Types of Yoga – Your Guide to 9 Major Yoga Styles

Types of Yoga

Types of Yoga – Your Guide to 9 Major Yoga Styles

We all know that the ancient practice of yoga has been in existence since more than 5000 years in India, but it spread to the western world during the latter part of the 19th century. Yoga practice is known to reap health benefits like increased blood flow, perfect posture, muscle strength and improved flexibility. With time, different types of yoga styles have evolved. Some are rooted in tradition while others take a more creative slant, but all aim at health and fitness, thus offering people a wide spectrum of choice.


Types of Yoga Styles

Most of the people are unaware of how many different types of yoga are there. Which yoga style you would prefer to practice? Do you want a physically demanding style or a relaxed meditative style? Take a look at this brief guide on some of the most popular types of yoga and make a selection based on your requirements.


     1.  Hatha Yoga

A combination of breathing and physical poses, the Hatha yoga is slow paced and the perfect choice for a beginner or someone who is yet to get used to practicing yoga.

Hatha yoga classes generally begin with breathing exercises allowing the prana or life force to flow into the body followed by physical poses (asanas) to build the muscle strength and increase flexibility.

The asanas taught in Hatha yoga are basic yoga poses and they are interspersed with relaxing postures like the sitting pose for meditation, and the class also ends with a lengthy relaxation. This ensures that you leave the class in a fit yet relaxed frame of mind. Hatha yoga is beneficial for balance and co-ordination.

To practice any type of yoga, you need a good teacher. Among the best teachers are those trained at Rishikesh Yog Math yoga school. It conducts one of the best 200 hour hatha yoga teacher training in Rishikesh amidst beautiful serene surroundings.


     2.  Iyengar Yoga

Developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, this type of yoga focuses on structural alignment, anatomy and movement. A variety of postures are performed while controlling the breath. The poses are held for a long time allowing the practitioner to relax while balancing and breathing.

It is the only style which allows the use of props like chairs or straps to help students perfect their asanas, Iyengar yoga is generally seen to be very beneficial for beginners and seniors too.

Because of its precision in structural postures, it is said to be helpful in alleviating neck and back problems. It is also said to lessen fatigue and makes one relaxed. It also helps people with injuries as the props can be used to work your way slowly.


     3.  Ashtanga Yoga

Being one of the most popular types of yoga style, it is fast paced and demanding. A series of poses are vigorously performed in a particular sequence combined with breathing to generate heat in the body. This heat is expected to purify the body.

Ashtanga Yoga has been practiced since ages by the Yogis and is described in the yoga Kurunta, an ancient text.
It attracts people who want a vigorous and physically challenging workout. The benefits include development of core strength and flexibility. It is also beneficial in detoxification and smooth functioning of the body.

Rishikesh Yog Math offers 28 days residential 200 hour ashtanga yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. It has experienced yoga teachers and great facilities. Students will get yoga alliance certificate after completion of the course.


     4.  Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is spiritual and is preferred by any person who wants a spiritual experience while performing yoga. The aim is to release the untapped energy within your body, awakening your chakras. The emphasis is on meditation, breathing, and chanting along with a prescribed series of simple poses.

The benefits of kundalini yoga include focus and concentration. It also helps you connect with your inner self by increasing your awareness of the body and mind.


     5.  Power Yoga

Power yoga, as the name itself suggests, is physically challenging and tests your endurance. This yoga style is based on Ashtanga yoga but is more flexible, as there is no specified order. The poses move rapidly and could prove to be a challenging cardio workout.

It is said to be beneficial in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It also helps in increasing the blood circulation. If you are an athlete, a long distance runner, or even a person who wants to lose weight, power yoga with its fast-paced poses could be your preference.


     6.  Anusara Yoga

Want to have fun during your yoga classes? Then you could opt for Anusara yoga where the workout is light-hearted, centering mainly on alignment.

Props are allowed, and generally, music accompanies the workout making it attractive for people who want to enjoy their yoga session. Anusara yoga improves your core muscular strength and balance and coordination.


     7.  Jivamukti Yoga

One of the most popular yoga styles is the Jivamukti yoga, which involves a theme based, physically challenging and mentally stimulating workout. Since it is based on kindness and compassion, it promotes community feeling, healthy and compassionate lifestyle. The class includes chanting, meditation, pranayama, and music.


     8.  Viniyoga Yoga

One of the few types of yoga styles which are taught one to one is Viniyoga yoga. Individual attention is given as the teacher concentrates on one student at a time. The workout is based on the physical limitations of the person. So it becomes accessible to people with injuries, age and disabilities and can be therapeutic.


     9.  Laughter Yoga

Laughter yoga has a body-mind approach to laughter. Practitioners of Laughter yoga have emotional resilience and positive approach towards life. So if you want to laugh and enjoy your workout, Laughter yoga is for you.


Few Other Types of Yoga

Restorative yoga meant for injury or stress rehabilitation used by physiotherapists on their patients.
Yin yoga, developed by a Martial Arts Specialist, where the poses are slow paced and held for a long time in combination with vigorous exercises like running and cycling to calm the mind.
Bikram yoga, which is very popular as it helps in releasing toxins, improves circulation and assists weight loss. You have to bear in mind that the yoga styles which generate heat like the Bikram yoga require you to wear loose and light clothes.

Many new types of yoga styles are being introduced and practiced, and with such a wide array of styles, you have to suit your needs and make an informed choice.


Related Post – Yoga Teacher Training 101



In this article, we have discussed different types of yoga and their benefits. You can select the yoga styles that suits your requirement.

Rishikesh Yog Math, founded by Yogi Vikash is one of the best yoga schools in Rishikesh. It is registered with Yoga Alliance, USA, provides 100 and 200 hour residential yoga teacher training course in Hatha and Ashtanga Yoga. Yoga courses are comprehensive and designed as per regulation of Yoga Alliance, for bringing out students who can stand apart as the best Yoga teachers in the world.