By: Molly Gould
Yoga is an amazing practice but with so many styles to choose from, it can be confusing to know which one to pick, especially if you’re a newbie.
The different styles of yoga vary in dynamics and intensity, so it’s a good idea to pick a practice based on your experience and fitness level. So, whether you know your asanas from your pranayama or you’re completely new to yoga, here’s a guide to a few of the different types of yoga so you can decide which style to try first.
Vinyasa yoga is often fast-paced and each class will have a series of postures and poses that flow seamlessly from one to another. This style of yoga is great for building heat in the body and stretching into places that you didn’t know existed. The flow of the sequence is fun and exciting, and no two classes will be the same! It is recommend to take a Vinyasa class when you have a little experience in yoga, as the nature of the class means you move from one pose to the next quite quickly.
Even though a lot of modern yoga styles could fall under the Hatha name, a typical Hatha yoga class will be slightly slower paced. You’ll focus on the alignment of the asanas (poses) and also incorporating the right kind of pranayama (breathing). A Hatha class would be great for beginners as it allows you the time to check in with your body and make any necessary adjustments to the poses you are in.
Yin is a slow and concentrated style of yoga. You could hold one pose for anything between one and five minutes. Beginners can by all means start with a yin practice and it is great if you’re looking for deep stretches and are wanting to discover different asanas and find out how they can help your practice grow.
Think deep relaxation and slowing the pace right down. Restorative yoga is all about stretching into the body and over the course of an hour long practice, you may hardly move at all. It’s a totally different style from the others that made this list and if you want to feel into every part of the body and experience real nourishment in each asana, then this is the practice for you. If you struggle with mobility or want to calm the mind, turn to a restorative practice. It’s also a brilliant style to practice before you sleep or at the end of a busy week.
Those are four of the most popular yoga styles here in the UK. There’s so many amazing studios across the country and some great YouTube videos online too, if you fancy teaching yourself some asanas and flows. One last thing is to make sure you’re wearing comfortable and lightweight clothing when you practice to allow you to flow more freely and having a bottle of water to hand is a good idea too.