Yoga means union. The union of movement and breath, of breath and body, of body and spirit, and any other union you can think of. This idea of union is the essence of all yoga practices, but that's not to say that yoga is all the same. In fact, there are so many different types of yoga. From the ways we practice, to the movements we make, styles of yoga vary enormously. Today we’re going to look at some common types of yoga and understand the key differences between these physical practices.

Let’s start with Ashtanga yoga, which is what Kranti Yoga School originally started with 13 years ago. Ashtanga is broken down into six different series (Primary, Intermediate, and four Advance). Each series builds upon the strength and flexibility created before it, and has a set sequence of postures which each begin with Surya Namaskars. It was made popular by Sri K Pattabhi Jois and the main benefits of practicing Ashtanga consistently are cultivating discipline and monitoring progress. It is one of the most vigorous types of yoga.

Hand in hand with Ashtanga is Mysore style yoga. Mysore style is where students practice (usually the Ashtanga series) at their own pace with their own breath. Students come together to share space to practice but there is no one leading or dictating, though there may be a few teachers around to offer adjustments as you practice.

Hatha Yoga (Hatha which also translates more generally to any form of physical asana practice) is another type of yoga which is most suitable for beginners. Many advance practitioners also practice and benefit from Hatha, because the pace is slower and we spend more time in each posture. It is typically more gentle than Ashtanga, and less flowly than Vinyasa.

Next we’ve got Vinyasa, a more contemporary style of yoga which incorporates one breath to one movement. Vinyasa Flow classes can vary enormously because the structure of a class really depends on the individual yoga teachers style and creativity - making it a nice diverse practice for students. Vinyasa classes might focus on a particular posture, or body part. For example, working toward a sirsasana (headstand) or a heart opening flow. Classes will typically fall between 60 to 90 minutes and will make you sweat!

To complement our yang practices of Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa we’ve got Yin. In Yin, we focus on relaxation and stillness, holding each posture for 3 to 5 minutes. This is the most passive form of yoga, by which we mean, you are not using strength and energy to hold you in the postures but instead, you focus on relaxing, surrendering, and letting go. This allows the student time to really focus on themselves, internalize the practice, and relax into a meditative state of being.

There are many more different styles of yoga - from Iyengar to Bikram to Kundalini to Karma - but consider that our essential aim when we practice of any type of yoga is to honour the idea of union, however that best resonates with you.

For more Details:

Author's Bio: 

With over 12 years of Yoga Teacher Training in Goa, India. Kranti Yoga Goa is a Yoga Teacher Training School, directly on Patnem Beach, South Goa. We offer 200 Hour Yoga TTC, 300 Hour Yoga TTC, 500 Hour Yoga TTC in Ashtanga Yoga, Yin Yoga and Vinyasa Flow alongside Yoga Intensives, Yoga Immersions and Yoga Holidays right on the beach in beautiful Goa.