There are many different types of yoga. You have just made a good decision if you decided to start practicing yoga. But it might be challenging to pick a type of yoga that suits you best. There are so many different options.
Let me clarify what are some of the best yoga for beginners. I recommend that you try out as many of them as possible and see for yourself what you prefer. Yoga is a journey and as you progress, your yoga practice will change too.
The different types of yoga | Hatha Yoga
What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga is a general style that usually refers to any style of yoga that practices postures. Many new modern types of yoga are derived from Hatha Yoga. Ashtanga, Power, Vinyasa, Hot Yoga can all be classified as Hatha Yoga.
Generally, a Hatha Yoga class teaches a classical approach to yoga. It combines different yoga poses (asanas) with deep breathing exercises (pranayama). It is a very popular type of yoga. Plus, it offers an introduction to yoga poses, breathing, relaxation techniques and meditation.
Hatha Yoga For Beginners
Hatha Yoga includes many different types of yoga. It is a great yoga for beginners. You can easily learn the basics of yoga during a Hatha Yoga class. It is considered a gentle and slow paced kind of yoga. This type of yoga is recommended for anyone starting out or who prefers a more relaxed style of yoga.
Hatha Yoga For Weight Loss
The exercises in Hatha Yoga are relatively not intense. You won’t sweat a lot but you will hold the poses longer. Compared to more vigorous types of yoga like Vinyasa Yoga, it is more gentle. Hatha Yoga helps calm down and relieve stress very effectively.
The different types of yoga | Vinyasa Yoga
What is Vinyasa Yoga?
Vinyasa Yoga is a dynamic and fast paced practice of yoga. It also includes many different types of yoga. This vigorous style often refers to continuous and rapid yoga flows. You won’t hold yoga poses much long during a Vinyasa class.
Vinyasa Yoga teaches coordination between breath and movement. It is a good workout that focuses on fluid transitions between poses. Often taught to music, Vinyasa Yoga classes are lively and very fun.
Vinyasa Yoga For Beginners
I recommend that you try out other slower types of yoga if you are new to yoga. It is best to master the different yoga poses before introducing intense movements between them. Although you can find gentle beginner Vinyasa flows, focus on learning the basics beforehand.
Vinyasa Yoga For Weight Loss
Vinyasa Yoga is a very energetic type of yoga. It is a great way to challenge yourself and push your physical limits. This will raise your heart rate, boosts your metabolism and increase your strength, flexibility and stamina. It also shares mental and emotional benefits with other yoga styles.
The different types of yoga | Ashtanga Yoga
What is Ashtanga Yoga?
Ashtanga Yoga is a very challenging type of yoga. It teaches specific yoga sequences that scale with your progress. Also known as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, practitioners move rapidly and flow between poses. It focuses on mastery of the poses and advancement to more difficult levels.
There are six vigorous and established Ashtanga series. They are fast paced and challenging with little room to breathe. Plus, the different asanas are practiced in a rigorous order. In an Ashtanga Yoga class, you will practice one or more of the sequences nonstop. It is a powerful and structured way of doing yoga.
Ashtanga Yoga For Beginners
A typical Ashtanga Yoga practice moves quite quickly. It is a very physically demanding type of yoga that will make you sweat. I do not recommend beginners to start out with an Ashtanga Yoga practice. If you are up for the challenge, you can advance at your own pace in a Mysore style of yoga practice.
Ashtanga Yoga For Weight Loss
It is a vigorous type of yoga. The different poses can be quite difficult. Plus, the movements are predefined. It will heat your body and make you sweat a lot. It is a great way to get a good workout. You will increase blood flow and burn calories if you can bear the challenge.
The different types of yoga | Power Yoga
What is Power Yoga?
Power Yoga is a very modern and athletic type of yoga. Derived from Ashtanga Yoga, it provides an intense aerobic workout with less rigorous structure. This style of yoga offers a lot more freedom. It varies a lot from class to class. Plus, it aims to make Ashtanga Yoga more accessible.
Power Yoga is one of the most popular between the different types of yoga. It focuses on building strength, increasing flexibility and cardiovascular performance. There are little pauses in a Power Yoga practice. It is a style of Vinyasa Yoga flow that works the body more than the mind.
Power Yoga For Beginners
This type of yoga is more accessible than Ashtanga Yoga. If you seek a good aerobic workout combined with yoga flows,Power Yoga might be for you. It is still very physically demanding but brings amazing muscle building results.
Power Yoga For Weight Loss
Power Yoga combines strength training with stretching and breathing exercises. It is a great way to build strong and long muscles. Plus, it maintains your heart in good shape. Big stronger muscles burn a lot more calories and help get rid of excess body fat effectively.
The different types of yoga | Hot Yoga
What is Hot Yoga?
Hot Yoga is a general type of yoga practiced in hot and humid conditions. It regroups many other types of yoga that use heat to make you sweat and increase flexibility. You will be able to move into deeper poses compared to unheated classes.
Hot Yoga is usually practiced in a heated room to emulate the climate conditions of India. It is a very demanding exercise. You will sweat a lot and have a hard time to breathe.
Hot Yoga For Beginners
This yoga style is very popular but not something that everyone enjoys. Plus, medical advice is recommended before starting out. The heat and humidity can become unbearable sometimes. This does not allow beginners to learn the basics of yoga in good conditions.
Hot Yoga For Weight Loss
Hot Yoga has plenty of benefits for your health. Plus, it helps you lose weight effectively. The heat increases muscle performance, overall blood circulation and detoxification. It provides a good exercise for your heart and prevents cardiovascular diseases.
The different types of yoga | Bikram Yoga
What is Bikram Yoga?
Bikram Yoga is a type of yoga adapted from hot yoga. It teaches a specific set of 26 poses performed twice in a heated room. Two breathing exercises are also included in the 90 minutes sequence of every practice.
It is very popular and easy to find. The sequence is trademarked and very different from Ashtanga Yoga. It includes a high intensity physical workout that improves your body performance.
Bikram Yoga For Beginners
This type of yoga presents a predictable sequence that appeals to many. It is very consistent and allows beginners to progress and perform better every time. It strengthens muscles, bones, organs, ligaments and joints.
Bikram Yoga For Weight Loss
Bikram Yoga is another very intense type of yoga. It increases strength, flexibility, and endurance. Moreover, it helps anyone looking to lose weight. Make sure to stay hydrated to promote detoxification and calorie burning. It is a very effective way to manage excess weight.
The different types of yoga | Forrest Yoga
What is Forrest Yoga?
Forrest Yoga is a modern type of yoga inspired from Hatha Yoga. Classified as Hot Yoga, it holds poses for a longer period of time in a heated room. It is a very intense style of practice that focuses on core and lower body strength. It uses physical exercise to overcome challenges from day to day lives.
The poses and sequences are specifically designed to provide a changing experience. It helps combat recurring physical and emotional issues of modern society.
Forrest Yoga For Beginners
Forrest Yoga is accessible to everyone and not as challenging as other types of Hot Yoga. It develops strength, flexibility but also focuses on treating mental and emotional injuries. It is a great way to find the courage to deal with fears and struggles.
Forrest Yoga For Weight Loss
With the combination of intense physical exercise and emotional healing, Forrest Yoga helps you learn new skills for a healthier lifestyle. It is a proven strengthening and relaxing experience that helps manage weight.
The different types of yoga | Iyengar Yoga
What is Iyengar Yoga?
Iyengar Yoga is accessible to everybody. It is derived from Hatha Yoga and emphasizes alignment and precision when executing poses. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with yoga techniques. It combines deep breathing exercises with poses that strengthen and lengthen the body.
This yoga style makes use of props to help practitioners do asanas correctly. It teaches movement and anatomy with belts, straps, blocks and blankets. Plus, it aims to unite the body, mind and spirit by practicing postures with extreme precision.
Iyengar Yoga For Beginners
This type of yoga helps beginners learn yoga safely and effectively. Each posture is held for quite some time for maximum benefit. It can be practiced at any age and is especially effective for those with injuries. This provides very good detailed instructions when starting out with yoga.
Iyengar Yoga For Weight Loss
Iyengar Yoga promotes strength, flexibility and endurance. Moreover, it increases balance, stability, focus and concentration. It focuses on correcting misalignment and errors during practice. It is a safe type of yoga to stay fit, healthy and rejuvenated.
The different types of yoga | Kundalini Yoga
What is Kundalini Yoga?
Kundalini Yoga aims to increase mindfulness and self awareness. It is a very challenging practice, both physically and mentally. It combines repetitive physical and breathing exercises. In a Kundalini Yoga class, you will move into invigorating poses, chanting and meditating.
This style of yoga practice is more than physical. Each exercise (kriya) is intended to release your spiritual energy at the base of the spine through the seven chakras.
Kundalini Yoga For Beginners
This type of yoga is deeply spiritual and very different from others. It is vigorous and physically challenging too. Kundalini Yoga is safe for beginners and encourages them to heal and get through challenges. You will learn different breathing techniques and develop your consciousness.
Kundalini Yoga For Weight Loss
Kundalini Yoga awakens your internal energy with precise exercises. It provides a good workout and get your heart pumping. Moreover, this yoga style builds strength and transforms you from within. It raises your awareness and has positive effects on your lifestyle.
The different types of yoga | Yin Yoga
What is Yin Yoga?
Yin Yoga presents an emphasis on balance between the body and the mind. Yoga poses are held for five to twenty minutes at a time. This is a meditative practice that stretches muscles, joints and nerves deeply. It is a quiet type of yoga meant to complement Yang Yoga (any other strength building practice).
This union of passive and active yoga styles is also known as Taoist Yoga. It is a great way to relax with patience and discipline.
Yin Yoga For Beginners
Yin Yoga is quite challenging because the poses are held for a long time. It is increases circulation and flexibility. This kind of practice is very good to relax and calm down. It is best done in combination with more vigorous different types of yoga.
Yin Yoga For Weight Loss
This yoga style is great for people that need to stretch. Lengthening muscles and connecting tissues is as important as building strength. It invites body and mind to quiet down, relieves stress and anxiety. Moreover, it raises awareness, emotional well being and prevents poor diet choices.
The different types of yoga | Restorative Yoga
What is Restorative Yoga?
Restorative Yoga is a slow paced type of yoga. It focuses on deep relaxation and use a variety of props such as pillows, blocks and blankets. This yoga style is great if you suffer from insomnia, chronic pain or anxiety. The different poses are generally very gentle and simple.
The practitioners experience the benefits of each posture without effort. They are held for long periods of time to provide deeper relaxation. It focuses on finding calm more than flexibility, compared to Yin Yoga.
Restorative Yoga For Beginners
Everyone can practice Restorative Yoga. The poses are held for many minutes but require no effort. It is a gentle type of yoga that helps relax, calm down, get rid of stress and anxiety. You might find it boring until you see its many benefits.
Restorative Yoga For Weight Loss
Restorative Yoga is known to treat blood pressure disorders. Plus, it is a great way to reduce any tension in the body. This gentle yoga style combats fatigue, improves digestion, and allows inner calm. Stress is a major factor in weight gain and Restorative Yoga is a very healthy solution.
The different types of yoga | Kripalu Yoga
What is Kripalu Yoga?
Kripalu Yoga uses postures, breathing and meditation to elevate the mind and find spiritual awareness. This is challenging as it transforms you from within. This type of yoga is less physical but more emotional and spiritual.
It is practiced in three parts. It emphasizes on learning the poses and self discovery first. The second part trains you to hold the asanas longer to increase focus and concentration. Lastly, meditation improves your well being and allows healing.
Kripalu Yoga For Beginners
This yoga style is accessible to everybody. It is not a goal-oriented practice. Plus, students are encouraged to learn at their own pace. It focuses on listening to your own body and figuring out what works best for you.
Kripalu Yoga For Weight Loss
Kripalu Yoga promotes consciousness and self exploration. It can be challenging at times but includes a necessary process that leads to fulfillment and healing.
The different types of yoga | Jivamukti Yoga
What is Jivamukti Yoga?
Jivamukti Yoga is a new modern way of practicing yoga flow. It is similar to Vinyasa Yoga but incorporates chanting and meditation. It focuses on the physical, spiritual and ethical aspects of yoga. This contemporary type of yoga aims to apply yogic principles to modern lifestyles.
The practice is vigorous and challenging. Plus, it encourages yogis to apply its philosophy in their every day life. Chanting and scriptural study also play an important role in Jivamukti Yoga. It promotes veganism, non violence, gratitude and devotion.
Jivamukti Yoga For Beginners
This style of yoga practice is always changing. If you are looking for spiritual elements and physical exercises, this might be the perfect type of yoga for you. It offers philosophical teachings and relaxation.
Jivamukti Yoga For Weight Loss
Jivamukti Yoga is a life changing experience. It is very beneficial if you are looking to lose weight. It promotes healthy living and provides physical plus spiritual benefits. You will learn to make better choices for yourself and everyone around you.
The different types of yoga | Anusara Yoga
What is Anusara Yoga?
Anusara Yoga is fairly new to the different types of yoga. Created in 1997, it is a modern interpretation of Hatha Yoga. It teaches precision principles like Iyengar Yoga but with playfulness. It is an accepting yoga style that encourages students to do the best they can.
The classes are still structured for the body and the mind. They include three parts, attitude, alignment and action. The instructions are very precise and focus on connecting the physical to the spiritual body.
Anusara Yoga For Beginners
Anusara Yoga is a great type of yoga for beginners. It keeps classes fun and accessible, while being rigorous and well structured. You will learn the basic asanas as well as the yogic philosophy.
Anusara Yoga For Weight Loss
There are many benefits of Anusara Yoga. It gets your body moving in a safe and playful environment. It offers a wonderful experience that anyone can enjoy in inspiring ways. When practiced regularly, this activity definitely promotes health and well-being.
The different types of yoga | Sivananda Yoga
What is Sivananda Yoga?
Sivananda Yoga is a traditional type of yoga. It combines poses, breathing exercises, chanting, scriptural study and meditation. This yoga style teaches how to use positive thinking and proper diet to form a healthy lifestyle.
The practice focuses on 12 basic asanas, corpse pose (savasana) and sun salutations (surya namaskar). It is designed to increase strength, flexibility, and vitality of the body. It is also a healthy way to lower risk of diseases.
Sivananda Yoga For Beginners
This is a gentle type of yoga. Any beginner will feel at ease with Sivananda Yoga. It teaches the basics of the yogic lifestyle while promoting mental and physical well-being.
Sivananda Yoga For Weight Loss
Sivananda Yoga helps you stay healthy and live a happy life. It uses physical exercises with a meditative practice. This keeps the body and the mind in good shape. It definitely has positive effects on health and weight loss.
The different types of yoga | Viniyoga
What is Viniyoga?
Viniyoga is a style of Hatha Yoga. It focuses on personalizing the practice of yoga. It includes many traditional teachings of yoga such as asanas, pranayama, dhyana, bhandas. This is a great type of yoga to aid recovery.
Through Viniyoga, practitioners are encouraged to discover themselves. It is a gentle practice that heals, promoting change and growth. Viniyoga favors physical, emotional and spiritual growth. It adapts to the potential, goals and interests of each student.
Viniyoga For Beginners
If you are just starting out with yoga, Viniyoga is a good choice to learn the principles of yoga.
Viniyoga For Weight Loss
Viniyoga will help you grow and adopt healthy habits to better your lifestyle.
The different types of yoga | Ananda Yoga
What is Ananda Yoga?
Ananda Yoga is a very gentle type of yoga. It is designed to prepare for meditation and higher spiritual possibilities. The focus is on internal benefits of yoga instead of physical aspects. It also includes breathing exercises and proper body placement.
Practice Ananda Yoga to reach a higher state of spiritual awareness. It will fill you up with positive energy.
Ananda Yoga For Beginners
If you are more into the spiritual aspects of yoga, Ananda Yoga might be a great practice for you. It is beginner friendly and not very intense.
Ananda Yoga For Weight Loss
Ananda Yoga is a very uplifting style of yoga. It helps you view life from a positive angle. This aims to improve your energy, well-being and health with internal means.
The different types of yoga | Dharma Yoga
What is Dharma Yoga?
Dharma Yoga uses many traditional teachings. It improves awareness, mindfulness and relaxation of practitioners. Plus, it focuses on obtaining good health and clearing the mind. This brings students further on their journey to self discovery.
This yoga practice is physically and mentally challenging. It develops strength, stamina and flexibility. It includes a series of flowing sequences that improve balance and stability. This will benefit your overall body and mind health.
Dharma Yoga For Beginners
The many series of Dharma Yoga are accessible to practitioners of all levels. It is important to choose a class that includes beginner level poses and not only advanced exercises.
Dharma Yoga For Weight Loss
Dharma Yoga is great to cultivate a strong body with a strong mind. Plus, it prevents binge eating. Practiced on a regular basis, it will improve your overall health and help you lose weight effectively.
The different types of yoga | Acro Yoga
What is Acro Yoga?
Acro Yoga is a purely physical practice. It combines acrobatics with yoga poses. Different styles of yoga mixed with dance, calisthenics and massages make Acro Yoga. It is a vigorous type of yoga that lead to injuries if practiced incorrectly.
Acro Yoga focuses on improving strength, balance and concentration. It combines the wisdom of yoga with the dynamic power of acrobatics. This promotes trust, kindness, passion and gratitude.
Acro Yoga For Beginners
This is not a beginner friendly yoga practice. It requires a lot of discipline, strength and self awareness to perform. It is best to learn other yoga styles before practicing Acro Yoga.
Acro Yoga For Weight Loss
Acro Yoga is a challenging physical practice. It increases strength and flexibility. It is awesome to burn calories and excess body fat. But it requires a lot of preparation and technique to be successful.
The different types of yoga | Aerial Yoga
What is Aerial Yoga?
Aerial Yoga is also known as Anti-gravity Yoga. It combines traditional yoga poses, dance and pilates using a hammock. It increases strength and flexibility of the spine and legs. Inversions are easier to practice and blood circulation enhanced.
It gives practitioners freedom and energy. Plus, it is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. Many people report restorative and calming effects from Aerial Yoga.
Aerial Yoga For Beginners
This is a very fun way to practice yoga. It combines acrobatics with traditional yoga postures. I recommend that you try it out if you want to keep your practice fresh and changing.
Aerial Yoga For Weight Loss
Aerial Yoga helps get rid of stress and tension in the body. It improves overall circulation and is beneficial for health and excess weight management.
There are plenty of different types of yoga. Some are more beginner friendly than others. But all provide a lot of benefits for your health and well-being.
Practicing any type of yoga regularly helps lose weight. Each yoga style focuses on different aspects of yoga, physical, mental, or/and spiritual.
For weight loss, it is important to pick an activity that you enjoy on a regular basis. Make sure to try most of them out and find out what type of yoga suits you best.
About the Author: Alex Assoune
Alex Assoune (MS) is a global health and environmental advocate. He founded Panaprium to inspire others with conscious living, ethical, and sustainable fashion. Alex has worked in many countries to address social and environmental issues. He speaks four languages and holds two Master of Science degrees in Engineering from SIGMA and IFPEN schools.