What Kind of Yoga Should I Do?
Identifying which form of yoga is the best choice for you as a means of loving your whole self
Many of our heroines here at Just Stay Curious have talked about yoga as a method of self care. But did you know there are many different kinds of yoga? Learning about various yoga practices may help you identify which type of yoga practice is best for you.
“My path with yoga brought me more and more into the practice of loving my whole self and taking care of my entire soul,” says certified wellness coach, yoga teacher and essential oil educator Alisha Leytem.
Here are some of the varying types of yoga. Each description includes what activities you can expect physically with any given type of yoga, as well as the emotional benefits associated with each.
Ashtanga yoga is athletic and demanding. It is smooth and not interrupted. Students move through a series of poses at their own pace. An instructor can move about the room, assisting with adjustments to better ease into the pose.
The idea with this practice is “attentive non-attachment” which, over time, can spill into other aspects of your life
Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga
This 90 minute practice is physically demanding. The practice will get your heart pumping and is vigorous. You may have head of “hot yoga.” Baptiste Power Vinyasa yoga is performed in a heated room.
The idea of this type of yoga is to create peace of mind, freedom, and a more authentic and powerful life.
This is another form of hot yoga. Rooms are supposed to be 105 degrees. This 90 minute class includes 45 minutes of floor poses and 45 minutes of standing poses. There are a prescribed set of 26 poses and two breathing exercises in Bikram yoga.
Bikram yoga requires mental concentration. The goal is to unify physical and spiritual self.
Another form of hot yoga, designed to release both physical pain and tension, as well as emotional pain and tension. It also celebrates your own physical strength.
The idea behind Forrest yoga is that when you clear stored emotions, you make room for your spirit. It combines physically challenging poses with emotional exploration.
This yoga is made up of gentle postures, and includes chanting, breathing practices, chanting, and meditation.
The focus on Integral Yoga is on health and strength, a heart full of love, a life filled with joy, a strong will, and a calm and clear mind.
Ishta yoga combines vinyasa sequences that are based on alignment. It includes meditation, cleansing techniques, and breathwork. These techniques designed to create certain energetic effects. Ishta is an acronym that stands for Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda.
Ishta yoga is designed to create spiritual growth that is strong and stable.
This is a good first type of yoga to try, because props can be used. The props enable those of us who can’t currently put our hands flat on the floor while bent at the waist without bending our knees.
The idea behind Iyengar yoga is to learn the basics of the yoga poses, and to gain greater strength, flexibility and awareness of your body.
Kripalu uses relaxation techniques, meditation techniques, breathing techniques, and poses. This type of yoga can lead to self discovery. Depending on the teacher, this method of yoga can be gentle, such as chair yoga, or physically demanding.
The idea of Kripalu yoga is to awaken your natural life force and result in enhancing all aspects of life.
This type of yoga is typically 90 minutes long, and includes chanting and singing. It also includes poses, breathing techniques, and meditation with the intention of creating a specific life outcome. The poses are vigorous.
Sometimes referred to as “yoga of awareness,” the goal is to awaken a psycho-energetic force that transforms and elevates the spirit.
Vinyasa sequences at a medium pace, with an emphasis on compassion and mindfulness.
The goal with OM yoga is to cultivate clarity, stability, and strength, as well as integrating compassion and mindfulness into your everyday tasks.
Prana Flow Yoga
This type of yoga is nearly continuous motion. It is both empowering and challenging.
Prana yoga is designed to assist you in getting back in touch with your “prana,” the life giving force of breath.
Find what works for you
Even if you’ve tried yoga before, and didn’t like it, you may find another form of yoga suits you. This can be an exciting time of self exploration and self discovery.
Listen to the full interview with Alisha Leytem. She discusses her journey to self-love, which included exploring healthy living options such as yoga.