What Are the 6 Most Popular Types of Yoga?

In today’s fast-paced, stress-filled world, it’s no wonder that the popularity of yoga is on the rise.

If you have decided to begin a yoga practice and started to do some research, you will quickly realize there are many different yoga types. How do you know which option is the best for you? Let’s explore the most popular types of yoga and their benefits.

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the official definition of Yoga is it is a system of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes, meditation, but often practiced independently especially in Western cultures to promote physical and emotional well-being. It’s no wonder this ancient form of movement that goes back more than 5,000 years is on the rise.

Regardless of the type of yoga you practice, the list of benefits is expansive. A few of these benefits include increased flexibility, increased muscle strength, improved blood flow and bone health, and reduced stress. These are just a few of the many benefits of a regular yoga practice.

1. Hatha Yoga


Hatha yoga is the most common and popular type of yoga that is offered in most gyms across the United States. This yoga practice includes movement, breathwork, and mediation. With a focus on basic poses, most beginners start their practice with Hatha yoga.

By definition, Hatha yoga is a series of poses that teach students to focus on their breath and meditation. The other draw to Hatha yoga for beginners is the slower pace as you transition through the poses. Unlike other forms of yoga, Hatha yoga is normally at a slower pace to allow focus on aligning the breath with movement. The benefits of Hatha yoga are reduced stress, improved balance, and improved concentration and focus.

2. Vinyasa Yoga


If you are a more experienced yogi, Vinyasa yoga may be a better fit. Although this practice is similar to Hatha yoga, it is normally done at a quicker pace. This practice is a great method for active and restless individuals who are looking for more of a challenge.

Vinyasa yoga connects poses (asanas) with deep breaths (pranayama) in a series of flowing sequences of movement. Vinyasa literally means “breath-synchronized movement.” The quicker pace of this practice is because there are no breaks between poses.

During the class, you will flow from one pose to the next. Vinyasa includes many of the same benefits as Hatha yoga, as well as, improved cardiovascular health, increased strength, and lost weight.

3. Kundalini Yoga


If you are looking for more of a spiritual practice, Kundalini could be the best option for you. This practice is easier physically. Due to the use of simpler poses, the participants are able to focus on clearing their minds and finding inner peace.

Kundalini is an exceptional practice for those who are looking to connect with their inner self. This form of yoga involves singing and chanting, as well as breathwork and repetitive poses. The goal is to activate Kundalini energy or shakti. This energy is said to be located in the base of the spine. A unique quality of a Kundalini yoga class is that it is common for Kundalini practitioners and participants to wear all white.

This is because it is believed that white will ward off negative energy during the class. It will come as no surprise that the list of benefits from Kundalini includes lower blood pressure and improved mood. Deep breathwork also improves lung capacity, digestion, and metabolism.

4. Ashtanga Yoga


If your goal is weight loss with stress reduction, Ashtanga Yoga is a great place to begin your practice. It is one of the most physically challenging forms of yoga. The goal of this practice is to create heat within the body to aid in cleansing and detoxification.

Ashtanga is more of an individualized practice. Students will be taught a series of movements and then instructed to move through them at their own pace with instructor guidance. In this yoga class, you will be directed to work through the movements, focusing on your physical endurance while you clear your mind. Ashtanga yoga is known as the yoga of warriors.

In effect, the benefits of this practice are increased strength and flexibility with improved body awareness and control.

5. Iyengar Yoga


Yoga is not always intensely physical or mentally challenging. For those who have suffered an injury or not used to engaging in physical activity, Iyengar yoga is available in many areas. This type of yoga is focused on improving posture by focusing on the alignment of the spine.

The practice of Iyengar yoga moves at a much slower pace with postures held for at least a minute each. Also, supplemental tools such as blocks, elastics, or blankets can be used to help support the body while it strengthens.

The goal of Iyengar yoga is to focus on the structural alignment of the body. Improved posture, balance, and strength are just a few of the many benefits of a regular practice of this type of yoga.

6. Bikram Yoga


Bikram yoga is commonly known as ‘hot yoga’ and can be extremely intense. This practice is a great option for students who are looking for detoxification and weight loss. During a Bikram yoga class, you will flow through a series of 26 poses within a heated room (approximately 104 degrees Fahrenheit).

This will be the sweatiest of all of the practices we have discussed. Light clothing is recommended due to this detoxification, as well as coming to class well hydrated. Due to the intensity, this type of yoga may not be for everyone.

If you are able to handle the heat, the benefits are expansive including detoxification of the body and organs and nourishment of the skin.



In the world of yoga, there is something for everyone. And due to its rising popularity, it has also become easier than ever to find a practice that’s perfect for your lifestyle.

The beautiful part is that you can now begin to learn the foundations of yoga at your own pace in the comfort of your own home. YouTube is filled with options for every yoga type and skill level.

Enjoy whichever practice you chose…



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