Today, I am going to bring some light on what all these words really mean?

Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, Iyengar. Especially here in the west, a lot of Yoga Studios run yoga classes under these names and I felt that, for a beginner yogi, this can be intimidating, because they are entering a class without any idea about what the class has to offer.


All the different types of yoga stem from Hatha Yoga. Hatha yoga is the foundations for all other types of yoga. In a Hatha yoga class, traditionally, you would come into a pose and stay in it for a couple of breaths, following this, the teacher will correct you (or break down) what your body parts should be doing. Hatha is really good for beginners, as it is paced slower than all the other styles and you are unlikely to come back to the same posture. For someone new to yoga, Hatha is a great place to start.


Ashtanga Yoga is very similar to Vinyasa Yoga, albeit a more advanced level. It has a set series and a very physically demanding sequences of postures which is always the same for every class. If your someone who likes rigidity and structure in your practice then may be the class for you. It takes an experienced yogi to really love it. Practising regularly will no doubt have a positive impact on your strength and flexibility. The class will often contain breathwork, asanas, drishtis (focal points) and bandhas, giving a sense of the more experienced and difficult types of yoga, thus the class may not be for beginners.


Vinyasa Yoga was adapted from Ashtanga yoga style in 1980’s. This is also called flow yoga and the reason is in the name: it is more of a flowing sequence. It may not be the best to do this class, if you are a complete beginner, because the teacher will not have the time to come back and correct you. In Vinyasa Yoga you will be moving in a quick sequence and will need to breathe as you go along. Vinyasa Yoga is great for quick continuous practice, whereas with Hatha Yoga, you will go into a bit more depth with every pose.


Iyengar Yoga is named after a man called B.K.S Iyengar. In an Iyengar yoga class alignment is everything. His teachings have a very precise view of yoga postures and breathing. Meditation & chanting won’t happen in an Iyengar yoga class. Iyengar relies on props to help students perfect their form and go deeper into poses in a safe manner. However you wont jump around in an iyengar class but will definitely get a work out and feel incredibly open and relaxed after the class. This class is great for people with injuries who need to work slowly and methodically.


With Yin Yoga you stay very close to the ground. You let gravity do most of the work. In a yin class you hold the pose from 45 seconds to 2 minutes. It’s not about strength building in a Yin class. It’s more about building your flexibility. A slow, restorative and a relaxing practice is a Yin Yoga class. You clearly will not see yourself doing head stands in here. This class helps you to cleanse and free your mind.

I like embrace all the styles of yoga and each and every style is so unique and beneficial in its own way.

Hope this was helpful! : )

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