The 7 most popular types of yoga (2023)

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Discover seven styles of yoga, from Hatha to Restorative.

The 7 most popular types of yoga (1)

Jump to:

  • Hutha Yoga
  • Ashtanga-Yoga
  • Bikram-Yoga
  • Iyengar-Yoga
  • yoga kundalini
  • Yoga Restaurativo
  • Yin-Yoga
(Video) Styles of Yoga Explained | What Style is Best for You?

Different types of yoga have contributed to its enduring popularity for thousands of years. With so many ways to practice this ancient form of exercise, there is something for everyone. We've focused on seven types of yoga that are widely practiced to help you find the one that best suits you and your lifestyle.

Dating back 5,000 years, yoga combines movement, mindfulness, and meditation in a variety of ways. From gentle stretches and meditative breathing techniques to sweating it out in deliberately hot studios in one of thebest yoga mats(opens in a new tab), there is guaranteed to be a style of yoga that works for you.

Read on to learn about the different types of yoga as we explore its origins, style, and benefits for the mind and body.

• Keep reading: Is yoga a religion?(opens in a new tab)

7 Types of Yoga: Hatha Yoga

It's important to start here because hatha yoga, strictly speaking, is a general term that means "discipline of violence(opens in a new tab)'. In other words, any type of yoga that teaches postures is technically hatha. However, if you're actually looking at a class advertised as "Hatha", it's likely to be a slower, gentler style with basic poses suitable for beginners.

When and where hatha yoga first appeared is debatable, but its goal was to harness mastery of the body to help you achieve spiritual perfection. It is still often defined as poses or postures (known as asanas), breath work (pranayama), and meditation in various combinations, and like many commercial yoga classes, you are likely to have a physical workout rather than a spiritual experience at the instruction .

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The 7 most popular types of yoga (2)

Yoga in general is said to help improve flexibility, range of motion, strength, and reduce stress. In fact, in a meta-analysis of studies published in theEvidence-Based Medicine Journal(opens in a new tab)In 2017, the results showed that hatha yoga is "a promising method for treating anxiety." In short, it's a great option for those new to yoga.

(Video) Yoga Styles Explained: Power, Vinyasa, Hatha & Restorative | Sarah Beth Yoga

7 types of yoga: Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is a challenging, athletic style of yoga that follows a set schedule. This style of yoga was taught and popularized by the Indian yoga guru K. Pattabhi Jois in the mid-20th century. It is actually a form of vinyasa yoga, where "vinyasa" refers to the flowing movement of connecting one pose to another.

Ashtanga follows the same six sets of specific asanas that flow into each other, accompanied by synchronized breath work. It is a physically demanding technique that is said to improve the resistance and flexibility of the body. It can also have mindfulness benefits, as it requires being present while moving through challenging sequences.

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A study published in the journal in 2016Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine(opens in a new tab)It examined the benefits of yoga for weight loss and suggested a positive effect on both calories burned and participants reporting reductions in stress and cravings, as well as improved mood and self-esteem, and since ashtanga was more physically demanding than other types of yoga, it might be good to give it a try if weight control is important to you.

Ashtanga is often confused with Power Yoga, which is equally athletic but does not follow a set pattern. Teachers often like to design their own vinyasa flow routines to increase the challenge and provide a more challenging practice for advanced students.

7 Types of Yoga: Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga was founded by Indian-born American yoga guru Bikram Choudhury, who immigrated to the United States in 1971 and rose to worldwide popularity in the 1990s with a number of prominent proponents. This style of yoga consists of a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a room heated to 104℉ (40℃) with 40% humidity to recreate the Indian climate Choudhury knew.

hot yoga(opens in a new tab)The classes, while likely inspired by Bikram yoga, may not follow the established order of Bikram poses. The heat is designed to help participants increase their flexibility, detoxify through sweat, and make their cardiovascular system work harder to keep them cool. In fact, a study published in theInternational Yoga Magazine(opens in a new tab)in 2021 reported increased cardiovascular fitness after 12 Bikram yoga sessions.

According to a review published in the magazineEvidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine(opens in a new tab)in 2015 there is evidence that Bikram yoga has positive effects on metabolic markers such as blood lipids, insulin resistance and glucose tolerance. In other words, it can help people at risk of cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

One of the studies in the review also showed that the incorporation of postures and breathing exercises encouraged the mind to be present, resulting in increased mindfulness and decreased perceived stress among participants at the end of the study.

7 Types of Yoga: Iyengar Yoga

Founded in India in the 1970s by B.K.S Iyengar, this style of yoga focuses on precision and alignment of postures. Participants can use a variety of props, including yoga blocks, bands, blankets, and pillows, to help their body achieve proper posture alignment.

Despite being a slower-paced style of yoga than Ashtanga and Bikram, it requires great concentration to achieve the proper alignment of each pose, as well as the ability to hold the asanas for long periods of time.

(Video) Yoga For Runners: 7 MIN POST-RUN | Yoga With Adriene

This style of yoga can benefit those recovering from injuries or those who are feeling very inflexible, as the props help achieve desired poses without overstretching.

According to a research project published in theDiary of body weight and exercise therapies.(opens in a new tab)In 2009, flexibility increased in just six weeks when subjects practiced Iyengar yoga once a week. A study published in the journalspine(opens in a new tab)It was also discovered in 2009 that participants who practiced Iyengar yoga during the study reported a significant reduction in chronic back for back pain(opens in a new tab)or other injury, this might be a good way to try, although we always recommend consulting a doctor before beginning any new exercise program.

7 Types of Yoga: Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini Yoga, which is believed to date from around 1000 B.C. It was first brought to the United States by Yogi Bhajan in the 1970s, although its exact origins are unknown. It combines movement, breathing and sound in the form of a chant or song.

Kundalini is designed to activate your spiritual energy known as Shakti, located at the base of your spine. A typical class begins with an opening chant, followed by a series of postures with breathing techniques before ending with meditation or chanting.

The 7 most popular types of yoga (4)

The idea is that through the practice of Kundalini Yoga we can send energy up from the base of our spine and out of our head, thereby stimulating our chakras (energy centers) to produce a variety of health benefits, such as improved mood, better concentration, lower blood pressure, balanced metabolism and improved strength. Is it hard for you to sleep well? In a study cited byHarvard Medical School(opens in a new tab), participants slept an average of 36 more minutes per night after eight weeks of Kundalini yoga practice.

7 Types of Yoga: Restorative Yoga

This type of yoga could be seen as the calmer little sister of Iyengar. Developed by renowned American yoga teacher Judith Hanson (a student of B.K.S. Iyengar), she adapted her use of props to support and support the body while calming and resting.

Each pose can be held for up to 20 minutes, which means very few poses can be achieved during a class, but the time spent being guided by a yoga teacher and relaxing into the asanas can have profound effects as you progress. participants reach a state of deep relaxation. As a result, restorative yoga can help increase overall muscle flexibility and flexibility.

Stress relief can also be a great benefit of restorative yoga, as staying in these poses for long periods of time provides the perfect opportunity to listen to the body's cues and focus the mind.Occupational Medicine Journal(opens in a new tab)In 2019, nurses working night shifts reported that their psychological and physical stress responses were significantly decreased after group restorative yoga sessions.

7 Tips de Yoga: Yin Yoga

Developed by American martial arts expert Paulie Zink in the 1970s, Yin Yoga is similar to restorative yoga in that it involves slow stretching and postures to stretch muscles and connective tissues at a deeper level.

Beginners start by holding these poses for a few minutes, while experts can hold them for ten or more. The goal of the practice is to slow down the body, activate the parasympathetic nervous system, and allow the body to fully relax into the asanas to relieve stress and tension both physically and mentally.

A study of stressed adults published in the journalPLUS ONE(opens in a new tab)concluded in 2018 that practicing Yin Yoga for five weeks helped reduce participants' sleep problems. So if you have a hard time getting enough sleep, consider consuming Yin and reaping the benefits at bedtime.

(Video) Yoga For Runners: 7 MIN PRE-RUN | Yoga With Adriene

The 7 most popular types of yoga (5)

amy clarke

Amy is an Irish freelance writer based in London, UK specializing in fitness and wellness related content. As a qualified dog groomer with over ten years of experience, she also writes extensively on animal care related topics.

(Video) What Happens To Your Brain And Body When You Do Yoga Regularly

Amy has a BA in Creative Writing from London South Bank University and an MA in Screenwriting from Goldsmiths University of London. She is a comedy screenwriter whose work has been placed in various script contests. She is also a member of the BFI Network x BAFTA Crew program. Amy is a health and fitness advocate with a passion for resistance training and tracking macros to achieve her goals. She is also a huge fan of yoga and Pilates and strongly believes that a balance of both practices helps build a strong foundation and reduce injury.


What is the most popular type of yoga? ›

The 6 Most Popular Yoga Workouts
  • Hatha Yoga. Recommended for: Beginners, because of its slower pace. ...
  • Vinyasa Yoga. Recommended for: Intense exercisers because of its quick pace. ...
  • Iyengar Yoga. Recommended for: Detail-oriented yogis. ...
  • Ashtanga Yoga. Recommended for: Type-A folks. ...
  • Bikram Yoga (Heated Yoga) ...
  • Restorative Yoga.

What are popular types of yoga? ›

A. Eight popular styles of yoga are Ashtanga yoga, Hatha yoga, Hot yoga, Iyengar yoga, Kundalini yoga, Power yoga, Restorative yoga, Vinyasa yoga.

How many main types of yoga are there? ›

There are as many ways to practice yoga as there are to unite with bliss and enlightenment. Essentially, however, current practice involves four primary types of yoga: karma, bhakti, jnana, and raja.

What are the 5 major types of yoga? ›

Types of yoga include hatha, Iyengar, vinyasa, hot yoga, and ashtanga. For an aerobic workout, a vinyasa class might be the best to boost your heart rate. If you're looking for a more meditative class, ashtanga focuses on mindful movement.

What is the most popular type of yoga * 1 point? ›

These Are the 8 Most-Popular Types of Yoga—Explained
  • Ashtanga yoga. ...
  • Hatha yoga. ...
  • Hot yoga. ...
  • Iyengar yoga. ...
  • Kundalini yoga. ...
  • Power yoga. ...
  • Restorative yoga. ...
  • Vinyasa yoga.
Jun 15, 2018

What are the 7 schools of yoga? ›

Today'ssix main schools of yoga out of numerous are:
  • Hatha Yoga- or yoga of postures.
  • Raja Yoga- or yoga of self-control.
  • Kundelini Yoga- yoga of energy.
  • Karma Yoga- yoga of mind.
  • Jnana yoga-yoga of mind.
  • Bhakti yoga- Yoga of devotion.

What are the 8 levels of yoga? ›

What are the eight limbs of yoga?
  • Yamas. Yamas are the principles that teach us how to treat others and the world around us. ...
  • Niyamas. Niyamas are the standards by which we should practice self-discipline. ...
  • Asana. Asana is the practice of the yoga postures. ...
  • Pranayama. ...
  • Pratyahara. ...
  • Dharana. ...
  • Dhyana. ...
  • Samadhi.
Jul 7, 2021

What type of yoga is most commonly practiced in America? ›

Hatha yoga has become a generic term for yoga practiced in the American mainstream. Expect a well-rounded, flowing practice that includes sun salutations, core work, some backbends or inversions, and a final restorative pose or short meditation.

What is the best type of yoga for beginners? ›

Hatha yoga is always recommended for beginner yogis as it's considered a gentler form of yoga. It is, traditionally, a slower-moving class where you hold each pose for a few breaths while maintaining a focus on improving posture.

What are the 4 more yogas? ›

Yoga manifests itself as four major paths, namely Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Rāja Yoga and Jñāna Yoga. These four paths are like the branches of a tree or tributaries of a river.

How many stages of yoga are there? ›

According to Vedic and Sanatana (Hindu) philosophy, every Yogi goes through seven stages of development before achieving complete liberation. They are listed in the commentary on the Yoga Sutras by Vyasa.

What are the 4 types of yoga explained? ›

In life we can act, we can think, we can feel, or we can do nothing. To act is Karma Yoga, to think is Gyana Yoga, to feel (love) is Bhakti Yoga, and to do nothing completely is Samadhi—the final step of Raja Yoga and goal of all Yoga.

What are the 3 most important aspects of yoga? ›

No matter what your level of practice is, there are three aspects that we need to keep an eye on and care for at all times. These are alignment, focus and breathing.

What are the 12 steps of yoga? ›

12 Poses Of Surya Namaskar
  1. Pose 1: Prayer pose – Pranamasana.
  2. Pose 2: Raised arms pose – Hasta Uttanasana.
  3. Pose 3: Hand to foot pose – Hasta Padasana.
  4. Pose 4: Equestrian pose – Ashwa Sanchalanasana.
  5. Pose 5: Mountain pose – Parvatasana.
  6. Pose 6: Ashtanga Namaskara.
  7. Pose 7: Cobra pose – Bhujangasana.
Apr 15, 2022

Where is yoga most popular in the world *? ›

In which country is yoga most popular? Yoga is most popular in Canada. According to Google search trends, Canada has the highest number of people interested in yoga. Singapore comes next, then Australia, Ireland, the U.S., and India.

What yoga style is most relaxing? ›

Restorative Yoga

The mellow, slow-moving practice with longer holds gives your body a chance to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation. You'll also use a variety of props including blankets, bolsters and yoga blocks to fully support your body in each pose.

Which of the 11 types of yoga is best for beginners because these classes are usually paced slower than other styles? ›

Hatha yoga classes are best for beginners since they are usually paced slower than other yoga styles and are a classic approach to breathing and exercises. Hatha yoga is a great style for those new to yoga.

What are the 6 main yoga texts? ›

The six main variations of yoga in Hindu philosophy are raja, karma, jnana, bhakti, tantra, and hatha.

What are the first 5 parts of yoga? ›

They are: Saucha (cleanliness), Samtosha (modesty, contentment), Tapas (heat/cleansing the body… keeping it fit/healthy), Svadhyaya (self-inquiry) and Isvara pranidhana (surrender to God). 3rd Asanas - the physical postures we practice in yoga.

What are the 7 dimensions of yoga? ›

Immerse in systematic yoga practice, exploring the seven qualities or attainments of Hatha Yoga: purification, firmness, steadiness, patience, lightness, acceptance and impartiality.

Which is the 7th element of yoga? ›

Dhyana, a Sanskrit word meaning "contemplation and meditation," is the seventh limb of yoga in the Ashtanga yoga system, also known as the eight-limbed path.

What do you mean by yoga class 7? ›

Yoga is an ancient art that connects the mind and body. It is an exercise that we perform by balancing the elements of our bodies. In addition, it helps us meditate and relax. Moreover, yoga helps us keep control of our bodies as well as mind. It is a great channel for releasing our stress and anxiety.

What are the 3 pillars of yoga? ›

3 Pillars: Mind, Body, Spirit.

What are the 8 yoga sutras? ›

The eight limbs of yoga are yama (abstinences), niyama (observances), asana (yoga postures), pranayama (breath control), pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (absorption)."

What is standard yoga called? ›

Hatha. 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.

What is the most popular form of yoga in the West? ›

In the West Vinyasa is one of the most popular types of yoga. The translation of this Sanskrit word is “to place in a special way.” In Vinyasa yoga sequences of poses are linked to the breath to achieve a continuous flow. Usually, a Vinyasa class will begin with Sun Salutation A.

What yoga style is the hardest? ›

Ashtanga is considered the most difficult yoga style because you need a lot of patience and discipline.

What is the highest level of yoga? ›

We now come to the final and highest level of Asanas - Padmasana (Lotus) and the practice of various postures in Padmasana. Along with Shirshasana, Padmasana is known as the supreme and “royal” Asana.

What is the most advanced yoga? ›

1. Handstand scorpion. Handstand scorpion – or Taraksvasana in Sanscrit – is almost the most difficult yoga pose. It requires you to have perfect balance, good flexibility and plenty of strength.

What is the most advanced type of yoga? ›

Ashtanga Yoga

The Path: The most dynamic and vigorous form of yoga, Ashtanga approaches yoga with a continuous flow of movement. Top athletes who seek a more intense workout enjoy this form of yoga, sometimes called vinyasa or power yoga. Ashtanga creates heat in the body to purge it of toxins.

What are the 7 stages of body? ›

There are seven stages a human moves through during his or her life span. These stages include infancy, early childhood, middle childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, middle adulthood and old age.

What is the most important rule in yoga? ›

Yoga Rule #1: Focus on Your Breath

No need to be flexible or even warm-up before class! The purpose of yoga is not to do all those fancy, pretzel-like poses. The purpose is to breathe and find the edge – not to jump off of it.

What are the 2 most important parts of practicing yoga? ›

The Element of Patience + Practice

It takes time to learn new body postures, correct alignment and how to settle the mind. Time and practice! These are two key elements that go hand in hand.

What are basic yoga poses? ›

10 Yoga Poses You Need to Know
  1. Child's Pose. This calming pose is a good default pause position. ...
  2. Downward-Facing Dog. ...
  3. Plank Pose. ...
  4. Four-Limbed Staff Pose. ...
  5. Cobra Pose. ...
  6. Tree Pose. ...
  7. Triangle Pose. ...
  8. Seated Half-Spinal Twist Pose.

Who is the father of yoga? ›

Patanjali is known as the father of modern yoga. In some parts of India, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is also considered as the father of modern yoga.

What age group is yoga most popular? ›

Yogis account for 19 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29, and 23 percent of yogis are aged 30 to 39. Twenty percent of all practitioners are between the ages of 40 and 49. Young people aren't as interested in Yoga as older people.

Who made yoga popular in the US? ›

Swami Vivekananda was the first Person to Bring Yoga to America. “In America is the place, the people, the opportunity for everything new,” wrote Swami Vivekananda before he left India in 1893.

Which yoga is best for mental stress? ›

Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements.

What is the best yoga for mental health? ›

He suggested 5 effective Yoga asanas for improving your mental health:
  • Sukhasana (Happy Pose) Sukhasana or easy pose(Photo by Mor Shani on Unsplash) ...
  • Bakasana (Crane Pose) Bal Bakasana(Grand Master Akshar) ...
  • Paschimottanasana - Seated forward bend. ...
  • Chakrasana (Wheel pose) ...
  • Balasana (Child's Pose)
Oct 10, 2022

What is the best yoga pose for anxiety? ›

7 Yoga Poses That Relieve Stress and Anxiety
  • Restorative bridge pose. Extend your arms on the floor with your finger reaching toward your heels, and your feet should be parallel to the floor. ...
  • Forward fold. ...
  • Downward facing dog. ...
  • Corpse pose. ...
  • Child's pose. ...
  • Cat/cow. ...
  • Legs up the wall.

What are the main types of yoga? ›

13 Types of Yoga: How to Choose the Right Kind for You
  • Kundalini Yoga. Yogi Bhajan, teacher, and spiritual leader, brought this style of yoga to the West in the late 1960s. ...
  • Vinyasa Yoga. ...
  • Hatha Yoga. ...
  • Ashtanga Yoga. ...
  • Power Yoga. ...
  • Restorative Yoga. ...
  • Prenatal Yoga. ...
  • Aerial Yoga.
May 18, 2018

What are the 6 phases of yoga? ›

This doesn't necessarily apply to every endeavor, but we are able to practice mindfulness in a great many ways. There are six traditional or major forms of yoga: raja, karma, bhakti, jnana, tantra, and hatha.

Which is better yin or vinyasa yoga? ›

While yin is more passive and focuses on flexibility and creating a positive energy flow, vinyasa helps your body be more energetic and further invigorates your mind. You can find a lot of classes that offer yang yoga, which incorporates yin elements in both the beginning and the end.

Which style of yoga is best for beginners? ›

Hatha yoga is always recommended for beginner yogis as it's considered a gentler form of yoga. It is, traditionally, a slower-moving class where you hold each pose for a few breaths while maintaining a focus on improving posture.

Where is yoga most popular in the world? ›

Yoga is most popular in Canada.

Singapore comes next, then Australia, Ireland, the U.S., and India. North America has the largest share of the global yoga industry, but the Asia-Pacific market is expected to see the most growth from 2021 to 2027, with an estimated CAGR of 10.8%.

What is the hardest yoga practice? ›

The 5 Most Challenging Yoga Poses
  • Handstand scorpion. Handstand scorpion – or Taraksvasana in Sanscrit – is almost the most difficult yoga pose. ...
  • Tripod Headstand with Lotus Legs. ...
  • Formidable face pose. ...
  • Destroyer of the Universe. ...
  • One-handed tree pose.

Which type of yoga is best for stress and anxiety? ›

Hatha yoga, in particular, may be a good choice for stress management. Hatha is one of the most common styles of yoga, and beginners may like its slower pace and easier movements.

Which yoga is best for focus? ›

7 Yoga Poses To Improve Your Focus & Concentration
  • Tadasana (Mountain Pose) ...
  • Phalakasana (Plank) ...
  • uTKATASANA (Chair Pose) ...
  • Garudasana (Eagle Pose) ...
  • virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) ...
Nov 7, 2020

Which yoga is best for senior beginners? ›

There are many different types of yoga classes and not all of them are appropriate for seniors. Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, Restorative Yoga, Yin Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Vinyasa Flow are all good choices for beginners.


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