If you’re a beginning yogi ready to dive into the yoga world with your new mat and Stretch Wedges, you may be overwhelmed with all the possibilities to try out. But don’t worry, whether you’re a man, woman, athlete or novice, Millennial or Baby Boomer… there’s a type of yoga for everybody.
With dozens of styles and hundreds of different poses to explore, yoga will never get boring. Regularly practicing yoga can result in improved metabolism, athletic performance, weight loss, flexibility, and heart health. Yoga also can reduce joint pain and stress. Another reason athletes should become part-time yogis is that yoga can significantly improve performance and reduce the risk of injury.
More and more Americans are experiencing the benefits of yoga for themselves. According a survey from Yoga Alliance, the number of American participants grew by over 50 percent in the matter of four years. If you’re one of the millions of people looking to find your place in the welcoming yoga community, here are some of the most popular types of yoga:
Popular types of yoga
- Hatha: This is an excellent path for beginners. Hatha yoga focuses on introducing the fundamental poses and breathing techniques. These sessions move slow and steady, and tend to stay in still poses most of the time. The focus is on the physical yoga aspect, rather than the spiritual.
- Iyengar: This type of yoga zooms in on pose precision. Poses are held for lengthier time periods to pay close attention to “anatomical details,” according to Yoga Journal. In Iyengar, props like ropes and blocks are used to modify poses and lessen the chance of injury.
- Vinyasa: Also called “flow yoga,” vinyasa is a continuous cycle of movements. This fast-paced practice is dance-like and dynamic, unlike Hatha or
Iyengar. Poses aren’t held long – these yogis are always flowing into a new pose. According to Yoga Outlet, vinyasa “builds internal heat, which can help to detoxify the body.”
- Ashtanga: This type of yoga is designed for the more advanced. Ashtanga is very similar to vinyasa in that it’s an ongoing flow of movements – but ashtanga poses (asanas) are the same every time, while vinyasa poses vary from class-to-class. It’s essentially a cardio session, and is a serious calorie burner. You might want to start with Hatha or Iyengar before you move on to Vinyasa or Ashtanga.
- Yin: Stemming from the “yin-yang” idea, yin yoga is known for its relaxing qualities. Similar to hatha, yin consists of holding poses. However, you spend most of the time laying down and can hold poses for much longer in Yin – anywhere from five to 20 minutes. The focus is on stretching connective tissues, primarily in the lower body. Yin yoga can help you “bounce back from pain and stress,” according to Health Magazine.
- Acroyoga: This advanced partner-based type of yoga combines acrobatics, yoga, and massage into one practice. Acroyoga exercises can often be challenging – but caters perfectly to those gifted with stellar stamina, flexibility, strength and endurance. Wedge Effect athlete Modern Tarzan often uses Stretch Wedges to assist him with training and a variety of stunts.
Which type of yoga is best for me?
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, there’s always something new to try. Yoga can benefit athletes of any kind both spiritually and physically. By using a combination of stretch-oriented styles like Hatha or Yin and flow-oriented styles like Vinyasa and Ashtanga, you can create the ultimate workout – without weights.
The Stretch Wedge is the latest discovery in fitness technology, and enhances the stretch in almost every yoga pose. Check out international yoga trainer Danielle Mercer’s four favorite poses to use the Stretch Wedges with. For more yoga ideas for yogis of all levels, check out Wedge Effect’s YouTube channel or sign up for our monthly eNewsletter for dozens of workouts and poses.