For those who are completely new to yoga, it can be overwhelming to choose which type of yoga style to do, as each style serves a different purpose for your physical or mental health and well-being. Some yoga styles might fit you more than the others. Your choice will largely depend on your goals, current level of fitness, and personal preferences. If you’re just beginning your yoga journey, this list of the top five basic yoga styles will give you an idea on the kind(s) you should try:
- Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga will make you sweat a lot due to a combination of heat and vigorous practice. This yoga style is a 90-minute sequence consisting of two breathing exercises and 26 poses done in a heated room. Due to its predictable sequence and repetitiveness, Bikram yoga might be best for newcomers who want to get used to the same moves. Make sure to stay hydrated at all times.
- Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga has an orderly yet challenging approach. This yoga style consists of sequenced yoga poses in six series, with a major focus on breathing through each pose with the purpose of building internal body heat. Since the style has strict guidelines and routine, it suits beginners who are perfectionist.
3. Hatha Yoga
Hatha yoga is the best choice for complete beginners who have never done yoga before. It has a much slower pace compared to other basic yoga styles, and requires you to hold your breath for each pose, focusing mainly on physical postures. Consider it a warm-up that helps you balance your energy levels in a non-rigorous way. Hatha yoga also helps with mental clarity, and is deemed one of the best workouts for your brain.
- Iyengar Yoga
For the detail-oriented ones, you’ll enjoy Iyengar yoga classes as they emphasize on form, movement, and anatomy. Furthermore, this style is suitable for people of all ages and is even safe for those with injuries (remember to consult with a doctor before taking a class). You’ll rely on a rope wall, straps or blankets while doing the poses.
- Vinyasa Yoga
For beginners looking for an intense exercise, Vinyasa yoga consists of continuous movement in a dance-like style. It has a quick pace to increase your heart rate, and you’ll move and pose based on the music or beats.
Most yoga and fitness centers offer these basic yoga classes. Figure out which basic yoga styles that meet your individual needs the most, and find a nearby class. If you aren’t sure whether the style is right for you, sign up for a complimentary introductory class at a yoga or fitness center.