Are you interested in yoga but don’t know how to go about it? Worry not, we’ve got you covered in this our free yoga guide for beginners. It contains everything you need to learn about yoga to get started.
Deciding on the type of yoga style to try out is one of the biggest challenges beginners face; beginners usually find this confusing because the options and class names are so extensive.
Although almost all yoga style uses similar physical posture, each of them has a particular emphasis. You will learn the difference between each yoga style in this guide so you can decide the style that’s more suitable for you.
The best way to learn yoga is to attend a beginner’s class.
You can ask your local studio to know which class will offer basic instruction that’s appropriate for a newbie if the studio does not indicate which class is designed for someone trying yoga for the first time.
If you want to search for online videos, your search should be directed to entry-level classes or beginner’s classes; most online platforms offering yoga videos categorizes their videos based on ability-level.
Just know that if you did not enjoy your first yoga class, that does not mean yoga workouts are not meant for you. The reason is there are different yoga styles as well as different yoga instructors with different methods of approach or teaching. So you may have to experiment on different yoga styles before you find the yoga style that suits you better.
Practicing yoga has numerous health benefits, if you don’t find it interesting initially, why not explore different classes before writing it off.
Yoga Foundations: Starting Your Journey Right
Besides the classes labelled as “beginner yoga” usually, yoga classes categorized as “hatha” are slower-moving practices focusing on the basic, friendly poses for beginners.
It is important you know the meaning of “hatha”; hatha is a term that usually describes any type of yoga routine that has to do with movement. Almost all yoga classes in America are hatha. So it’s advisable you ask the yoga instructors on what to expect before starting your first yoga class.
Vinyasa are faster-moving practices that’s very popular. Beginners who are not familiar with the basis poses may find it difficult or confusing. Make sure you try the beginner-level class if you want to try vinyasa classes.
Lastly, lyengar is a type of yoga that focuses heavily on proper alignment. This yoga style suitable for individuals who wants to spend quality time in getting each yoga position exactly right or people suffering from injuries. As a beginner, you can expect lots of instructions to go about this form of yoga.
Have at the back of your mind that any yoga style can suite a beginner perfectly as long as it is labelled a beginner class. You can give Forrest yoga or yin a try if your local studio offers it. Just ensure your instructor is aware that you are a newbie. Once your instructor is aware, he/she will keep a close eye on you and also provide more instructions that will help you practice yoga.
Yoga Styles Unveiled: Explore the Diversity of practices
In your quest for the ideal yoga practice, it’s invaluable to embark on a journey of self-discovery by exploring your yoga personality or type. Delving into your personal preferences, physical capabilities, and spiritual inclinations can help you pinpoint the yoga style that best aligns with your unique needs and aspirations.
The world of yoga is a diverse and multi-faceted one, offering a multitude of styles, each with its own philosophy, postures, and emphasis.
Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the wealth of choices, view the array of yoga styles as an exciting opportunity for exploration. As you stand at the threshold of this vast discipline, consider commencing your yoga journey with a beginner-friendly class.
These introductory sessions provide an accessible entry point, allowing you to develop a strong foundation by mastering essential postures, breath control, and meditation techniques – all of which serve as the building blocks for more specialized practices.
By embracing a beginner-friendly class, you’ll not only gain confidence but also establish a familiarity with the fundamental elements of yoga. Armed with this knowledge, you’ll be well-prepared to make informed decisions as you progress in your practice, ensuring that you select the yoga style that resonates most profoundly with your core being.
With this approach, you can gradually and confidently explore the rich tapestry of yoga, knowing that you’re choosing the path that perfectly complements your personal yoga journey, nurturing a harmonious union of mind, body, and soul.
List of YOGA Styles
Let dive in the top 15 Yoga styles explained and find out what is the one that you should pick for yourself (click on the links below)
Iyengar Yoga is a precise and alignment-focused style of yoga that emphasizes the use of props such as belts, blocks, and walls to help students perform asanas (postures) with maximum stability and correctness.
Named after its founder, B.K.S. Iyengar, this method promotes the development of strength, flexibility, and balance through a systematic and rigorous approach, making it suitable for practitioners of all levels, including those with physical limitations or injuries.
Kripalu Yoga is a holistic yoga practice that combines physical postures, breath control, and meditation to promote self-awareness and self-acceptance.
It encourages students to explore their inner experiences, fostering a compassionate and meditative approach to yoga. This style is accessible to practitioners of all levels and focuses on personal growth and transformation.
Jivamukti Yoga is a dynamic and spiritually rooted yoga style that emphasizes a fusion of physical postures, breath control, meditation, and ethical principles.
Founded by Sharon Gannon and David Life, it incorporates music and chanting to create a vibrant and challenging practice that promotes self-realization and connection to the world around us.
Jivamukti Yoga often includes elements of activism and social awareness, making it a popular choice for those seeking a holistic and spiritually enriching yoga experience.
Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga
Integral Yoga is a comprehensive and holistic approach to yoga that harmonizes physical postures, breathing exercises, meditation, and selfless service to promote spiritual growth and self-realization.
Founded by Sri Swami Satchidananda, this style encourages the integration of all aspects of one’s being, emphasizing inner peace, and a sense of interconnectedness.
Integral Yoga offers a well-rounded and mindful practice suitable for those seeking a balanced and spiritually enriched yoga experience.
Sivananda Yoga is a traditional and holistic form of yoga that follows the teachings of Swami Sivananda and his disciple Swami Vishnudevananda.
This practice focuses on five core principles: proper exercise, proper breathing, proper relaxation, proper diet, and positive thinking and meditation.
Sivananda Yoga offers a structured and balanced approach, combining asanas (postures) with pranayama (breath control) and meditation to promote physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a comprehensive and spiritually centered practice.
Kundalini Yoga is a dynamic and spiritually-oriented style of yoga that focuses on awakening the dormant energy, known as Kundalini, at the base of the spine.
Founded by Yogi Bhajan, this practice involves a combination of postures, dynamic breathing techniques, mantra chanting, and meditation to promote vitality and heightened awareness.
It’s renowned for its ability to stimulate spiritual growth and inner transformation, making it a powerful choice for those seeking a profound and transformative yoga experience.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Vinyasa Flow Yoga is an invigorating and dynamic style that synchronizes breath with movement to create a seamless and flowing practice. This style is known for its creative sequences and variety of poses, making it adaptable to all levels of practitioners.
Vinyasa Flow emphasizes physical strength, flexibility, and mindfulness, providing a dynamic and accessible yoga experience that encourages a sense of harmony between body and mind.
Power Yoga is a vigorous and physically challenging style of yoga that draws inspiration from Ashtanga yoga. Developed to enhance strength, flexibility, and stamina, Power Yoga features a dynamic sequence of postures performed in a heated room, often without strict adherence to a fixed sequence.
It emphasizes the physical aspect of yoga, making it a popular choice for those looking for an intense and athletic practice that fosters muscle toning and endurance.
Anusara Yoga is a heart-centered and alignment-based yoga style that was developed by John Friend. This practice focuses on the celebration of the heart and the importance of intention and alignment in each pose.
Anusara’s philosophy emphasizes the idea that we are inherently good, and the practice combines physical postures, pranayama, and a strong sense of community. It’s a style that encourages personal transformation and spiritual growth, making it a popular choice for those seeking a practice that blends philosophy with physicality.
Ashtanga Yoga is a dynamic and physically demanding style that follows a set sequence of postures and is characterized by synchronized breath and movement.
Founded by K. Pattabhi Jois, this method is known for its rigorous and structured approach, emphasizing strength, flexibility, and endurance. Ashtanga Yoga provides a disciplined and progressive practice, often divided into primary, intermediate, and advanced series, making it a popular choice for those seeking a challenging and traditional yoga experience that fosters physical and mental strength.
Viniyoga is a personalized and adaptable yoga style that tailors the practice to the individual’s needs and abilities. Founded by T.K.V. Desikachar, this approach emphasizes the integration of breath, movement, and meditation to achieve therapeutic and transformative results.
Viniyoga is often used for the management of specific health conditions, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a yoga practice customized to their unique physical and emotional requirements.
Hot Yoga is a style of yoga performed in a heated room, typically around 95-105°F (35-40°C) or higher, which helps to promote increased flexibility and detoxification through profuse sweating.
Various hot yoga forms exist, with Bikram Yoga and hot vinyasa being popular examples. This high-temperature environment is believed to enhance the effectiveness of postures, reduce the risk of injury, and create a challenging and intense workout experience, making it suitable for those seeking a more physically demanding and sweat-inducing yoga practice.
Restorative Yoga is a gentle and calming style that focuses on relaxation and deep release. In this practice, various props like blankets, bolsters, and blocks are used to support the body in passive postures, allowing for complete relaxation and stress reduction.
It’s a practice that prioritizes healing, making it an excellent choice for those seeking to alleviate tension, recover from injury, or simply unwind and find inner peace.
Hatha Yoga is a foundational and balanced style that emphasizes the physical postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) to promote overall well-being and the integration of mind and body.
It is often regarded as the basis for many modern yoga styles and provides a gentle and accessible approach for practitioners of all levels. Hatha Yoga focuses on developing flexibility, strength, and relaxation, making it a versatile choice for those looking to establish a solid foundation in yoga.
Yin yoga is a gentle and meditative style of yoga that focuses on long-held passive poses, typically held for 3-5 minutes or even longer. Unlike more active yoga styles, Yin targets the deep connective tissues and fascia in the body, promoting flexibility and relaxation.
It’s a practice that encourages stillness, mindfulness, and an exploration of one’s inner self, making it an excellent complement to more dynamic yoga practices or a stand-alone practice for those seeking deep relaxation and improved flexibility.
For last but not least...
I am pretty sure your knowledge of yoga has improved compared to what you already knew before reading this article.
By now, you should be familiar with the different types of yoga as well as their philosophies and approaches. The reason this article is lengthy is to provide you with detailed information to eliminate any doubt you have concerning yoga; thus, this article serves as a guide in helping you choose a yoga style that’s more suitable for you.
One more thing, I would love it if you share this article on yoga and the different styles of yoga available with your friends, family, and network.
Katty Linsky, a certified Restorative Yoga teacher based in the vast landscapes of Russia, has dedicated herself to the art of yoga.
Her journey through yoga, particularly the gentle practice of Restorative Yoga, has been a transformative and enlightening one, rooted in a deep passion for holistic wellness and a commitment to sharing its benefits.