Controlling both your mind and body are two things that can work wonders toward improving your overall health and weight loss efforts. And yoga is a highly effective way to get that control. Yoga combines breathing and meditation (mind) with movement (body) to boost various elements of your health, including flexibility, endurance, strength, inner peace and well-being.
Approximately 350 million people practice yoga regularly, making it one of the world’s most popular forms of fitness. And all those minds and bodies focused on one specific type of exercise means growing varieties and forms of the practice.
In other words, there’s something for everyone in the yoga world. With that in mind, we rounded up 10 types of yoga you can try out for mediation, fitness, spirituality and, of course, fun!
1) Life Force Energy Yoga
“Kundalini” or “Life Force Energy” yoga incorporates chanting, singing, breathwork and meditation with body movement. The aim is to reduce negative thinking and stress and is excellent for those who enjoy exploring their spirituality.
2) Forceful Yoga
“Hatha” yoga — literally translated to “forceful” yoga — explores the more physical side of yoga and is one of the more traditional types that many beginners enjoy. If you try this kind of yoga, your main objective is to do it consistently and combine it with breathing techniques, mediation and concentration.
3) Pose Yoga
If you’re someone who thrives on routine, pose — or “Ashtanga” — yoga is for you. This style typically involves a class where you’ll learn to master specific yoga poses before progressing to the next one. Instructors often combine it with spirituality techniques and offer hands-on adjustments to students as they practice each pose.
4) Aerial Yoga
Yoga meets acrobatics in this beautiful yoga form that has continued to rise in popularity in recent years. You’ll use silky hammocks attached to the ceiling to hold various yoga poses. This can be especially helpful to assist your body with getting into challenging poses you may not be able to do otherwise. Adding hammocks also means you can make this class as easy or as challenging as you want.
5) Yin Yoga
Yin Yoga has roots in martial arts and aims to improve circulation and flexibility to improve joints and muscle strength. It’s a slower style that involves holding poses for 1-5 minutes. If you’re an athlete, someone who exercises regularly or live with joint or muscle pain, you can benefit from this yoga type.
6) Hot Yoga
Hot yoga comes in various styles and is not for the faint of heart. It is a more rigorous style where you’ll perform many types of sitting and standing in a hot, humid studio. Combining the heat with the poses raises your heart rate and strengthens muscles simultaneously. It’s excellent for burning fat, but you should probably avoid it if you have certain health conditions, like heat intolerance, heart disease or have experience a heat-related illness. As with all exercises, check with your doctor first.
7) Power Yoga
Core work, plenty of movement and even dance are possible components of a power yoga routine — which is practiced hot or regular. An instructor has a lot of freedom to adapt a power yoga class, making this an incredibly engaging yoga type that involves varying movements and routines. Power yoga is an excellent workout for burning calories and is less spiritual than other yoga types.
8) Restorative Yoga
If ever there was a sleepy, slow yoga form, it’s restorative. This yoga practice involves using props to support and roll over the body with lots of breaks to lay on the mat with your eyes closed. Instructors will often play soft music and guide you through various meditations while using the props to help you relax into poses. Restorative yoga is excellent if you need to lower your stress levels or want to build something simple and low-key into your rest days.
9) Acro Yoga
If you want to try something challenging (but fun!) with a partner, head to an acro yoga class. Acro yoga is set in an interactive environment and involves developing communication skills with a partner while you work to master various poses as a team. With each move, the “base” partner builds core and lower body strength, while the “flyer” partner builds upper body strength and flexibility.
10) Goat Yoga
Suppose you’re the kind of person who likes to step outside the box and try something especially unique. In that case, you’re definitely going to want to give goat yoga a shot. Goat yoga may sound silly, but it’s a ton of fun. You can expect to practice yoga while these furry, friendly creatures wander around you. It’s excellent for reducing stress and anxiety, mood enhancement, improving sleep and breathing and generally boosting your positivity.
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.