The amazing thing about yoga is that it can be adapted to suit all sorts of unique themes, intentions, and physical abilities. Yoga is quite literally for anyone and everyone.
The adaptability of yoga has inspired some pretty unusual style trends. If you thought hot yoga was as weird as it gets, just wait until you hear about all the other weird ways to do yoga!
Many yogis are aware of the benefits of Om chanting, which involves using the voice to help with staying present and to promote healing. Laughter yoga is another form of yoga that uses the voice, involving intentional laughter throughout the whole practice.
Those who practice believe that intentional laughter can provide the same mind and body benefits that spontaneous laughter does. It’s best done in a class with others because laughter is contagious, which makes it feel more natural.
Dogs + yoga = doga. That’s right, doga is yoga with your dog! According to a NY Times article that featured the trend, doga involves a combination of massaging and meditation with gentles stretches for both dogs and their owners.
The idea behind it is to start off doing yoga at home like normal and then as the dog gets curious, yogis can invite their canine companion to join them. But don’t worry — there’s no forcing Fido into poses that humans do. Instead, the practice is kept gentle and designed for a dog’s body to promote dog-owner bonding and oneness.
Horse lovers, take note! If you really want to challenge your balance, you might be interested in seeing how well you’d do at holding tree pose or a full wheel on the back of a horse.
Horseback yoga isn’t actually all that new, but it’s rare. It’s really only taught privately by instructors who know what they’re doing at some retreat destinations.
Silent Disco Yoga
If your typical yoga environment seems like it could use an upgrade in decor and ambiance, perhaps a silent disco class could be the weird new yoga environment to put yourself in. Silent disco yoga has you in a dark room where everyone wears a pair of colorful headphones that light up.
All sound from outside is blocked so you only hear the yoga instructor leading the class, combined with music (mixed by a live DJ of course). The headphones help minimize distraction and support yogis to connect closer with the instructor and themselves.
Standup Paddleboard Yoga
Lastly, another very interesting yoga trend designed to challenge your balance and get you outdoors is standup paddleboard yoga. Yogis take their practice to the pool, lake, river, or ocean on 10 to 12-foot boards to use the fluid movement of calm waters as an extra challenge with various poses.
Besides having to just stay balanced on the board, the spontaneous change of current adds another layer of difficulty to it. There’s no room for perfectionism and fast-paced movement here — super slow movement and lots of patience is the name of the game with this one!
Which one would you try first? These unusual yoga styles certainly aren’t for every yogi, but it’s certainly intriguing to become aware of just how incredibly adaptable yoga really can be.
Photo (edited) via Mike Lewinski