Which Yoga Should I Start With?

Yoga class

The Best Style of Yoga For Beginner Yogis

Would you like to take a yoga class but aren't sure which type is right for you? Whether your goal is to improve your flexibility, reduce stress or raise your heart rate, you're sure to find a yoga style that will meet your needs. Our breakdown of the various yoga forms can help you make your decision.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga encompasses several different yoga styles, but the term is often used to describe the type of classes you've probably seen represented in television shows and movies. During classes, you learn classic yoga poses, including the cobra, downward-facing dog, and child's pose. You'll hold each pose for several counts before transitioning to another pose. Beginner Hatha yoga classes offer the perfect opportunity to learn yoga basics and master deep breathing and meditation.

Your studio may also offer intermediate and advanced Hatha classes, where you'll perfect basic poses and learn more complicated ones.

Vinyasa Yoga

A good choice for beginning students who want a more active yoga experience, Vinyasa classes keep you constantly moving. Instead of holding poses for several counts, you'll quickly move from pose to pose, coordinating poses with your breathing. If you're looking for a style of yoga that raises your heart rate, yet still improves flexibility, you may want to enroll in a Vinyasa class.

Restorative Yoga

Are you interested in trying yoga but are a little concerned because you're recovering from an injury or have a chronic condition? Restorative yoga may be the best style for you. Every pose is fully supported with bolsters, straps, and other aids to ensure that you don't strain your muscles or joints. You'll still enjoy all the benefits of yoga in this slower, gentler class.

Yin Yoga

If improving your flexibility is your primary goal, you'll want to consider Yin yoga. Poses are held for three to five minutes to facilitate the deep stretching of your muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons, and tissues. Yin yoga is particularly helpful in increasing flexibility in your spine, pelvis, and hips.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is designed to increase self-awareness and enhance spiritual enlightenment and potential. Although you'll perform a sequence of poses during classes, you'll focus equally on breathing, meditation, and chanting. Kundalini yoga can help you stay centered and counteract the effects of stress.

Bikram (Hot) Yoga

Just as the name applies, hot yoga is practiced in a hot, humid room. During classes, you'll perform stretches and standing poses that stretch and loosen your muscles, boost your heart rate and remove toxins through sweating.

Be sure to drink plenty of water before Bikram classes to avoid dehydration. Hot yoga may not be the best choice for you if you have an intolerance to high temperatures, become dehydrated easily, are pregnant, or have heart disease, high blood pressure or another chronic illness.

Benefits of Yoga

No matter what type of yoga you choose, you'll enjoy many mind and body benefits, including:

  • Fewer Aches and Pains
  • Looser Muscles
  • Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion
  • Increased Blood Circulation
  • Stronger Immune System
  • Better Balance and Posture
  • Less Stress
  • A Sense of Well-Being and Calm
  • Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
  • Improved Concentration
  • Weight Loss and Weight Control

Are you ready to enroll in a yoga class? Our experienced teachers can help you enjoy the many mind/body benefits of yoga. Call us for information on beginner classes.

Sources:

Harvard Health Publishing: Yoga - Benefits Beyond the Mat, 2/15

Mind Body Green: The 11 Types of Yoga: A Breakdown of the Major Styles, 3/2/18

WebMD: Which Style of Yoga Is Best for You?

Yoga Journal: What’s Your Style? Explore The Types of Yoga, 4/12/17

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  • "I am very grateful to Joy for bringing Yoga Reflections into my life. In two years of attending Beginner Yoga, just twice a week, I have experienced improved breathing, strength, flexibility and balance. My yoga practice has also been a factor in finally shedding some excess weight, which is hard to do when you reach the age of 70! Yoga has also helped to make the short, gray days of our Michigan winters more cheerful. Joy is a wonderful teacher and her studio is so peaceful and gorgeous! And, my fellow students are the nicest people."
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