Distinguishing Between Different Types of Yoga

Photo from MindBodyGreen
So, you’re thinking of joining a yoga class, but don’t know where to start. There are multiple types of yoga, but how do you know which one is right for you? The Point is here to help you distinguish between them!
Developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s, Bikram yoga is meant to be a series of 26 traditional hatha poses aimed at cleansing the organs of the body through strengthening the body’s muscles. This type of yoga can also be known as Hot Yoga, as the environment it is practiced in is often around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The environment is hot so that while you are practicing poses, your body is also able to release toxins.
Hatha yoga refers to any class that teaches physical postures. Hatha yoga classes are perfect for beginners as the classes tend to give an overall introduction to yoga and teach some of the most basic postures. As these classes tend to be relatively soothing, they are also great for winding down at the end of a long day.
Vinyasa is the Sanskrit word for “flow”, meaning that classes will move fluidly from one pose to another, often without stopping to talk in detail about the pose. Vinyasa yoga is focused on movement of the body and as such, the postures are often switched, making each session unique and ensuring practitioners are always moving or “flowing”.
Ashtanga is a more challenging type of yoga. Similar to Vinyasa, Ashtanga yoga links the movements inbetween postures to breath. The difference lies in the fact that Ashtanga yoga follows a specific series of postures, where Vinyasa does not. Physically demanding, we recommend Ashtanga yoga for people really looking for a challenge!
This type of yoga focuses on awakening energy from the spine. Working on the core of your body, Kundalini incorporates postures, meditation, breathing techniques and chanting in order to draw the energy from your spine upwards through each of the seven chakras.
The goal of Yin yoga is to increase flexibility and encourage feelings of release. Postures are often seated and are held anywhere between one and ten minutes. Yin yoga focuses on your body’s connective tissues, pelvis and lower spine. As a result, this is a great introduction to the basics of meditation calming the mind. Yin yoga is also great for relaxation.
Also known as the yoga of action, Karma yoga places an emphasis on selfless action through removing attachment and achieving balance.
Interested in trying one of these out? Sign up for yoga classes at the REC Centre!