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Different types of yoga explained

Can't tell your Ashtanga from your Vinsaya? It can be bewildering trying to understand the differences between the many types of yoga we hear about. Well we’re here to help, below we set out some of the main yoga types and whether it's right for you.



Ashtanga

Ashtanga comprises of 6 different yoga flows with focus placed on the breath throughout. It involves moving through a specific set of poses in an specific order meaning you practice in the same way each class.


Good for: people who like a tougher workout, like structure and don’t get bored by repetition.


Read our article on the 8 limbs of yoga, key to Ashtanga.



Bikram / Hot

Hot yoga is simply yoga performed in a heated room. The heat encourages a greater range of movement and flexibility. It helps circulation and relaxation but does bring the risk of dehydration, so be sure to drink lots of water before, and after your practice.


Bikram is a branded form of hot yoga which specifies temperature and humidity (40°C and 40%) as well as the 26 poses which are to be performed.


Good for: people who like to push themselves and test their willpower, achieve a deep stretch and lasting relaxation.


Check out our 5 reasons you should try hot yoga



Yin

Yin is the opposite of more dynamic forms of yoga and involves holding poses for 45 seconds to 2 minutes, promoting focus and meditation. It provides deep stretching and promotes relaxation.


Good for: people wanting to increase flexibility or looking to de-stress



Kundalini

This challenging form of yoga involves repetitive exercises, breathing techniques along with chanting and meditation, with the aim of awakening the Kundalini energy at the base of spine.


Good for: those looking for a more dynamic, spiritual experience



Vinyasa / dynamic

A flow-based form of yoga, similar to Ashtanga, with varying sequences chosen by the instructor. You generally move quickly and smoothly between poses and don’t hold them for very long.


Good for: people who want to work up a sweat with a hard workout; also good for athletes as it can be a real test of endurance. Not recommended for people with injuries.



Hatha

This involves slower movements and a focus on more basic poses held for longer, making it great for beginners.


Good for: anyone who is new to yoga, people who like a more gentle workout or people with injuries



Iyengar

One of the most technical forms of yoga, Iyangar is a form of Hatha yoga which focuses on precision and alignment within poses and correct breathing. This form often uses props such as blocks, bands, blankets and walls.


Good for: perfectionists and for those want to develop strength and mobility. The precision and careful movement between poses is good if you have any injuries


Read our article on Pranayama.



Power

Similar to Vinyasa yoga, Power yoga is a more vigorous, fitness-focused form of yoga aiming to raise the heart-rate through intense flows.


Good for: people who want to work up a sweat and improve cardiovascular fitness through their practice.



Restorative

Another slower workout involving entering longer more passive poses, often with the aid of props, with the aim of promoting deep relaxation with low exertion.


Good for: the clue is in the name, restorative yoga is great for anyone looking to de-stress and relax! An ideal form of yoga to do on rest days between other, more intense workouts.



Form 360

Form 360 is Form’s very own class and the world's first class developed especially for round mats. This exciting new class incorporates aspects of yoga with body conditioning and HIIT; coming soon to a studio near you! We will also be releasing some workouts online, especially for those of you who prefer to workout at home.


Good for: people who want to try a new type of workout on a round mat which helps you tone and condition your body, while achieving many of the stretching and relaxation benefits of yoga.



Conclusion

We recommend trying as many different types as possible: it's always good to try new experiences and you might be surprised at what works for you.

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