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Find the Right Type of Yoga for You

There are several types of yoga that can help you improve your strength and balance, relieve tension in your body, quiet your mind, and help you relax.

If you’re new to yoga, you have a lot of options. Here are 10 different types of yoga to choose from.

Iyengar Yoga

Detail-oriented, slow-paced, and gentle, Iyengar yoga is good for beginners. You may use props – belts, blocks, and pillow-like bolsters – to get into poses with correct alignment. Similar styles include Anusara yoga and Viniyoga.

Ashtanga Yoga

You do a nonstop series of challenging yoga poses. Ashtanga yoga uses a special breathing technique that’s said to help focus the mind and control the flow of breath through the body.

Hatha Yoga

“Hatha yoga” originally meant the physical practice of yoga, the poses rather than the breathing exercises. The term now is often used when a few yoga styles are combined to create a simple, gentle class that’s good for beginners learning to do basic poses.

Bikram Yoga

You do a challenging sequence of 26 yoga poses in a very hot room, above 100 F / 37.7 C. Check with your doctor if you have any medical condition, including hypertension or diabetes, before starting this “hot” style of yoga.

Restorative Yoga

This type of yoga uses poses that you’ll do mostly on the floor with the support of bolsters, blankets, blocks, and chairs. The class is designed to gently care for your body, mind, and spirit.

Couples Yoga

This type of yoga is for two or more people and helps build trust and connection. You can practice it with your child, a partner, or someone you meet in class. Sometimes, you’ll create one pose with your partner. You could also mirror them, or they’ll help you with balance or a deep stretch.

Sivananda Yoga

You do 13 poses and lie down in between the poses. Sivananda yoga is easily adaptable to people of different physical abilities.

Viniyoga

You focus on how your breath moves through your body and affects each pose. It’s not so much about doing every pose precisely. The long, deep stretches of this style of yoga are ideal for beginners and people who want to focus on being flexible, recovering from injury, body awareness, and relaxation.

Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga focuses on gentle stretching, poses, and breathing. It’s a way for pregnant women to relax, stay fit, improve strength, get more flexible, and lower stress, anxiety, and the side effects of pregnancy like nausea, lower back pain, and shortness of breath.

Power Yoga or Vinyasa Flow Yoga

Power yoga is one of the most athletic forms of yoga. Based on the sequence of poses in Ashtanga yoga, power yoga builds upper-body strength and helps make you more flexible and balanced. You flow from one pose to another.

With any style of yoga, you can boost your strength, get more flexible, and improve your balance. And all yoga styles release tension in your body, quiet your mind, and help you relax.

Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise or fitness program, especially if you have any medical problems or are an older adult.

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