Here we list the 16 most popular types of yoga and their benefits with names in English and all their benefits.
This should guide you to figure out what styles of yoga are right for you, and where to start.
Types of Yoga and Their Benefits
Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines that originated in ancient India.
Its primary aim is to control and still, the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind and mundane suffering.
Yoga has a wide variety of schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Traditional and modern yoga is practiced worldwide.
I’ve often noticed how different types of yoga appeal to different individuals.
Each practice comes with its unique style, class view, and benefits.
People often inquire about the variety of practices, and their curiosity is entirely valid!
Let’s dive into the wonders of yoga, a practice that extends beyond the boundary of fitness, and seeps into the enriching realms of health, weight management, and overall wellness.
Different types of yoga:
This list is sorted based on the historical introduction of each yoga type.
However, please note that the exact timing of the introduction of some types of yoga might be subject to debate among historians and yoga scholars.
Further down in this article, you can read more about what time each type is from.
Here you can get an idea of the physical intensity required and in what ways you will benefit from the specific yoga practice.
By clicking the name in the “Yoga Type” column, you will be taken straight to an in-depth guide on that specific kind of yoga.
|Spiritual growth, enhanced meditation, energy balance.
|Enhanced spiritual and physical connection, increased awareness.
|Moderate to High
|Spiritual awakening, increased energy, improved consciousness.
|Balance, harmony, improved posture, breathing, and meditation techniques.
|Strength, flexibility, discipline, routine.
|Precision, alignment, detailed instruction, suitable for physical limitations.
|Detoxification, discipline, strength, flexibility.
|Moderate to High
|Cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, meditative flow.
|Strength, stamina, cardiovascular fitness.
|Compassion, self-acceptance, adaptability, emotional healing.
|Deep tissue stretching, increased joint mobility, relaxation.
|Detoxification, increased flexibility, improved circulation.
|Improved flexibility, decompressed spine, fun and challenging.
|Deep relaxation, stress relief, mental calmness, and physical recovery.
|Improved mobility, flexibility, and strength for those with limitations.
|Deep tissue stretching, increased joint mobility, and relaxation.
All Types of Yoga:
Here’s a sorted list of all types of yoga and their benefits based on when they were introduced:
- Kriya Yoga – Originated in ancient times, it’s mentioned in classical texts including the Bhagavad Gita.
- Tantra Yoga – Originated in ancient India, its roots can be traced back to the early medieval period.
- Kundalini Yoga – Has ancient roots, but its modern form was introduced in the late 1960s.
- Hatha Yoga – Dates back to the 11th century, with its foundational text being the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
- Ashtanga Yoga – Developed in the 20th century by K. Pattabhi Jois, it’s based on ancient yoga philosophies.
- Iyengar Yoga: Developed by B.K.S Iyengar in the 1960s, this style emphasizes precision and alignment.
- Bikram Yoga – Introduced in the 1970s by Bikram Choudhury.
- Vinyasa Yoga – Evolved from Ashtanga in the 20th century.
- Power Yoga – Originated in the 1990s as a Western adaptation of Ashtanga Yoga.
- Kripalu Yoga: Founded by Amrit Desai in the 1980s, it’s a Hatha-based style of yoga rooted in compassion.
- Yin Yoga – Developed in the late 1970s by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink.
- Hot Yoga – Became popular in the late 20th century, often associated with Bikram Yoga but can refer to any yoga practiced in a hot environment.
- Aerial Yoga – Introduced in the early 2000s, combining traditional yoga with aerial arts.
- Face Yoga – A more recent trend from the 21st century, focusing on exercises for the face.
- Chair Yoga – Became popular in the 21st century, especially for those with mobility issues.
- Restorative Yoga: Similar to Yin Yoga, restorative yoga postures are held for extended periods. Like Ariel Yoga, it was introduced in the early 2000s
Please note that while the origins of some of these practices are ancient, their modern forms and popularizations might have occurred at different times.
Types of Yoga Practices
With the many types of yoga practices, it can be difficult to figure out which one to choose.
Here we compare the different yoga practices and give you the pros and cons for each one.
This should make it easier to find the right fit, but of course, you will first know for sure once you try it out.
Remember if you press any of the links in the first list on this page, you will be taken to a detailed information page on that specific kind of yoga.
☑️ Target Audience: Individuals on a spiritual quest, seeking inner transformation.
☑️ Characteristics: A combination of breathing exercises, mantras, and meditation techniques to accelerate spiritual growth and foster a deep sense of inner peace.
☑️ Target Audience: Those seeking a deeper spiritual and physical connection.
☑️ Characteristics: More than just a physical practice, Tantra types of Yoga delve into rituals, meditation, and the study of energies. It aims to weave together various yoga practices to connect with the divine.
☑️ Target Audience: Those in pursuit of inner peace and spiritual purification.
☑️ Characteristics: Often referred to as the yoga of awareness, its practices cleanse the body of negative emotions, often done in solitude. Kundalini incorporates breathing techniques, mantras (chanting), and mudras (specific hand and finger positions).
☑️ Target Audience: Ideal for beginners and those seeking a foundational understanding of yoga.
☑️ Characteristics: Hatha is a broad term that encompasses various types of yoga styles, focusing on physical postures. It’s often slow-paced, emphasizing breathing, meditation, and basic postures, providing a solid foundation for other yoga practices.
☑️ Target Audience: Suitable for those who appreciate a structured and challenging routine.
☑️ Characteristics: Ashtanga involves a specific sequence of postures synchronized with the breath. It’s a rigorous style that follows the same series of poses and is known for its dynamic, continuous flow.
☑️ Target Audience: Ideal for novices and those aiming to boost stamina and achieve equilibrium.
☑️ Characteristics: This yoga style emphasizes meticulousness and precision in each pose. The focus is on perfect alignment and often involves holding postures for extended durations to fortify the body and attain balance. Iyengar yoga incorporates various props like blocks, belts, and blankets, making it accessible for beginners.
☑️ Target Audience: Suitable for beginners and those aiming for weight loss.
☑️ Characteristics: Bikram sessions involve basic Hatha yoga postures, but the unique aspect is the environment: the room is heated to approximately 40°C with a minimum humidity of 40%. This setting enhances muscle flexibility and relaxation during the session.
☑️ Target Audience: Those who enjoy dynamic movement synchronized with breath.
☑️ Characteristics: Often called “flow yoga”, Vinyasa involves sequences where postures are linked with breath. It offers a balance of strength, flexibility, and endurance.
☑️ Target Audience: Tailored for seasoned yogis who crave rigorous workouts.
☑️ Characteristics: An offshoot of Ashtanga yoga, it’s gaining traction among fitness enthusiasts. This dynamic practice demands high stamina and physical fitness. The sequence’s tempo is crucial, leading to enhanced muscle strength and better cardiorespiratory health.
☑️ Target Audience: Those seeking self-awareness, meditation, and deep relaxation.
☑️ Characteristics: Kripalu emphasizes the alignment of body, mind, and spirit. It’s a compassionate approach, encouraging practitioners to move at their own pace, listen to their bodies, and accept where they are without judgment.
☑️ Target Audience: Perfect for individuals who appreciate prolonged stretches and seek inner tranquility.
☑️ Characteristics: A contemporary yoga style rooted in Taoist philosophy, which revolves around the balance between yin and yang energies. The practice not only aims to harmonize these energies but also relates them to specific body tissues, guiding the exercises. Similar to Iyengar, poses are held for durations, sometimes up to 5 minutes.
☑️ Target Audience: Those who thrive in high-temperature environments and seek detoxification.
☑️ Characteristics: Practiced in a heated room, Hot Yoga promotes sweating, which aids in detoxification. The warmth increases flexibility and can help in muscle relaxation, making it easier to delve deeper into postures.
☑️ Target Audience: Suitable for all levels, especially those intrigued by a fusion of yoga and aerial arts.
☑️ Characteristics: Also termed as aero yoga, it involves executing yoga postures using a specialized hammock. This prop aids in joint relief and evokes a sense of weightlessness. Beginners start with ground-touching poses, gradually transitioning to fully airborne postures.
☑️ Target Audience: Individuals aiming for facial rejuvenation without surgical interventions.
☑️ Characteristics: A series of exercises targeting facial muscles. Regular practice can enhance muscle tone, reduce signs of aging, and improve blood circulation in the face.
☑️ Target Audience: Suitable for those with mobility issues or those who spend long hours seated.
☑️ Characteristics: Adapts traditional types of yoga poses so they can be done with the aid of a chair, catering to individuals with physical restrictions. It promotes flexibility, strength, and body awareness.
☑️ Target Audience: Perfect for individuals needing relaxation and stress relief.
☑️ Characteristics: Restorative yoga involves holding poses for extended periods using props like bolsters, blankets, and blocks. The aim is deep relaxation, allowing the body to heal and rejuvenate. It’s more about “being” than “doing” and can help alleviate physical and mental fatigue.
Vital to Remember
It’s vital to remember that all types of yoga and their benefits, unlike conventional fitness regimens, are not a race.
It’s about investing time in oneself, evolving at a steady pace, gradual yet powerful.
Further, you could call yoga medicine as it serves as a salve for the bustling chaos of everyday life.
The stress, the anxiety, and the endless worries that grip us are instantly put at bay when absorbed in yogic practice.
Remember, every time you step onto your mat, every time you flow from one posture to another, every moment you dedicate to your practice, you’re not merely exercising, but participating in an age-old practice that nurtures the human spirit at its core.
At Lost Yogi, we welcome you to embark on this rewarding journey and rediscover yourself.
Join us and let the magic of yoga unfold!