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  • Writer's pictureAllyssa Rose

Different Styles of Yoga

Updated: Apr 8

Have you ever attended a yoga class at a club or a gym and saw '60 minute Vinyasa Yoga Class'- and then thought "oh yoga, vinnn-yass-a? okay sure lets go, even though you had absolutely no idea what that even meant but you new it was some kind of yoga so it had to be good? I have. I remember there was a time that I had no idea what Hatha, or Vinyasa, or any of the words that came before yoga meant. But- I went along with it because I enjoyed attending a class from time to time. Little did I know there was so many different Styles of Yoga!


Yoga class

My practice at the time was all over the place I had no idea what I was doing, the only pose name I new was Downward Facing Dog, and I would always find myself in an intermediate class, waiting for this torture to be over because I couldn't keep up.

If I had known what the difference between the styles meant I bet I would have really enjoyed and learned back then what I have learned now, and I would have really enjoyed my practice.


Well don't you worry babe, I got your back, here the most commonly used style of yoga, and while we are at it I'm just going to throw in asana- meaning pose or posture and pranayama- meaning breath control in yoga Sanskrit. These two words are used very frequently in yoga and it is extremely helpful to know what they mean. So let's begin:


 

Hatha Yoga-This style of yoga is a slower transition through the asanas, really focusing on alignment and deep breathing to achieve a meditative state. This is probably one of the most common What style of yoga we see in our classes today. As a beginner- the slower pace and directions can make it easier to learn postures and practice your breathing through the poses before moving onto more of a faster pace style or sequence. Some benefits to Hatha yoga include increased strength, balance, flexibility and concentration.

Downward Facing Dog

What should I wear?

In a Hatha style yoga class, comfort and flexibility are key. Here are some suggestions for what to wear:


Yoga Pants or Leggings: Opt for stretchy, breathable yoga pants or leggings that allow for ease of movement. Make sure they're not too loose or too tight, so you can move comfortably through different poses.


Yoga Top or Tank: Choose a comfortable top that allows you to move freely and doesn't ride up during poses. Moisture-wicking fabric is a plus to help you stay dry and comfortable throughout your practice.


Sports Bra: For women, a supportive sports bra that offers enough coverage and comfort is essential for a distraction-free practice.


Layers: Depending on the temperature of the yoga studio, you may want to wear layers that you can easily remove if you get too warm during the practice.


Remember, the most important thing is to wear clothing that allows you to move freely and comfortably, and that makes you feel confident and focused during your yoga practice.


 

Vinyasa- This is by far my favorite style of of yoga- often referred to as Vinyasa flow because it is just that. It is a beautiful smooth movement transitioning through the asanas, while synchronizing the breath with the movement. Benefits of this style of practice include increased muscle strength, endurance, flexibility, better respiratory and cardiovascular function and the list goes on. Definitely more of a fitness style of yoga, getting the heart rate up with working all the muscle groups to tight and tone.


What should I wear?

For a Vinyasa yoga class, which involves flowing sequences of poses coordinated with breath, you'll want to wear clothing that allows for maximum movement and comfort. Here's what to consider:


Yoga Leggings or Shorts: Opt for stretchy, breathable leggings or shorts that allow for unrestricted movement. Make sure they are comfortable and stay in place as you flow through different poses and transitions.


Yoga Top or Tank: Choose a lightweight, moisture-wicking top that allows for easy movement and breathability. Tops with built-in bras or support can be convenient, especially for women.


Sports Bra: A supportive sports bra is essential for women to ensure comfort and proper support during dynamic movements.


Layers: Vinyasa classes can generate heat as you move through sequences, so consider wearing layers that you can easily remove as you warm up. A lightweight, breathable jacket or long-sleeve shirt can be handy for the beginning of class or for the cool-down.


 

Ashtanga- This style is very similar to Vinyasa, it is high energy and physically challenging. Ashtanga yoga is also always sequenced the same, with the poses always following in the same order and linking every movement to the breath. Ashtanga follows six primary series; primary which is more beginner friendly- intermediate followed by four advanced series. This style of yoga is usually teacher led or could be structured as a self-led practice.

Ashtanga is another one of my favorite styles of yoga, it is challenging to the mind, body and soul. The whole design of these primary series are meant to purify the body and cultivate a deeper connection to yourself through the asana practice.


What should I wear?

You'll want to wear clothing that allows for ease of movement, provides support, and keeps you comfortable throughout the dynamic practice. Here are some recommendations:


Yoga Shorts or Leggings: Ashtanga yoga involves a lot of movement and sometimes intense physical exertion, so choose stretchy, form-fitting yoga shorts or leggings that allow for unrestricted movement. Shorts should be long enough to provide coverage during various poses.


Fitted Yoga Top or Tank: Opt for a moisture-wicking top that fits snugly but allows for comfortable movement. Tops with built-in bras or additional support are beneficial, especially for women, to ensure proper support during dynamic sequences.


Sports Bra: A supportive sports bra is essential for women to provide adequate support and comfort during the practice, especially during challenging poses and transitions.


Minimal Layers: Ashtanga yoga classes can generate heat as you move through the series of poses, so avoid wearing too many layers. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that wick away moisture and help regulate body temperature.


By wearing clothing that allows for freedom of movement, provides support where needed, and keeps you comfortable throughout the practice, you can fully immerse yourself in the dynamic flow of Ashtanga yoga.


 

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini- This style of yoga uses a mixture of movement, breathing, and sound followed by a relaxation, and meditation. Kundalini is commonly known for its spiritual benefits- the purpose of this practice is meant to 'uncoil' and active the energy which flows through us and usually begins and ends with a mantra,. Some benefits include relaxation, mental clarity increased flexibility and will promote calmness and inner peace in the body.


What should I wear?

When dressing for your Kundalini practice you'll want to wear comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement and promotes relaxation and inner focus. Here are some suggestions for what to wear:


Loose-Fitting Pants or Leggings: Opt for comfortable, loose-fitting pants or leggings that allow for unrestricted movement and breathability. Traditional Kundalini yoga practitioners often wear white clothing, as it is believed to enhance the aura and create a sense of purity and openness, but it's not a strict requirement.


Tunic or T-Shirt: Choose a loose-fitting tunic or t-shirt made from breathable, lightweight fabric. Again, white is commonly worn in Kundalini yoga classes, but you can also choose other light, soothing colors that promote a sense of calmness.


Comfortable Layers: Kundalini yoga classes may involve periods of stillness and relaxation, so consider bringing layers such as a shawl or light sweater that you can easily put on or remove as needed to stay comfortable throughout the practice.


Bare Feet or White Socks: Kundalini yoga is typically practiced barefoot to promote a connection with the earth, but if you prefer to wear socks for warmth or hygiene reasons, consider wearing white socks to maintain the traditional aesthetic.


Head Covering (Optional): Some Kundalini practitioners choose to wear a head covering such as a white turban or headscarf during practice. This is not mandatory, but it is believed to help contain energy and maintain a meditative state.


Ultimately, the most important thing is to wear clothing that allows you to move freely, promotes relaxation, and supports your practice of Kundalini yoga. Whether you choose to wear traditional white attire or opt for other soothing colors, prioritize comfort and mindfulness in your clothing choices.


 

Restorative Yoga- This style of yoga is very calm and slow paced, it is meant to promote healing in the body. These classes are usually only sequenced with 5-8 poses that can be help up to 20 minutes each posture. Restorative yoga is meant to completely relax the body, so the use of props like blocks, pillows, blankets and bolsters are used to ensure the body is supported and comfortable.

This style of yoga was developed for students recovering from injury or illness and is also a beautiful way to bring balance to a fast paced, stressful modern lifestyle.


What should I wear?

For a restorative yoga practice, where the focus is on deep relaxation and gentle stretching to promote rest and rejuvenation, you'll want to wear comfortable clothing that allows you to fully relax and move freely. Here are some suggestions:


Comfortable, Loose-Fitting Clothing: Choose soft, loose-fitting pants, leggings, or shorts that allow for unrestricted movement and comfort. Look for fabrics like cotton or bamboo that feel gentle against the skin and promote relaxation.


Relaxed-Fit Top: Opt for a comfortable, breathable top such as a t-shirt or tank top that allows for easy movement and doesn't restrict your breath. Choose a relaxed fit that won't constrict your chest or abdomen during deep breathing exercises.


Layers: Depending on the temperature of the yoga studio or your own body, consider wearing layers that you can easily add or remove to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the practice. A light sweater or shawl can be useful for staying warm during relaxation poses.


Warm Socks and/or Sweater: Restorative yoga often involves long periods of lying down in relaxation poses, so it's important to stay warm and cozy. Consider bringing a pair of warm socks and a sweater or shawl to help you stay comfortable during these restful moments.


Remember, the goal of restorative yoga is to promote deep relaxation and release tension from the body and mind. Choose clothing that helps you feel comfortable, supported, and able to fully surrender into the practice.


 

Yin - This style of yoga provides a slower and more meditative stretch for the body with its who purpose to target the deeper connective tissues, ligaments, joints and fascia. In Yin yoga philosophy it is believed that by using these specific static postures we can remove any blocked Chi or energy in the body while

Childs Pose

using a safe way to apply stress to the joints. Yin poses are usually held for up to 5 minutes and most of the postures are done down on the mat. Some benefits of Yin include decrease anxiety and stress, increases circulation and flexibility and can help improve the mobility in the body and joint.


What should I wear?

For a Yin yoga practice, which involves holding passive poses for an extended period of time to target deep connective tissues and promote relaxation and flexibility, you'll want to wear clothing that allows for ease of movement, comfort, and warmth. Here are some suggestions:


Yoga Leggings or Loose-Fitting Pants: Choose comfortable, stretchy leggings or loose-fitting pants that allow for unrestricted movement and flexibility. Look for soft, breathable fabrics that feel comfortable against your skin.


Comfortable Top: Opt for a soft, comfortable top such as a t-shirt or tank top that allows for easy movement and doesn't restrict your breath. Choose a relaxed fit that allows you to fully relax into each pose.


Layers: Yin yoga classes are often practiced in a slightly cooler environment to help facilitate relaxation and release. Consider wearing layers that you can easily add or remove to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the practice. A light sweater or shawl can be useful for staying warm during longer holds.


Warm Socks and Sweater: Since Yin yoga involves holding poses for an extended period of time, it's important to stay warm and comfortable. Bring a pair of warm socks and a sweater or shawl to help you stay cozy during the practice.


Remember, the focus of Yin yoga is on deep relaxation and releasing tension from the body and mind. Choose clothing that helps you feel comfortable, supported, and able to fully surrender into each pose.


 

Iyengar - This style is meant to increase muscular strength, flexibility, stamina, mental clarity and concentration. It's main focus is alignment and breath connection. This style uses props like blankets, straps, blocks, chairs, etc. to help understand and achieve the key alignments for each posture. This is another slower paced practice with longer held asanas to allow the body to relax and align.


What should I wear?

For an Iyengar style yoga practice, which emphasizes precision, alignment, and the use of props to support the body in various poses, it's important to wear clothing that allows for ease of movement, provides coverage, and enables the instructor to assess your alignment. Here are some suggestions:


Fitted Yoga Pants or Leggings: Opt for fitted yoga pants or leggings that allow the instructor to see your alignment clearly. Look for pants with a bit of stretch that allow for unrestricted movement and flexibility. Capri-length or full-length pants are both suitable options.


Fitted Yoga Top: Choose a fitted yoga top such as a tank top or t-shirt that allows for easy movement and provides coverage during various poses. Avoid overly loose or baggy tops that may obscure your alignment.


Supportive Sports Bra: For women, a supportive sports bra is essential to provide adequate support and comfort during the practice, especially when holding poses for extended periods.


Layers (Optional): Depending on the temperature of the yoga studio, you may want to wear layers that you can easily add or remove to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the practice. A lightweight, breathable jacket or long-sleeve shirt can be handy for warming up or cooling down.

Remember, the goal of Iyengar yoga is to achieve precise alignment and balance in each pose, so choose clothing that allows the instructor to see your body clearly and provide appropriate guidance and adjustments. Prioritize comfort, flexibility, and breathability in your clothing choices for an optimal practice experience.


 

This information can be extremely helpful and important to know before you sign up for a class, or drop in for a quick workout or to know what your in for when you are on the journey to find the style that more fits your needs and personality. Everybody is different and it is okay to like one more than the other, or maybe you enjoy to mix it up like myself with various styles. Now go forth, roll out your mat and have a beautiful practice- Namaste


Connect with me on Instagram or Facebook for more on yoga, wellness, mindfulness and more. - I would love to hear from you. If you have a moment take the poll below on your favorite style of yoga- help me help you build the right content around your favorite style!



Love & Gratitude

Allyssa Rose


What is your Style of Yoga?

  • Hatha

  • Vinyasa

  • Ashtanga

  • Yin


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