Do you like pushing your body to its limits? Or are you looking for an easy, relaxed sequence of exercises to balance a stressful job? Or do you prefer to find yourself through meditation? Whatever your motivation is to start with yoga – your individual needs and your well-being are the main focus.
Because for every type and every mood there is a yoga style that feels just right. Sometimes it takes a little time to find out what you like and what is good for you at certain moments. But for the positive effects that yoga brings, it is definitely worth sticking with it.
Beginner yogis, in particular, may quickly become overwhelmed by the countless variations. To prevent this from happening to you, we have briefly summarized the most common yoga styles for you.
What you should keep in mind when doing yoga during pregnancy
How do I find the right Yoga offer?
Keeping your perspective in the yoga jungle is one thing. A much greater challenge is to find a form of yoga that suits you. Classically, the yoga practice consists of asanas (postures), breathing (pranayama) and meditation.
The aim is to bring body and mind into harmony and to relax completely in Shavasana (resting posture) at the end of the lesson. Each yoga direction offers you a slightly different way to get there.
What’s best for you? This is completely individual and depends on your needs. First ask yourself what you want to achieve with yoga and listen to what is good for you. However, yoga can only be a stress killer if all the trimmings are right. A pleasant atmosphere makes it much easier to let yourself go. So that you know what to expect in a yoga class and find the type of yoga that suits you best, we will reveal here what lies behind the different forms of yoga:
- hatha yoga
- power yoga
- aerial yoga
- acro yoga
- hormone yoga
- yin yoga
These tips will make you more relaxed
Hatha Yoga is ideal for beginners
Basically Hatha Yoga is the foundation of all types of yoga. The term originates from the Hathayogapradibika, an important yoga scripture from the 14th century, which was used to distinguish between spiritual practices (Raja Yoga) and physical practice (Hatha Yoga). Asanas (postures), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation are used to bring body and mind into harmony.
This is the goal of all Yoga directions. After all, the entire Yoga philosophy strives for exactly this enlightenment. Translated Hatha means “violence” or “power”. This should symbolize the effort you need to create harmony between body and mind. It can also be translated as sun (Ha) and moon (Tha). Thus it symbolizes the bringing together of opposites, which is necessary to create unity.
Written out Hatha Yoga classes are mostly simple and suitable for everyone – no matter if beginner or advanced. The asanas are held long and combined with breathing. This leaves enough time to perform the postures correctly and to feel into the positions. This gives you the opportunity to learn the postures correctly from scratch and to develop yourself step by step.
Suitable for: all, especially also beginners
Our tip: Here you really learn all the basics step by step and get to know all the pillars of yoga.
The best Yoga exercises for beginners
In Vinyasa Yoga you do the exercises in flow. © fizkes / Shutterstock.com
Vinyasa Yoga brings breathing and body in harmony
Vinyasa refers to a yoga direction in which the asanas are performed fluidly and in conjunction with the breath. In this way you will get into a flow that is supposed to harmonize the body. However, this requires that you are not overwhelmed by the dynamic movements and the rapid changes between the positions. Otherwise the harmony is over. Therefore it is important to pay attention to different levels of difficulty.
Suitable for: all who love dynamic movements
Our tip: Pay attention to the different levels of difficulty so as not to overtax yourself.
How to find the right yoga outfit
Practicing fixed sequences in Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga Yoga is a form of vinyasa based on the teachings of Sri Krishnamacharia, one of the most important yoga teachers. He developed 6 fixed asana series, which are practiced in vinyasa. These become more difficult from level to level and should therefore be trained one after the other. In Ashtanga Yoga the difficulty levels are therefore even more important.
Suitable for: all those who like to practice dynamically and prefer fixed structures
Our tip: Whether you have done yoga before or not, if you are new to Ashtanga Yoga, you should definitely attend a beginners class to learn the given sequences.
Challenge the body with Power and Intensive Yoga
You want to strengthen or lose weight? Then you should try Power or Intensive Yoga. The name already suggests that this type of yoga is very strenuous. The asanas are practiced in Vinyasa, i.e. dynamically and very powerfully, so that you quickly start sweating.
Suitable for: all those who want to strengthen their muscles and are looking for a strenuous yet gentle workout
How to get in top shape with Power Yoga
Our tip: If you additionally tense the pelvic floor in an asana and pull the navel towards the spine, you can even increase the intensity. This forms a nice waist and trains a flat stomach.
Stretching and sweating during Bikram Yoga
Bikram Yoga will definitely make you sweat. No matter what time of year, the room is heated to a temperature between 38 and 40 degrees before you start. The class is precisely structured: it consists of a protected sequence of 26 asanas and two breathing exercises. The Indian yoga master Bikram Choudhury developed this yoga direction. The heat makes muscles and tendons more flexible.
Sweating also has a detoxifying effect. Still, your circulation should be stable. Especially in winter the big difference in temperature is an additional burden. On top of that, you should not forget that the positions are also quite demanding. If you feel fit and want to be challenged both mentally and physically, Bikram Yoga is just right for you.
Suitable for: all those who have no problem with heat
Our tip: Be especially careful with yourself. Even if the muscles are more flexible due to the heat, there is still a risk of injury if, for example, you jerk deeper into the stretch.
So good does Bikram Yoga
Kundalini Yoga awakens spiritual energy
Kundalini stands for an energetic force, which in yoga is represented as a snake. It sits in the area of the sacrum and should be awakened by the yoga practice. It slowly moves the main energy channel, which runs along the spine, up to the top of the head. The asanas are also performed dynamically in this yoga direction. Due to the spiritual basis, the focus is increasingly on breathing and meditation.
Suitable for: all, especially if they are enthusiastic about spirituality
Our tip: The feeling to awaken the Kundalini takes time. A lot of time. Sometimes a lifetime. So take a deep breath, relax and practice yoga. This is the right way to reach your goal.
Take a deep breath in Kundalini Yoga
In Iyengar Yoga the clean execution of the asanas counts
Developed from the classical Hatha Yoga B.K.S . Iyengar the yoga direction named after him from about the 1930s. Accuracy is the top priority here. In Iyengar Yoga, for example, great importance is attached to performing each asana exactly and with great concentration. The same applies to breathing, which, like the postures, should flow slowly and consciously.
With the Iyengar, yoga blocks, straps and pads help you get into the right position. © fizkes / Shutterstock.com
The special thing: For the most precise execution possible, numerous aids such as straps, blocks or pads are used so that even beginners and untrained persons can hold the positions correctly. Originally the asanas should be held for up to 30 minutes. But don’t worry, you don’t have to stay that long. Usually it is 2 to 3 minutes. For advanced students 5 min.
Suitable for: all, especially if you want to hold the asanas for a long time and feel them intensely
Our tip: Blocks, logs and co. are also used in other forms of yoga, so you can get a small impression of how to use them. And remember: The tools are there to make it easier for you to hold.
Freeing the soul with dynamic Jivamukti Yoga
Translated Jivamukti means “liberation of the soul”. This type of yoga was developed in the 80s with the aim of making the old tradition suitable for everyday life in the modern urban jungle. The asanas are practiced dynamically and at a relatively high pace, which makes the practice quite demanding. In addition, reading traditional yoga texts, music and meditation are integral parts of an hour.
Suitable for: all those who like to practice dynamically and with music and who want to challenge themselves physically and mentally
Our tip: In the beginning the input is quite high and especially newcomers have a hard time keeping up the pace. It’s easier if you have already mastered the basics.
What you can learn about grace from Inside Flow
Let yourself go with the Aerial Yoga
If you just want to let yourself hang, you should try Aerial Yoga. It all revolves around a trapezoidal cloth dangling from the ceiling, which gives a whole new feeling when practicing the asanas. You can wrap it around your hips, use it to hold on to or just lie down and let it fall. Feels like it’s on cloud nine and is therefore a perfect stress killer.
Suitable for: all those who want to try something different and are not afraid to let go
Our tip: Especially for back problems, hanging in the Aerial cloth helps to relieve the spine. But be careful: Hanging around is not suitable for pregnant women. Also those who have problems with their blood pressure should rather stay on the mat.
Gymnastics together at Acro Yoga
Acro Yoga probably promises the biggest fun factor. The acrobatic positions are usually practiced with one or more partners*. Trust has the highest priority. After all, you have to rely on being held and convey this feeling to your partner. However, you should only try this form of yoga if you have no problem with physical contact and are open for new things. You will be rewarded with a lot of fun.
Suitable for: all who like acrobatics and like to train with a partner*in
Our tip: You can also simply bring your partner with you. Besides, it is already incredibly fun to unroll the mat at home and to practice at the flying position for example.
How to learn to fly with Acro Yoga
Find balance with Hormone Yoga
According to the providers, Hormone Yoga is completely geared to the needs of the female hormone system and is said to have a harmonizing effect. Through breathing exercises and asanas, the hormone glands are stimulated so that the hormone balance finds its natural balance.
For example, it should help women in the menopause, women who want to have children or women with hormonal fluctuations to regain balance. But beware! Hormone Yoga is not suitable for every woman. If you suffer from osteoporosis or endomitriosis, inflammation of the inner ear, abdominal pain, heart problems, a slipped disc or hyperthyroidism, are pregnant or have had surgery, you should not practice it under any circumstances.
Suitable for: Women who are struggling with hormonal changes
Our tip: Hormone Yoga can be practiced as an alternative healing method. However, if you have serious problems, you should always seek medical advice!
Breathe in and with each exhalation gently go deeper into the stretch. © fizkes / Shutterstock.com
Take a deep breath with Yin Yoga
Breathing deeply and coming to rest is part of every yoga practice. In Yin Yoga, however, it is a special focus. Because most forms consist of Yin, the calm part, and Yang, the active part. The asanas are introduced very slowly and held for a long time. At the beginning 2 to 3, later also 5 minutes. Physically, flexibility is improved and the deeper layers of connective tissue and fascia are trained.
Suitable for: all those who are looking for peace and quiet and prefer a gentle practice
Our tip: Since you are probably not used to staying in one position for so long, this will quickly become tiring. Also, it takes a lot of mental strength to overcome your inner bastard and really let yourself go. But you can train that too.
You may need a few attempts to find the yoga form that suits you. Don’t be afraid to try different styles and take some trial lessons. In the end, what counts is that you feel good, like to go and have fun.