7 Styles of Yoga to Explore and More
I love getting to know the reasons that draw others to yoga. It is important to realize each person has a different path that led them to step into that first yoga class. One of the more fascinating parts of yoga is that there are so many different styles of yoga out there.
I know when I started yoga I really just went to the first studio I came across. Finally, a friend said “come to class with me” and I was on the “yes” train. It was a power yoga class and I fell in love quickly. I practiced at that studio until I felt the urge to grow my flow elsewhere. As a result, it spiraled into what I call myself now, an integrated yogi.
I love to learn about all different styles of yoga and decide what I’m in the mood for from moment to moment.
So, whether or not being an integrated yogi inspires you or just wondering what is out there, this is what we are going to dive into today.
Let’s jump down the rabbit hole of yoga, shall we?
To start, all types and styles of yoga are meant to induce meditation and create a union (mind, body, spirit).
For the rest of yoga, it depends on which one aligns with your being and maybe what part of your being needs or wants the most work. We tend to start with the physical side of yoga and work our way in.
INTEGRAL or PURNA:
We’ll start here with this simple form of yoga that strives for a complete or total feeling. It goes back to mind, body, spirit and bringing them together as a whole. This incorporates all tools such as chanting, kriyas, postures, breath, meditation, and more. Furthermore, it allows you to incorporate anything you have learned into your practice and evolves.
This is also a great beginner yoga, especially for those that are intimidated by yoga.
One of my favorite yoga’s to do at home. It has a lot of freedom in the practice and gives you many tools to customize your practice.
This yoga is meant to train your body to be a vehicle for life. Any yoga practice where you are doing poses and moving your physical body is a form of Hatha. Original Hatha yoga plays on masculine and feminine energies if you want to dig that deep. However, the practice itself is actually done in alignment.
Sun salutations and poses in alignment are done here.
Within this style, it is meant to make you sweat and wear out the legs. It is a sequence of poses meant to tire your being.
It can be similar to an Ashtanga class or sometimes called, vinyasa. Within power yoga, there are many different types of power yoga or might get confused with others, such as Baptiste, hot yoga, bikram, etc.
This seems to be the most popular within the western culture and seems to be where many of us start. Great for those who want to tone and get a good workout!
Pattabhi Jois is the creator of Ashtanga yoga, it incorporates breath and movement. It is designed to use the eight limbs of yoga which stems from Raja yoga (we’ll go over that one next).
This yoga is lots of fun and also very physically demanding. It quickly moves you in and out of poses which builds lots of strength and mobility. It teaches you to utilize your energy within the sequence.
“Without yoga practice, how can knowledge give you Moksha (liberation or freedom)?” -Pattabhi Jois
Raja yoga really gets back to the basics and is a yoga for the mind.
Created by Patanjali, who is known to be the founder of yoga and is famous for writing the yoga sutras. Raja yoga is very traditional and always done in silence. Consisting of, pranayama’s (energy control), lots of savasana, poses, and meditation, meant to reach Samadhi (union with self). Done through meditation and energy control.
This yoga is very relaxing and for some, can be hard to sit still for. I encourage you to dive into this yoga if you wanting to deepen your yoga practice and turn your focus inward. Expand your practice deeper than the physical forms of yoga.
“Yoga calms down the vibrations of the mind.” -Patanjali
This is the type of yoga you probably do when practicing poses you are working towards, without even realizing it. This is a practice that consists of only a few poses and demands energy control. It is a more advanced kind of yoga that is great level up your practice.
It starts with scorpion pose to warm up the spine, which tells you the level of advancement a yogi would want to be before diving in. However, it is not required that you know how to get into a scorpion pose, you must always start somewhere right?
Sports yoga, is great to test your limits, grow in poses, and learn how to build up to certain strengths. It is great to take a private class so you can get someone on one assistance.
Also, might be known as Artistic yoga, blending yoga and art. Choreo yoga is done with music or not and doesn’t have many rules, other than to move very slow and keep a rhythm. It involves more ascetically pleasing poses, uses mudras, and requires coordination.
This kind of yoga can be done in a class setting, alone, or performed in front of an audience.
In my experience Choreo yoga is not super popular or well known. Which is a bit surprising to me, because it is a lot of fun and has a lot of freedom within the practice. This yoga focus’ on the spiritual zone, which you can read more about here. You can also check out the Choreo YouTube channel to watch some amazing performances. In fact, it just might become your new favorite yoga!
Let’s slow it down and get nice and juicy, shall we?
Yoga therapy is designed for your well-being and is meant to calm you down and put you in a relaxed state. It focuses on healing blockages and pain for a better you! It can involve many different things such as massage, assisted stretching, Ayurveda, essential oils, herbal therapy, psychotherapy, energy healing, crystals, and so much more!
Fun fact: it is one of the most ancient practices in the world and was practiced in India over five thousand years ago! The only other medicine that has lasted this long is Chinese medicine. Isn’t that incredible?
Wow, are we on information overload yet? I hope not! I have some bonus love for you!
The above styles are actually what I am certified in and know a lot of in-depth information for each.
Howver, the following are styles I know of, but am not certified in and have minimal experience in. I love learning and teaching about yoga, so I thought I would throw out a disclaimer and give you some more yoga love!
The goal here is to reach your true potential while using chanting, mantras, mudras, poses, and mediation. It usually awakens one’s purpose and spirituality.
It has a lot more depth to it and I have only touched the surface. I would like to dive into Kundalini someday!
Founded by B.K.S. Iyengar. This yoga that is done in alignment and meant to deepen into each movement. Each pose is held for a long time and gives you the ability to deepen and play around with adjustments.
Can I just start out saying, this is not the yoga for me! However, I have heard many people say they love it! This style of yoga turns up the heat, and I mean they turn it way up! It is a series of 26 poses and consists of doing each one twice. It is the same sequence every time. Drink lots of water before you go!
It is pretty similar to a very basic yoga therapy class. In other words, it is meant to relax, reduce stress, increase flexibility, and ultimately feel great! Holding poses for a long period of time and getting settled in. Nap time yoga anyone?
Ah, the yoga of food, yum! This isn’t necessarily what you would think of when you hear the word yoga. However, it is a fun one to leave you on!
Combining the power of mindful eating and cooking with love. It focuses only on intaking what will nourish our bodies. Therefore, it is a great way to start your path to a healthier you.
Thank you for joining me in the journey and rabbit hole of different kinds of yoga to check out! I personally love how many different types and styles of yoga there is to explore.