So I recently wrote a blog Is Yoga for Me and I thought I should qualify that a bit more as there are many different types of yoga (who knew) that are massively different so it’s a good idea to find the right one. I will focus this article on the types of yoga most commonly practiced in Australia to make it easier for us down unders.
Hatha Yoga: Hatha yoga is made up of several components including asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, disciplines, purification procedures and gestures, although in most yoga classes in the west, it is the first 3 that are focused on. Routines are slow moving and tend to focus on building both mental and physical strength.
Bikram Yoga: This is an adapted form of Hatha Yoga where each class runs for 90 minutes and is identical in that the same 26 postures and 2 breathing techniques are practiced. The room is also heated to 40°C at 40% humidity.
Vinyasa (Flow) Yoga: is a rigorous, fairly fast moving form of yoga where each movement flows into the next. Vinyasa focuses more on the breathe and the transition of the breathe inbetween each movement rather than the posture itself.
Power Yoga: / Ashtanga Yoga: is a physically challenging form of yoga. Due to the increased strength required for these classes it is preferred by men and those already fairly fit. Schools who teach this form of yoga often have a set series of postures that continue repeatedly so those attending simply join and leave.
Iyengar Yoga: This form of yoga using a lot of props. Blocks, harnesses, straps and cushions are used to ensure alignment is perfect making this form of yoga great for physical therapy.
Prenatal Yoga: Prenatal yoga comprises a set of yoga postures that are ideally suited for pregnancy s they focus on the core and breathing and don’t cause any pressure on the tummy. If you are expecting – this is the ONLY type of yoga you should be practicing unless you have a relationship already with a yoga teacher who can guide you appropriately and safely.
Plus Size yoga: whilst not a form of yoga in itself, its important to mention that those carrying extra love may find many traditional yoga postures challenging or uncomfortable so read this blog: Best Yoga poses for plus size women for more information on yoga for plus size women.
Whilst the form of yoga perfect for you is important, so is finding the correct yoga instructor. All yoga instructors have to go through a minimum of 500 hrs of training, however, finding a good teacher is like finding a good therapist – they have to be right for you and your body.