While most people know of yoga as a form of exercise involving deep breathing and practicing various poses, there are actually many different styles of yoga that each bring with them their own benefits. Whether you’re feeling something slow and mellow or fast and fierce, there’s surely a yoga style for you.
This style of yoga involves holding poses for much longer than other styles of yoga, up to about 5 minutes or even longer if it feels right for you. Slow, focused breathing is encouraged as you hold each pose. The objective of yin yoga is to deeply stretch connective tissue in order to boost circulation and increase flexibility. Poses most often practiced involve the hips and sacrum such as pigeon and butterfly pose.
Vinyasa yoga involves much more movement than yin yoga. Every pose should align with an inhale or exhale so that both breath and movement are a continuous flow. While poses can be held for a few breaths each, in general, it is recommended to keep things fluid so as to move energy throughout the body.
Ashtanga is the style of yoga most practiced in India, where yoga has its origins. This is a set series of 41 poses that are practiced in sequence and if you attend a class in this style, you’ll be expected to know the poses. It’s one of the most physically challenging styles and ideal for the more advanced yogi.