Feeling lost when it comes to pick a yoga class? To help make the choice, we describe here four types of yoga.
Yoga has been rooted in traditional Indian spiritual practice for at least 3000 years, and has been celebrated in the Western world since the 1920s as a mean to promote spirituality, physical and mental wellbeing (1). Yogis and yoginis around the world experience reduced anxiety, depression (2, 3), chronic pain (4, 5) and an improved quality of life (6) – and these are only to cite a few benefits of practicing yoga! There are tens of yoga styles to choose from, all of which will help you increase your overall wellness. No style is more valid or authentic than another: the key is to choose a style that is appropriate for what you are looking for and your level of fitness.
Among other elements, yoga combines a series of physical postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas) and meditation (dyanas). Every yoga type includes these elements in different proportions, allowing the yogi and yoginis (men and women practicing yoga) to focus their efforts on developing your strength, flexibility or expending your spirituality. It also means that you can find a yoga type that is perfectly adapted to your fitness level.
We describe below four very distinct yoga styles to help you choose the right one for you.
Although modern hatha yoga combines all elements of yoga, it focuses mainly on the physical (rather than the spiritual) parts of yoga, both in terms of strength and flexibility. It uses traditional poses and breathing techniques at a slow pace, which makes it ideal for beginners who want their first experience of yoga to be in a holistic and gentle manner.
What to look for in a practice: