Yoga is one of the best ways to de-stress while exercising. I love going to yoga class because it’s an opportunity to just forget about everything and enjoy the practice. It feels great to move your body into different poses and get a good stretch in, especially after sitting at a desk all day.
While I’m open to trying any type of yoga, I know that some people are apprehensive or feel like they might need a more specialized type. For example, if you’re super athletic, your body might require something a little more rigorous and challenging. Or, if you’re new to yoga and just want to take it slow, you might want to start out with something simple and relaxing.
There are tons of different kinds of yoga. Some are super old and traditional, while others were just developed a few years ago. I think it’s so interesting how yoga (and exercising as a whole for that matter!) keeps evolving and changing to meet people’s needs.
I’m always looking for exciting new ways to get my sweat on, relax or just move my body. I still have yet to try most types of yoga, which is why I thought it would be interesting to delve into the subject a little more and find out what’s out there for me and for other aspiring yoginis!
There’s really something for everyone, which is why I love yoga so much – it’s so welcoming and open to all different walks of life. Hopefully the list below helps you decide what type of yoga is best for you.
If you’re willing to jump right in to your yoga practice and try a super comprehensive type, then Kundalini Yoga is your best bet. Kundalini combines meditation, breathing, physicality and other important components of yoga (the eight limbs of yoga, to be exact). Kundalini Yoga is about tapping into your self-awareness and consciousness, and it welcomes people from all walks of life – so don’t be afraid to begin!
Bikram Yoga or “hot yoga” is practiced in a hot room almost like a sauna so that you sweat out any unwanted toxins in your body and become more flexible. Bikram Yoga is a little bit more challenging and might be better suited to someone more athletic (it was developed by an Olympic weight lifter after all!). That said, I’ve tried Bikram Yoga many times and I’m by no means an expert. I always feel so amazing after a class – I definitely recommend this one!
Hatha is another type of yoga that is best for beginners. It’s comprehensive in that it combines meditation, stress relief, breathing and stretching. With Hatha, you won’t be overwhelmed or confused by any crazy poses. It’s all about relaxing, unwinding and de-stressing.
If you’re already on a strict and rigorous workout regime, restorative yoga might be for you. This type is all about stretching and letting your muscles relax and, well, restore! You’ll use props like blocks and blankets to enhance your stretching. This would also be a great introduction to yoga because the poses are pretty simple and therapeutic.
If you’re looking to practice yoga as a way of expanding your spiritual horizons and connecting with your inner self, then ISHTA is a great option. Created by Yogiraj Alan Finger, ISHTA is an acronym for the Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda, meaning it combines a few different approaches to yoga and spirituality to inspire and enlighten the people who practice it. I haven’t tried this form of yoga, but you can get a little taste with this video!
What’s your favourite type of yoga? Do you have any tried-and-true workouts that help you de-stress and connect with your spiritual side? Let me know in the comments!