If you’re looking to bring your exercise regime to the next level, yoga is a great addition. It provides a myriad of benefits, including lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety, and improving bone strength. However, despite its numerous advantages, many people stay away from it because of the misconception that it’s only for the most flexible individuals.
The truth is, there’s a yoga style that can suit whatever body type, fitness level, or temperament. Before you joinyoga classes, it’s best to see which level you fit into and determine which is the best yoga style for you.
Here are the different yoga styles for various fitness and skill levels.
In yoga, beginners are encouraged to follow a slow-paced direction alongside a high level of detail to familiarize themselves with basic yoga poses and the importance of breathing techniques. The best yoga style for beginners is Hatha yoga, which is all about the basics. It provides an excellent introduction to the slower side of yoga.
Hatha is a general category, featuring almost every yoga style, including yoga postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama). You can expect to move through different poses and hold each one for a few breaths, allowing you to experience peace of mind and body and preparing your body for more intricate spiritual practices like meditation.
It’s best to do Hatha at least 2 to 3 times a week with 45 to 90 minutes per session for optimal results.
For individuals that have a better understanding of basic yoga postures and have the chance to explore different poses or styles, it’s time for you to delve in more ‘active’ forms of yoga. The intermediate student should have decent knowledge regarding physical and breath movement, so one of the best yoga styles for intermediate-level individuals is Vinyasa.
Vinyasa is a yoga style that requires you to move through a series of poses smoothly. It’s a type of yoga that’s ever-flowing and dynamic, and in essence, it’s like a moving form of meditation. Vinyasa is best for intermediate-level yogis because it challenges them to move and breathe synchronously. It’s a great yoga style for people that like to move, making them sweat while improving their flexibility and strength.
It’s best to practice Vinyasa 3 to 5 times a week with 30 to 60 minutes per session for the best results.
For dedicated yogis who have an excellent understanding of basic yoga postures that are comfortable doing more advanced poses, it’s best to go with more ‘vigorous’ yoga forms. The advanced-level yogi should have experience practicing yoga regularly and have begun to master the connection of breath and movement. One of the best yoga styles for this fitness level is Bikram yoga.
Bikram or ‘hot yoga’ requires you to do a series of 26 challenging poses inside a room heated to a room with a temperature of over 40°C (104°F) and 40% humidity. The high heat and fast flow of the practice allow you to improve your stamina while removing toxins from your body. It’s a great yoga style for advanced-level yogis. However, it’s best to check with your doctor for medical conditions that can be triggered by Bikram.
If you want the best results, it’s best to practice Bikram thrice a week for at least 90 minutes per session.
Whether through movement, breathing, or chanting, all will help you reach a state of centered ‘peace’ and enable you to enjoy yoga’s mental and physical rewards.