By Jana Taylor
You may have realized there is more than one “style” of yoga, but maybe you didn’t realize there are actually dozens! Just like ice cream, there is a flavor for everyone, and the possibilities are almost endless. But what about yoga styles that are slower-paced and a little less rigorous for beginners, people who have special physical needs, or even past injuries? We’ve got some great choices:
Hatha Yoga: Hatha is a general category that encompasses many different yoga styles and is probably the most common form of yoga out there. If you enter a Hatha Yoga class, it may vary widely from one place to the next because it is such a broad category. That being said, it is best suited to beginners as these classes tend to be a little slower paced and tend to include breathing techniques along with the movements. When considering a Hatha Yoga class, especially if you have specific physical challenges, it’s always wise to call the studio prior to attending to understand what it may entail.
Iyengar Yoga: This style is a variation of Hatha Yoga and was founded by B.K.S. Iyengar. It focuses primarily on the subtleties of each movement. Poses are held for a long time, and often props are used to help students perfect their form and go deeper into the pose in a safe manner. This yoga is slower paced but will definitely be a workout. This style is ideal for people who like to work slower and take their time.
Viniyoga™: This is a specialized yoga type that will meet you where you are in this moment, and it allows you to work at your own pace. It is highly adapted and individualized to each student. This is great for people who have specific physical needs.
Yin Yoga: Yin Yoga is slower-paced yoga with many seated postures. Postures can be held for long periods of time, sometimes up to five minutes! Yin can also be a meditative yoga practice that helps you find inner peace. Yin Yoga focuses on the connective tissues around your joints, which may be very therapeutic. It encourages relaxation and patience. The classes are generally relaxed, and you let gravity do most of the work.
Prenatal Yoga: This one is just as you would think, great for moms-to-be. It supports women both emotionally and physically. With special attention on breathing, holding poses, pelvic floor work, restorative poses, and working on core strength, Prenatal Yoga can help you become more fit during and after pregnancy.
Restorative Yoga: This one is great for winding down and calming your thoughts. Body relaxation is the overall concept. You will spend a longer time (up to 5 minutes) in fewer poses (maybe only 5 or 6). Many poses are modified to make them easier to hold. Props are also used frequently to make things easier and more relaxing.
Jana Taylor is a staff writer for Peaceful Mountain.