types of yoga styles|yogi surprise

Which of The Most Popular Types of Yoga Is the Best Fit For You?

There are so many types of yoga, it can feel beyond overwhelming

You gotta love how many interpretations there are and all of the various ways we can enjoy and explore yoga. I was really blown away as a new student when I began to delve into just how many schools, styles, and types of yoga there were to choose from. I took the trial and error approach before landing on Vinyasa as my jam.

Luckily we don't have to choose just one style. But most of us determine a preference and pursue it with fervent ardor. Below is a list of the most popular types of yoga and the pertinent deets you need to know.


7 types of yoga commonly loved and practiced

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga technically falls under the umbrella of Vinyasa, but it's a set series of postures broken down into primary series, second series, and four advanced series. A set series means you'll do the sequence in the same order every single time.  Ashtanga centers around the sun salutations and it's a rigorous physical practice.

Ashtanga-lovers are often equated to the Type-A personality as lovers of discipline, hard work, and perfectionism.  The further a practitioner gets into this practice, the more wild and complicated the poses become. If that sounds like your bag, Ashtanga might be the perfect style for you.

Vinyasa Yoga

After my first Vinyasa class, I left feeling such a sense of joy because it was so much FUN. Vinyasa means one pose linked to another by breath. That provides tons of room for creative and dynamic flows that will get your heart rate up and stretch and build every muscle, ligament, and tendon in your body.

Vinyasa tends to appeal to the athletic yogi who appreciates creativity and variety. And there's always killer music playing to help the whole experience feel a bit like a dance party.

Hatha Yoga

Technically, Hatha yoga is the umbrella term for all types of yoga that involve movement. But what you can expect from a Hatha class is a slower pace and holding basic standing and seated postures for at least several breaths if not minutes.

Hatha is great for beginners and for those who are looking to stretch but not sweat. The focus isn't usually on building muscle but more on opening up and finding more space in the body.  If you're looking to keep it simple and leave class feeling refreshed and renewed, Hatha is a wonderful choice.

Bikram Yoga

The most controversial figure in the entire yoga realm is Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram yoga. Yet his 26 set posture series with long holds in a room set at a temperature of 106 degrees has prevailed as a very popular type of yoga practiced all over the world.

If you love building muscle and have the attitude of the hotter the class, the better, Bikram might be a perfect fit for you. And you don't want to have to use your hands to balance your body weight, the classic 26 posture series includes no arm balances. So if you're recovering from an injury to your hand, wrist, elbow, or shoulder, this practice is an option as you heal.

Hot Power Yoga

Of all the types of yoga, hot power yoga feels the most like a workout. Music pumping, room set to between 90 and 100 degrees,  and powerful, challenging movements leaving the practitioners drenched and happy as they leave class satisfied they worked their asses off. It's becoming increasingly more challenging to find non-hot classes as more and more students crave and seek out the heat.

Try hot power yoga if you love to exercise, sweating, and are invested in pushing yourself physically.

Yin Yoga

Gooey. That's the word that always comes to mind when I think of or practice Yin yoga. Yin postures are held for anywhere from 3-7 minutes and the aim is to get into the tight connective tissue called fascia. Postures that gently twist the spine, open the hips, shoulders, and hamstrings with the use of lots of props and a restorative approach are what Yin yoga exists to achieve.

Try Yin yoga if you need to slow things down and find more ease and space in your body and mind. It's a kind practice.

Kundalini Yoga

Kundalini yoga is a very interesting practice. And it's a little hard to describe because it's such a unique experience. There's various types of breath work, chanting, mantras, Ayurvedic practices, and moving subtle body energy to increase balance in the central nervous system and create a sense of well-being within.

Of all the popular types of yoga, this is the practice that is most likely going to stay with you well beyond the physical work. Try Kundalini if you're looking to ignite your spirit and work to empower and invigorate your mind.

The only way to really figure out the types of yoga that will work best for you is to try everything

We might be shying away from a particular practice because it's exactly what we need. Or maybe not, but the only way to know for sure is to give everything a try and not assume you won't enjoy it. The joy is in the delving into the unknown. There's so much out there to explore. Enjoy it.




Header image courtesy of Personal Trainer Academy


5 All Natural Ways to Detox Your Skin

5 All Natural Ways to Detox Your Skin

There are countless cosmetic skin care products and therapies out there that claim to have major detoxification and rejuvenation effects on the skin. But for those yogis who don’t have the time or money to indulge in expensive skin care treatments, some faster and simpler alternatives will suffice.

The truth is that you don’t need a fancy, expensive treatment to detox and improve the look of your skin. With just a few lifestyle changes you can do at home, at your yoga studio, or even when you’re on the road, you’ll be on your way to healthier skin sooner than you might think!


1. Refine Your Diet

When it comes to your skin, the phrase “you are what you eat” rings true. Start by cutting back on all processed foods, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners and possibly even dairy and gluten if you think you might be particularly sensitive to them. Seasonal vegetables like red cabbage, watercress, and beets are known to have a antioxidant properties that your skin craves. so stock up on them while they’re in season and get creative with some recipes!


2. Drink More Liquids

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all amount of water to aim for, but it never hurts to be more conscious about hydration since it will help rid the body and skin of toxins. Try herbal teas with antioxidant properties (like ginger) and anti-inflammatory properties (like chamomile). A squeeze of fresh lemon juice in your tea or in some warm water will also give your skin a healthy boost thanks to the high vitamin C content.


3. Practice Bikram Yoga

As the temperature continues to drop throughout the colder months, that hot yoga class will probably seem a lot more enticing—and that’s great news for your skin! Similar to the way sitting in a sauna helps the body detoxify itself through sweat, hot yoga offers the same effect. In fact, hot yoga may even enhance detoxification if there are certain twists and other detox-related poses integrated into the class session.


4. Try Ayurvedic Dry Brushing

Dry brushing the skin is an Ayurvedic practice that helps facilitate lymphatic cleansing and rids the body of cellular waste. As you brush away the dead skin skills, your skin will start to look brighter and healthier. Look for a body brushes with firm bristles online or in stores and plan to do your brushing in the morning before you jump in the shower—starting from your feet and working your way up your body using a gentle, circular motion.


5. Take More Baths With Epsom Salts

You may already know that an epsom salt bath can help soothe sore muscles, but the benefits actually extend beyond that to include detoxification. Epsom salts act as a toxin repellent, essentially flushing toxins out of your skin cells. Best of all, you can purchase epsom salts at almost any drugstore and add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for a relaxing aromatherapy effect. A full body epsom bath a few times a week throughout the autumn and winter months could do wonders for your skin!