Navigate

Sports

How many types of yoga are there?

yoga types
File photo credit: kyrinhall.com

INTRO TO YOGA (1): TYPES OF YOGA

Yoga is a practice that aims to help the user attain a heightened state of mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Yoga is a constantly evolving practice and in recent years, has blossomed throughout the world as one of the most popular alternative sports. As such, new branches of yoga have been springing up all over the world. But here are a few of the most common and basic types of yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga:
A rapid series of continuous and athletic poses coupled with synchronized breathing. It is an intense cardio and strength workout that will leave any regular athlete panting for a break. Aspiring Ashtangis should learn their basic poses first before attending a class. Not for beginners.

Bikram Yoga: 
Involves performing 2 sets of 24 basic yoga poses and 2 breathing poses. Classes are conducted as a dialogue session, so instructors will not be demonstrating the poses. Every class is 90 minutes long and is done in a room heated up to 41 degrees Celsius. Greatly improves flexibility and leaves you lying in a puddle of perspiration and sense of accomplishment. Suitable for beginners and advanced yogis alike.

Vinyasa Yoga: 
Similar to Ashtanga Yoga but the only difference is that the instructor decides the poses and pace of the lesson. Due to the variations in pose, yogis get a more diversified workout. Emphasis of this class is on ‘flow’ and energy. Regular practisers enjoy reduced levels of stress, endurance and increased muscle strength. Suitable for intermediate to advanced yogis.

Hatha Yoga:
The most basic form of Yoga, the foundation on which most yoga practises stem from. The class focuses on meditation and the journey to awareness of your body’s limitations and abilities. Various poses are selected and are done at a slow pace with control. Good for calming of the soul and beginners to yoga. 

Hot Yoga: 
Hot Yoga is any yoga class that is conducted in a heated environment, usually up to 39 degrees Celsius. Unlike Bikram Yoga, there is no fixed series of poses. Flow of the lesson depends largely on the instructor’s philosophy. Many yogis try Hot Yoga before getting used to the heat then moving on to Bikram Yoga.

Yin Yoga:
The anti-thesis to strength training yoga (such as Ashtanga or Vinyasa), Yin Yoga stretches the muscles, relaxing them to release tension in the joints. Poses are held for a longer period of time compared to the branches of Yoga, promoting a quiet mind and healthy soul.

yoga classes
File photo credit: pureyogaandfitness.com


To receive the latest updates on the happenings in the Singapore sports scene, or to find out more about some of the latest programmes on offer at ActiveSG, like our Facebook page here.