Yoga is a great form of exercise, meditation and relaxation that benefits not only your body but your mind as well. Not only is it great on its own, but yoga also compliments other types of exercise. When it comes to picking a class or deciphering the different types of yoga though, things can get complicated and difficult. Luckily for you, we’ve broken down the various types of yoga classes and made recommendations based on other types of popular exercise.
If running is your go to exercise then you should trying Ashtanga, otherwise commonly known as Power Yoga. This form of yoga focuses on the link between breathing and position- something runners would benefit from and understand. Power yoga also deals with learning and practicing different series of positions that gradually go up in difficultly. Much like training for a race, this type of yoga is all about steady increase. Mastering these series takes time and dedication- nothing new to runners.
For those that love boxing, Iyengar yoga is for you. This type of yoga uses various props and focuses on holding and mastering positions. Iyengar helps with stamina, mobility and strength- all things that are useful for boxing. This yoga is also great for injuries and alignment so if you’re recovering from a physical injury and can’t get back into the boxing ring just quite yet, Iyengar classes are a great way to keep in shape.
Hikers will love Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga. Bikram yoga is done in hot rooms so expect to sweat. If you’re a hiker though, hot temperatures, long workouts and sweat are nothing new to you. So if you’re sore from your last hike, the heat from Bikram yoga will do you some good.
For swimmers, Kundalini is the recommended yoga. Kundalini yoga is all about breath and core workout- great things for swimmers. Each pose has a different breathing technique that you can take back to the pool with you. In addition to the physical workout and meditation, this type of yoga is great for increasing mental awareness, consciousness and stamina. So by taking Kundalini yoga classes, you can increase both your body and mind to help with your swimming.
Weight lifters aren’t always known for being the most flexible, so the thought of a yoga class can be daunting. Not to worry though, because there’s Kripalu yoga. This type of yoga is all about listening to ones body. It starts with you figuring out how your body works and feels in different positions. Then slowly you start to work towards holding those potions for prolonged periods. For weight training, knowing and listening to your body is key- you wouldn’t want to push it too far and too fast. Kripalu yoga can give you the tool and training to learn more about your body than ever before to help with your training.
Dance is all about expression and thankfully there’s a yoga that is too. Anusara yoga is pretty similar to Iyengar but it is much more flexible and free. Laughter and light heartedness is encouraged and practiced in Anusara classes. Instead of standard, rigid positions, Anusara is all about letting individuals work and fit into the positions as they see fit. So if you love the creativity, flexibility and expression of dance, then Anusara yoga is the one for you.
For some people, exercise and athleticism are words that just don’t fit them. Luckily, there’s still yoga for you. Whether you’re an all around beginner, non-athletic or still just unsure about what type of class to take then Hatha yoga is for you. Really all yoga is hatha but if a class uses that word it typically means it’s for beginners. These classes will focus on the basic and classic yoga positions and breathing to get you use to it. If you find you like yoga you can always explore the many other styles and types out there.