You can ask any avid yogi, yoga is not just a stretching class. Some serious strength and flexibility can be developed by regular yoga sessions, but which class is right for your abilities and goals?
Stressed? Try Yin Yoga
If you’re looking for a workout that will clear your mind yet make those muscles burn, try Yin yoga. Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time allowing you to go deeper into the pose, fully releasing your muscles and improving flexibility. Yin is a meditative practice that clears the mind through slow movements so you won’t have to worry about keeping up in class.
Like a Routine? Try Bikram Yoga
Bikram yoga is for those who like to see what’s coming! This practice consists of 26 poses in a set series performed in a room precisely set to 40.5°C and 40% humidity. Considered a type of hot yoga, the hot class environment can help limber up the limbs but can also lead to over-stretching, so take it easy for your first few times and make sure to hydrate before class. Since every Bikram instructor uses the same poses in the same order, this class won’t keep you guessing.
HIIT Lover? Try Vinyasa Yoga
Quite opposite to Yin, Vinyasa goes with the flow and never stays in one position for long. This fast-paced class will increase your heart rate and connect your breath to every move. Moving through different postural positions Vinyasa is a great way to build flexibility and strength quite quickly.
Looking for Strength? Try Ashtanga Yoga
A more challenging class that is typically approached by more advanced yogis, Ashtanga has a set routine like Bikram but with more challenging poses. Ashtanga yoga consists of six series of yoga poses, performed in the same order in every single class. Without needing to worry about figuring out new moves every class, you can get into the routine and work on perfecting these demanding moves. With regular practice, these moves can improve your strength significantly in almost every part of the body. However, if you have sensitive muscles or joints, this may not be the best practice for you.
Stepping Out of the Yoga Box? Try AcroYoga
A wonderful mixture of acrobatics and yoga, AcroYoga is one impressive practice. In this practice, you are either lifting up a person or you are being lifted. Don’t let it intimidate you- with the right teacher, AcroYoga can definitely be for beginners. AcroYoga classes for beginners can teach you the basics, no extreme flexibility or strength necessary!
Which types of yoga have you tried? Let us know in the comments!
This post has been developed by studio contributors which include Co-Op students, kinesiologists, therapists and our expert colleagues