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So many different styles of yoga, so little time. To find out which yoga style suits you best, we have listed the (most popular) yoga styles for you!
Not only has yoga become enormously popular in recent years, yoga has also been expanded with various styles. For example, new styles have been developed, other styles have been redeveloped and age-old styles have remained the same. But which yoga style is what? What are the characteristics of these yoga styles and which style suits you best? We take you into the most famous yoga styles, so that you will get a feel for this. To find out which yoga style suits you best, you really have to get on your yoga mat ;-)
Almost all yoga styles are derived from Hatha yoga, because this is the most ancient yoga style. This yoga style was mainly practiced by monks who needed mild exercise in addition to doing a lot of meditation. Hatha yoga is a somewhat milder form of yoga, in which you must be able to perform the yoga postures stably and comfortably. Hatha yoga is completely focused on the combination of breathing and yoga posture.
Ashtanga yoga is an old style of yoga from which many new styles, such as Vinyasa and Power yoga, are derived. Ashtanga yoga is a powerful style that consists of six fixed series. Each series has fixed yoga postures that you perform in the same order every time. This repetition in yoga postures makes you strong and flexible. Breathing in Ashtanga yoga is one of the most important aspects to distinguish and control your own energy points.
Vinyasa yoga is a descendant of Ashtanga yoga. With Vinyasa yoga, also called flow yoga, the focus is on the combination of yoga poses and your breathing. Vinyasa yoga is an energetic flow, where you have the space to properly perform the postures. The sun salutation, or postures from the sun salutation, is central to Vinyasa yoga, followed by various asanas to keep the variation in it. Vinyasa yoga makes you feel warm and can even make you sweat.
Power yoga is a yoga style of today, with the focus on strength and the physical. This does not mean that there are no mental effects, but with other yoga styles the focus is more on this. Power yoga has the most resemblance to a normal workout of all yoga styles, so expect a good sweat.
Hot yoga or Bikram yoga are yoga styles that are performed in a room that is 40 degrees. Believe us, that is quite a warm temperature for doing yoga, so sweating is guaranteed. Bikram yoga consists of fixed series with yoga postures that you perform, with the aim of cleansing your body from within. Hot yoga does not necessarily have these fixed series, but can consist of several variations. Both yoga styles are more focused on the physical aspect and within this yoga style you often see more men during the yoga class.
Yin yoga is a newer yoga style that is completely focused on maintaining the yoga postures. You remain as silent as possible in each yoga posture for at least four minutes, so that you get to know your body and your own limits better. You strengthen and relax your connective tissue and joints and you stretch your muscles. Yin yoga is also called moving meditation. Yin yoga is a calm yoga style, where you focus your mindful on your body. This yoga style has been gaining popularity lately.
If you translate Yoga Nidra, you will end up with "sleep yoga". Yoga nidra is sometimes compared to the relaxation posture, the Savasana at the end of a yoga class, but yoga Nidra is a unique yoga style. And despite the translation, yoga Nidra has little to do with sleep. The yoga posture is on your back and you will be guided to the state between waking and sleeping. Normally you only come into this state during your deep sleep, but this is also possible during yoga Nidra. A very nice side effect is that a yoga Nidra session equals four hours of deep sleep. So it does has to do with sleeping ;-)
Now that you know a little more about the most well-known yoga styles, you probably already have a sense of which yoga style suits you best. Try it out and find out if you are indeed right. But we also challenge you to do the opposite, because you often choose what is equal to your energy level. For example, energetic people prefer Power yoga, Hot or Bikram yoga, Ashtanga yoga or Vinyasa yoga and less energetic people choose Yin yoga, Slow flow or Nidra yoga. But often it is good to use your energy in a different way and get to know it and therefore, as an energetic person, choose a calm yoga style and vice versa.
Anyway, have fun with yoga and the yoga style you choose! Are you completely new to yoga? These tips will help you get started with yoga.