With so many types of yoga available, it can be hard to find a style that suits you. Whether you have achy joints or want to get a little exercise, there’s a yoga style for you.
Bikram yoga is practised in a room heated up to 32°C and it will make you sweat like you never have before.
Since exploding onto the scene in the 1980s, Bikram yoga has become increasingly popular because of the popular belief that sweating causes the body to release toxins.
Unlike a traditional yoga class with a variety of poses, Bikram yoga follows a set sequence of 26 different poses.
Considered a prototypical power class, Vinyasa yoga is fast-paced and includes constant movement.
Instead of remaining in a pose for several breaths, Vinyasa yoga instructors preach seamless movement from one pose to the next.
Because you’re constantly moving, Vinyasa yoga is not recommended for beginners.
Restorative yoga is best for a person with lots of aches and pains.
A variety of accessories, like bolsters, blocks and blankets, make the student as comfortable as possible.
This form of yoga is designed to relax the body and provide relief for tired muscles. As such, restorative yoga is meant to rejuvenate the body through extended stretches and little to no movement.
However, restorative yoga should never feel like taking a nap and should include some degree of movement.
Hatha yoga is the most commonly taught form of yoga in Canada.
Since it’s essentially an overview of yoga, Hatha classes incorporate a variety of basic postures, like downward-facing dog, and focuses on the student’s posture and form.
A relatively new yoga offering, Anusara is an American-invented style that preaches the mental benefits of yoga more than the physical.
Although the poses can be challenging, the goal of Anusara is to open the heart and mind to the practice while connecting the power of breathing to the discipline’s movements.
More commonly referred to as yoga for the joints, Yin yoga focuses on areas of the body that are below the muscles.
Yin yoga is ideal for a person who suffers from knee, shoulder or other joint pain because it works the connective tissues, ligaments and muscle tissues.
Because a Yin yoga class consists of very few poses, it may look easy; however, this is far from true.
Instead of only holding a pose for two to three breaths, a Yin yoga instructor may instruct the class to remain in a pose for anywhere from five to 15 minutes.
Finding your yoga
Now that you have information about the types of yoga available in North America, go out and explore until you find one that works for you.
While you’re trying out these various disciplines, remember to always respect your body and don’t push yourself beyond what you’re capable of doing.