An ancestral discipline, yoga has become a fashion phenomenon present everywhere in the world. Nowadays, there are many different types of yoga . Each of these variants has specific benefits.
What are the differences between the different types of yoga?
The main differences between the different types of yoga are their teaching, their intensity, their rhythm and their approach to the discipline. Some types of yoga are easier to practice than others that require some mastery. For example, Hatha yoga is considered “gentle” yoga and focuses on body positions (asanas) and breathing. It is ideal for beginners or those looking to improve their flexibility and strength. Vinyasa is more dynamic and focuses on the synchronization of breath and movement. It is more intense and the sessions are often punctuated by fluid sequences of positions.
Hatha Yoga is one of the oldest types of yoga and is considered a “gentle” yoga that focuses on postures (asanas) and breathing. It aims to balance the opposing forces of masculine (ha) and feminine (tha) energy in the body. Hatha Yoga is suitable for beginners and for those looking to improve their flexibility and strength. Hatha sessions are often slower and quieter than other types of yoga, allowing students to focus on their breath and relax. It is considered a great way to relax and reduce stress.
Vinyasa is a dynamic form that focuses on breath and movement. It consists of a series of asanas linked together in rhythm with inspiration and expiration. Vinyasa helps to strengthen the body, improve flexibility and calm the mind. It is often used to burn calories and improve overall fitness. It can be performed by people of all fitness levels.
Ashtanga Yoga is a traditional style of yoga that focuses on the synchronization of inhalations and exhalations and movements. It includes six series of progressive postures, each one more difficult than the last. Ashtanga is known to be a physical and challenging style that can help strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and coordination. It is often practiced by people looking for a physical and mental challenge. The positions are repeated in a systematic way, which makes it possible to develop a regular practice and to progress quickly.
Iyengar yoga is a style that focuses on alignment and precision of postures. It uses props such as blocks, straps and cushions to help practitioners achieve the correct positions. Iyengar yoga is particularly suitable for people with health problems or physical limitations. It is also very beneficial for beginners, as it allows them to understand the postures in a detailed and progressive way. Iyengar is considered an effective way to strengthen the body, improve flexibility and calm the mind. It is often practiced to improve sports performance and to relieve chronic pain.
Yin Yoga is a yoga discipline that focuses on stretching the deep tissues of the body, such as joints, ligaments and tendons. It is considered an ideal complement to more dynamic yoga, such as Vinyasa, as it helps strengthen areas of the body that are often neglected. The discipline focuses on static asanas (positions) that are held for long periods of time, from 3 to 5 minutes. This allows the deep tissues to stretch slowly and in a controlled manner, without causing pain or injury. Yin Yoga asanas are generally simpler than those of other forms of yoga, but they can be more challenging in terms of mental toughness.
Hot Yoga is a form of yoga that is practiced in a heated room at a temperature of about 37 degrees Celsius. The purpose of the heat is to help warm up the muscles and allow for greater flexibility of the joints, as well as better sweating to eliminate toxins. It is based on a sequence of classical yoga positions such as the sun salutation or the tree stem. Hot Yoga is also known for its health benefits such as weight loss, improved breathing and blood circulation.
Kundalini yogais a spiritual discipline that aims to awaken the Kundalini energy that lies at the foundation of the spine. It is characterized by body movements, breathing positions (pranayama), mantras and meditations that aim to release blocked energy in the body and open the chakras, or energy centers, to allow prana to flow freely. Kundalini can have beneficial effects on physical and mental health, such as improved flexibility, muscle strength, inspiration, blood circulation and emotional regulation. Kundalini practices should be performed under the guidance of an experienced teacher to avoid potential health risks to the mind and body.
Jivamukti Yoga is a form of yoga that aims to unite physical practice with spiritual practice. It was created in the 1980s by Sharon Gannon and David Life in the United States. Jivamukti classes are generally dynamic and physical, involving series of postures, flowing movements, conscious breathing and meditation. It also emphasizes vegan ethics and compassion for all living things. It aims at releasing negative emotions and thoughts to allow energy to flow freely and to access an awakened state of consciousness. It is important to practice Jivamukti under the guidance of an experienced teacher to avoid potential health risks to the mind and body.
Viniyoga is a form of yoga that emphasizes individuality and the adaptability of practices to the individual needs of each person. It was developed by T.Krishnamacharya in the 1930s and is taught by his son T.K.V Desikachar. It focuses on conscious breathing and the use of yoga postures to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and promote mental relaxation. It is often used to help people with chronic pain or injuries. It can also be adapted for the elderly or for people with specific health problems.
Nidra Yoga is a yoga that emphasizes deep relaxation and meditation. It is also known as Nidra or “sleep yoga”. It is based on the technique of conscious relaxation which consists of gradually relaxing into a state of altered consciousness using pranayama, visualization and verbal guidance. It is usually practiced lying on the back in savasana (death pose) and can last from 30 minutes to 1 hour. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, improve sleep quality, and promote deep relaxation. It is best to take your first steps with an experienced professional.
Aerial yoga is a form of yoga that uses a suspended hammock to support the body while performing yoga postures. It is also known as “Aerial Yoga” or “Anti-gravity Yoga”. It allows for greater flexibility, better blood circulation and improved muscle strength. It also provides support for inverted postures that can be difficult to practice on a floor mat. It can be an accessible form for people with chronic pain or injuries, as it takes pressure off the joints.
Acroyoga is a yoga that combines yoga postures, acrobatic gymnastics and therapeutic massages. It is practiced with two or three people where one person holds a basic posture, another person does acrobatic figures using the support of the first person and the third person assists and guides the sequences. It builds confidence, balance, communication, trust and self-confidence. It also helps develop muscle strength, flexibility and endurance. It is important to respect the limits of your body and to surround yourself with experienced practice partners to avoid potential risks of injury.
Sivananda Yoga is a form of yoga that emphasizes the balance between the body, mind and spiritual aspects of the discipline. It was developed by Swami Sivananda in the 1960s and is taught by his disciples. It aims to strengthen the nervous system and improve flexibility, muscle strength, breath and blood circulation. It also focuses on the practice of morality, the study of yogic philosophy and the act of meditation to achieve a state of awakened consciousness.
Laughter Yoga consists of using laughter as a tool for relaxation and well-being. It was created in 1995 by an Indian doctor named Madan Kataria. According to him, laughing spontaneously and unconditionally stimulates the production of endorphins, the happiness hormones, and reduces stress. Laughter Yoga is practiced in a group setting, beginning with pranayama exercises and mimicry to trigger laughter, then continuing with mime games and improvisations. Participants don’t need a reason to laugh, the goal is to laugh for laughs. This practice has been proven to have health benefits.
Prenatal yoga helps to improve the quality of life during pregnancy and childbirth. It is particularly recommended for women who want to have a healthy child. According to experts, prenatal yoga has positive effects on blood circulation, digestion, endurance, motor skills and coordination. It is also recommended for women who wish to give birth without pain.
Tantra yogais a stream of yoga that focuses on awakening consciousness through meditation, breathing and visualization practices. It aims to achieve the unity of the individual with the divine by using energetic techniques to release mental and emotional blockages. It is often associated with sexual practices, but it should be noted that this is only a small part of Tantric practice. Tantra yoga is also considered a spiritual path that can help develop a greater understanding of oneself and the world around us.
Therapeutic yoga is a specific approach to the practice of yoga that aims to help people suffering from various physical and mental disorders. It can be used to treat problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and chronic pain disorders. It focuses on the use of postures, conscious inhalations and exhalations, and meditation techniques to improve flexibility, strength, and balance of the body and mind.
Integral Yoga aims to unite the body, mind and soul. It is based on the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, who developed a holistic approach to yoga. This practice includes physical exercises, pranayama, meditation, as well as ethical and spiritual principles. Integral Yoga aims to bring the individual to a higher state of consciousness.
Yoga Kripalu is a style of yoga, based on conscious practice and meditation. It is named after its founder, Swami Kripalu, who developed this approach in the 1950s and 1960s. Kripalu emphasizes self-awareness, presence in the present moment and self-acceptance. It consists of slow and fluid sequences, conscious breathing and meditation.
Forest yoga is a yoga practice that takes place in nature, usually in forests or parks. This practice consists of connecting with nature through yoga sequences, using trees, rocks and plants as supports for the postures. Forest yoga is considered a therapeutic practice, as it allows you to refocus on yourself and disconnect from your stressful daily life.
There are many styles of yoga, each with its own advantages and characteristics. Some styles are more intense, such as Ashtanga and Vinyasa, while others are more meditative, such as Kundalini yoga. It is important to find the style that best suits your personal needs and preferences. See also our our article on types of yoga to discover more!
Which yoga mat to choose according to the different types of yoga practiced?
Different types of yoga will require different and adapted equipment!
If you are a beginner or have weak knees and are looking for comfort, choose a thick but dense yoga mat like the Yomad yoga mat . Lightweight, reversible, odorless and recyclable, it is the ideal mat for beginners!
If you are looking for an ultra non-slip carpet to avoid slipping, choose a Star mat mat made of natural rubber and polyurethane with a super non-slip coating.
If you do dynamic yoga and or if you sweat prefer a mat with a peach skin cover very pleasant to the touch, soft and smooth for smooth transitions between postures. Discover the Performance Mat.
Do you travel a lot? Opt for the travel mat foldable and machine washable, also very useful to place on a mat at the studio where you take your classes.
You are looking for an ultra soft and cosy carpet : go straight to the merino wool products : rug, blanket, bolster, sheep cushion.
Are you looking for an ecological product produced in Europe? Turn to recycled cork carpet the must in terms of durability, and moreover light and anti-slip!