Updated: Sep 10, 2019
To those that don't have yoga in their life there is often a common misconception that all yoga is all the same.
To those that are looking at the classes available at their local yoga studio, heads will be spinning due to the options available. It's why we made our guide to choosing what yoga class to attend.
To those that go to regular classes you know how that myth is so far from the truth it's laughable.
All yoga is not the same. Let's get that straight from the start. Different types of yoga are always popping up. Different teachers will have different variations. Not to mention, goat yoga, puppy yoga. The list goes on.
For the ease of this myth busting blog we're going to focus on the 7 most common yoga types that a taught worldwide.
Hatha is a great class to start with to get to grips with the basics. It's a slower moving class that only requires you to hold each pose for a few breaths.
Hatha yoga is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. Nearly every type of yoga class taught in the West is Hatha yoga.
At Firefly Yoga we teach 4 different varieties of this type, advanced, set sequence, gentle and a standard class.
Best for: Beginners. Because of its slower pace, hatha is a great class if you’re just starting your yoga practice.
Vinyasa is a much more dynamic and flowing type of yoga. The pace will be quick, only holding the pose for a few seconds before moving or "flowing" straight into the next.
At our studio a vinyasa style class is a lot more like a traditional exercise class. You will flow along as I take your throw the sequence.
Best for: HIIT lovers. Intense exercisers might enjoy Vinyasa because of its faster pace. Runners and endurance athletes may also benefit from Vinyasa class because of the
This type is all about the details, even down to the smallest angle or your body’s alignment in each pose.
It's common in this type to also use prop’s such as yoga blocks, chairs, rope walls. These are all used to help students work within a range of motion that is safe.
Unlike in Vinyasa, each posture is held for a period of time. This is where the surprising challenge comes in. It's completely different to Vinyasa in this sense.
Best for: Detail-oriented yogis. If you like to geek out about anatomy, movement and form, you’ll love Iyengar.
This type of yoga consists of six series of sequenced yoga poses, you'll be breathing and flowing through each pose.
The difference here is that you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in every class. That is a key difference compared to Vinyasa.
This is a sweaty, physically demanding practice, so make sure to bring a yoga towel!
Best for: If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines.
5. Hot Yoga
Hot yoga is one of the newest styles of class to hit the yoga scene.
Hot yoga can vary from studio to studio. At Firefly Yoga our hot classes are a hatha style in a room heated to between 35 & 40 degrees Celsius (depending on the weather outside).
Due to the size of our studio some parts are different temperatures to others so you can find the perfect space for you.
Best for: Those who want a challenge.
7. Yin Yoga
Again, a prime example of the difference between yoga classes.
Yin Yoga is the complete opposite of a faster-moving practice like Ashtanga or Vinyasa. During these classes poses are held for several minutes at a time.
The aim of this is to deeply target your connective tissue and fascia. It's thought this helps to restore length and elasticity.
This class also uses props so your body can release into the pose. This means you won’t be actively flexing or engaging the muscles.
You may feel a bit weird with this style at first, but make sure you stick with it for a few classes. After that is restorative powers may have you coming back for more.
Best for: People who need to stretch and unwind. However, if you're super flexible this may not be the class for you.
And there you go, 7 completely different styles of yoga. Clearly, it's not all the same.