Types of Yoga Classes

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By James Smith

Yoga is a physical, sometimes spiritual practice that involves meditation, breathing exercises, and gentle movement. Many online yoga classes focus on body movement or the asana aspect of yoga. There are various different types of yoga, like Ashtanga and Vinyasa, each with advantages for your mind and body. Here are the main types of yoga to try for wholesome and healthy living:

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga helps balance opposing forces to restore maximum flexibility to the body. The practice entails balance derived from flexibility, strength, the body, breath, or mental and physical energy. Hatha yoga focuses more on the physical aspect of yoga as it relates more to the regularity of practice and concentration, not using unnecessary force on your body. The classes include meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), and asana (poses).

Other types of yoga, such as Bikram, Iyengar, or Ashtanga, are technically termed hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is ideal for anyone looking for a gentle type of yoga or a balanced practice. The style of yoga uses movable personal props, like a yoga belt or mat, to strengthen poses. Hatha is a good class for anyone who is starting a yoga practice. The class involves slower-moving physical postures and requires one to hold a pose for several breaths.

Vinyasa Yoga

Vinyasa yoga practice links breath and movement together in a way that looks like a dance. The instructor does a series of poses that flow from one to another. In many online yoga classes, the pace tends to be quick, and you won’t stay for long in each pose. Teachers often play music that matches the beat of the series of poses.

Vinyasa is ideal for intense exercises due to its faster pace. Endurance athletes and runners can also be attracted to the Vinyasa class due to the continuous movement. The intensity of Vinyasa practice is close to Ashtanga, but Vinyasa classes are not the same. Consider Vinyasa yoga if you dislike routine and wish to push your physical limits.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga yoga has several pillars: postures and asana, principles, withdrawal, salvation, meditation, pranayama, personal discipline, and concentration. The class has some elements of breathing style and flowing movement similar to vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa yoga classes are more diverse, while Ashtanga has an arrangement of poses that you should not deviate from. Ashtanga classes also place great importance on meditation.

This yoga entails a series of specific poses that are taught in order. Each pose is provided to students once the teacher knows they’ve known the previous one. Ashtanga is a flow-style, physical yoga that involves hands-on adjustments. The teacher poses at their pace, following their breath, growth point, and personal edge. Each student moves at their own pace and memorizes the practice through the poses. Ashtanga is a great option for anyone who enjoys physical and spiritual practice or a routine.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar yoga is a slow-style practice that involves holding poses for extended periods and using physical props such as yoga straps and blocks. The practice puts much focus on strict alignment of the body. Iyengar is accessible for those with limited mobility in their body. Yoga props such as benches, chairs, walls, bolsters, straps, and blocks assist them in getting into good alignments.

Iyengar yoga tends to be less intense and can vary depending on the class or instructor. The practice suits individuals of all skill levels and ages who enjoy detailed instructions.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative yoga is a subgroup of Iyengar yoga that uses props such as bolsters, blocks, and straps that hold the body in a specific posture for several minutes. The aim is to do poses in specific positions that support and balance your nervous system to release stress and promote relaxation.

Restorative yoga poses tend to be grounded, and you may do seated straddle poses, supported backbends, seated forward folds, and gentle supine twists. Since each pose takes time, you may do a few postures in one practice. The pose is ideal for anyone who wants some profound rest.

Choose the Best Online Yoga Classes

Find online yoga classes that offer different types of yoga that match your preference. The sessions need to provide you with an experience that’s close to in-person training as possible. Pre-recorded yoga classes tend to be of greater quality. You may also study, repeat, and pause at your own pace. Choose classes from a trainer who has been practicing for a long time, as they will have the experience to help you control your energy and stress levels.