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✅ Fact Checked
🧘 If you only got 30 seconds:
Have you decided to take up yoga, but you’re not sure which type of yoga will suit your needs best?
Read on to learn:
- how many types of yoga there are at the moment
- which yoga style to start with as a beginner (based on your goals)
- the best yoga poses for complete beginners.
1/3 How many types of yoga are there?
There are multiple styles of yoga out there, but there are around 13 yoga types that are the most common worldwide. Yoga is continuously evolving and hybrid creative yoga classes such as goat yoga, Agua yoga, Yoga Barre, and the like, keep emerging. Considering these new yoga forms, the number of yoga styles most likely exceeds 20.
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2/3 What is the easiest yoga for beginners?
Some yoga styles are strongly oriented toward building muscle, improving strength, and getting your heart rate up. Others are slower and flexibility-focused, combining gentle stretching with breathing practices and meditation.
Yoga newcomers often get recommended to start out their yoga journey with slower and gentler yoga styles that will help them learn the basic postures and alignment. Such styles include Hatha, Iyengar, Anusara, Viniyoga, Restorative, and Sivananda among others.
That being said, the type of yoga you choose as a beginner will depend on your goals and what you’re planning to get out of your practice. You might as well start out with physically intensive Power Yoga if you’re looking for a challenge.
3/3 What type of yoga a beginner should start with, based on different goals?
- I’m looking for a holistic practice for the body and mind. A Hatha for beginners class, Sivananda, Jivamukti Fundamentals class, and Kundalini yoga are just some of the yoga styles you might want to look into. All of them lace the physical practice of asana with breathing practice, spiritual teachings, and sometimes chanting. You will limber your body and mind at the same time.
- I’m looking for physical benefits mostly, but I’m new to exercise. Check out Iyengar and Anusara yoga styles. You will learn the basic yoga postures at a slow pace and will be encouraged to use a variety of yoga props to make the postures comfortable and accessible for your body.
- I’m looking for a physical challenge, though I’m already physically active. If you’re not new to exercise, you can start out with more challenging yoga styles such as Power, Hot Yoga/Bikram, Vinyasa, Ashtanga. These are ususally faster-paced classes, so it might take some time to learn and refine your yoga poses. That said, they will offer you a challenge that you’re looking for.
- I’m looking for stress relief mostly. Any type of yoga will help you lower your stress levels. However, Restorative yoga or Yin yoga are especially good at relaxing your body and relieving the built-up tension. If you want to pair stress relief with some gentle movement, go for Hatha, Iyengar, Sivandanda yoga.
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Which pose is best for beginners in yoga?
Yoga newbies should start with foundational yoga poses that often create the base for other, more advanced yoga asanas.
When we’re building a house, we’re not starting from the roof. Neither from the walls. First, we lay the firm foundation so that our house could withstand the toll of time and storms.
The same applies to our yoga practice. Before diving into more intricate yoga poses, both students and teachers have to analyze the foundation.
An example of such pose is Mountain, aka Tadasana. Tadasana is the basic asana that carries a ton of information about our body and mental state at the current moment:
- Does our spine display excessive curvature?
- Are there imbalances in the way we stand?
- Is one of your shoulders angled off to the side?
- Do we feel tense and keep scrunching the shoulders up to the ears?
These and many more factors will affect the form the body takes in more complicated poses.
Other foundational yoga poses for beginners include:
- Staff pose
- Seated Forward Bend
- Downward-Facing Dog pose
- Plank pose
- Standing Knee To Chest pose