yin yoga is about slowing down and finding a balance in the mind and body. Each yoga posture will be held for an extended period of time, usually several minutes, and it helps with increasing your body’s flexibility. Poses range from very easy and comfortable to difficult and sometimes even painful, but no matter the pose it will give you a chance to come to a meditative state. This style is not for everyone, but you will enjoy yin if you are looking for something more restorative.