Different Types of Yoga Explained

Dave, hurry up and take the pic, this thing is hot!

I often get asked what style of yoga I teach and when I say vinyasa and yygge I get quizzical expressions, so I thought I would write a little bit about the different types. Firstly, before I start I feel I should mention that there is no one style of yoga, or ‘true’ yoga as some fanatics would have you believe, but for it to be classed as yoga and not aerobics it should have a common goal. I have written about chitta vritti nirodha in a previous blog, the cessation of the fluctuations of the mindstuff. Yoga is for life, not just for fitness and it’s important to find a style that’s right for you. There are so many classes out there and every teacher will teach differently. I like to have a relaxed atmosphere and use a bit of humour. Some teachers are very serious and would frown at giggling in the class. Some are just there to sweat and get out. Some let you have free reign and do a bit of freestyle during class while helping adjust you.
As I always recommend, to make sure you get the best experience make sure your teacher is a fully qualified yoga teacher with a 200hr qualification or better.

So, here is a list of some style of yoga that you might see advertised:

  1. Vinyasa – Vinyasa (or sometimes called vinyasa flow) is the linking of poses in a set pattern from standing to seated with a finishing sequence. This is what I know best and is the basis for many yoga styles. It can be quite fast paced and it the parent of power yoga.
  2. Yin – A restorative type of yoga that focusses on long drawn out easy stretches. Great for stiffness and injury and working on your patience.
  3. Bikram – Hot yoga, a bit of a fad in London at present. It will definitely make you sweat but is essentially a set series of hatha yoga poses in a high temperature room. It was developed in the 1970s and studios are popping up everywhere.
  4. Hatha – Focusses on alignment and is much slower paced than vinyasa. I love hatha, especially when you hear your joints go pop and it feels aaaaaaahhhh.
  5. Ashtanga – A set sequence that you practise until perfect. Designed to work all parts of the body it does tone you very quickly but you need to have patience to learn it. Ashtangis tend to be very dedicated to their practise.
  6. Jivamukti – Developed by someone called David Life (yes, really) in the 1980s and is the yoga of enlightenment through compassion.
  7. Kundalini – Yoga including meditation and chanting in an attempt to awaken a dormant serpent at the base of your spine… yeah I will it up to you to decide on that one.
  8. Goat yoga/dog yoga/bunny yoga – some form of yoga mixed in with furry animals and probably some poo.
  9. Yoga and any type of alcohol – defeating the purpose of yoga, someone is trying to take your money and they won’t be insured.
  10. Yoga nidra – A nice long lie down with a yoga nidra script of guided meditation. It will make you feel alike a new person. Especially helpful for insomnia.
  11. Yygge® – last but not least, my own little project. Vinyasa and yin yoga infused with cosiness, not too serious and great for de-stressing. Anyone interested is welcome to pop along to one of my classes.

So there you have it. As with all yoga, you won’t always see the results you want instantly, give it a chance, immerse yourself and allow to time make it a habit. It is practically guaranteed to make a new you.

Namaste x

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