If you have not been living under a rock, chances are you already have an idea how popular yoga has become.
Even A-list celebrities like Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Aniston, etc. swear by yoga and it’s no wonder why.
Over the years, hybrid combinations of yoga have been introduced, making it extra challenging to keep track, much more differentiate one from the other.
With so many options to pick from, it has become overwhelming, if not confusing to pick the best yoga style for you.
To make the choosing process less intimidating, it would be best to familiarize yourself first with the options available for you.
To help you out, we’ve provided a list of the top 6 yoga styles you can pick from and a little background about each:
Vinyasa or flow is the general term used to refer to describe varied yoga classes that utilize the vinyasa method as a foundation for the practice.
Loosely translated, the term vinyasa means “breathing-movement system” and advocates one breath per movement.
In other words, the flowing sequence of the yoga poses are performed in sync to the rhythmic nature of breathing.
At the heart of this yoga style are the sun salutations—a series of 9 poses done consecutively and is designed to build body heat.
Vinyasa classes can take different forms, from athletic and extremely vigorous to meditative and slow.
Kundalini yoga is a dynamic and very spiritual practice that primarily aims to increase physical vitality and expand the consciousness.
The objectives are achieved by integrating and accessing the life-force energy (prana) throughout the body.
The method used in Kundalini yoga is multidimensional.
It uses movement, breath, mantra meditations, chanting, and breath to shift and stimulate the energy effectively.
Considered ideal for beginners, Kundalini yoga helps practitioners focus on developing a strong inward focus as opposed to perfecting the poses.
Bikram yoga involves performing a set sequence of 26 yoga postures for 90 minutes in a 105-degree heat.
The sequences in Bikram yoga has been designed to work every body part from the inside out.
Expect churns, bends, folds, bows, and twists when performing the poses.
Bikram yoga poses have also been designed to bring fresh and oxygenated blood to every internal organ in the body.
The humidity and heat works by speeding up the natural detoxifying process of the body and the sweating out of the toxins.
In essence, many look at Bikram yoga as an exercise in willpower as much as physical exertion.
When attending a Bikram yoga class, you can expect to be pushed to your limits mentally, emotionally, and physically.
However, when you make it through an entire Bikram yoga session, you will feel truly accomplished and empowered.
Integral yoga is a combination of disciplines that have been designed to systematically address the entire layers of the body—from the physical to the other aspects of one’s being like the energetic, mental, and emotional.
Every class will have the same format, gentle, accessible, and slow.
Emphasis is placed on deep relaxation, meditation, pranayama, and asana.
The approach used in this style of yoga is distinctly uncompetitive as practitioners are encouraged to execute the poses with internal awareness and in a pace they are comfortable with.
Internal yoga promotes transformation by helping students access the place of happiness and peace that is inherent in each person.
While this style is not considered a system on its own, many yoga styles integrate a restorative practice in their classes.
The practice will often only involve five to six poses done with the support of blocks, blankets, straps, and bolsters.
The accessories work by allowing you to relax and rest completely into position as you breathe.
Typically lasting from 5 to 10 minutes, restorative poses combine gentle backbends, light twists, seated forward folds, and moving of the spine in various directions.
As the name suggests, the practice is considered very therapeutic—it helps restore and sooth the nervous system, release the body’s deeply held tensions, and bringing about a balanced state.
In addition, restorative yoga is considered the ideal complement for a more active yoga practice especially when high stress is experienced.
This type is a partner-based practice that combines the wisdom and teachings of yoga with the healing touch of the healing arts, and the playfulness and power of acrobatics.
The postures and aerial movements are done in an accepting and safe atmosphere as one partner acts as the flier while the other serves as the base.
Acroyoga was first introduced in 2002 and was founded by Jenny Saver and Jason Nemer.
With collective backgrounds in circus arts, yoga and aerobics, the two explored and created aerial versions of some of yoga’s classic poses.
The two founders eventually developed a systematic and more progressive approach that involves acrobatic and therapeutic flying.
The aim of acroyoga is to promote trust, connection, and community through direct interaction.