Yoga Style

We are witnessing an era where Yoga is becoming increasingly adopted in the social order as a part of daily lives. Yoga unites the psyche and the body in a state of harmony and peaceful coexistence. The efficacy of yoga in managing stress and strain is well-supported by numerous studies, highlighting its value as an essential addition to our lifestyle.  With various types and popular styles of yoga available, you can select the style that corresponds to your individual objectives, considering the unique benefits and sequences offered by each.

You need to take a step in and try out popular Yoga styles before settling on what is suitable to your needs and concerns. But hold on, your level of fitness is a very important factor that should also be taken into account when selecting a yoga style. Finding a practice that aligns with your physical capabilities is important, allowing you to progress at your own pace while reaping the benefits of each yoga session.

Remember, yoga is a personal journey, and finding the right style that suits your unique requirements is essential.

Before enrolling for a Yoga class or starting on your own, this blog can serve as a guide and a resource for you to understand the fundamentals of each yoga style.

Consider it a journey of self-discovery and self-care, as you navigate through popular styles of Yoga and sequences.

Most Common Types Of Yoga Styles

There are many different yoga styles that can accommodate different skill levels and needs, whether you prefer physically rigorous yoga or a relaxing formation to simply unwind. 

The popular yoga styles practised worldwide are:

  1. Hatha Yoga
  2. Vinyasa Yoga
  3. Ashtanga Yoga
  4. Iyengar Yoga
  5. Bikram Yoga
  6. Kundalini Yoga
  7. Restorative Yoga
  8. Yin Yoga

The most commonly taught and widely practised yoga styles all have distinctive qualities and each one offers different experiences and beneficiaries. Depending on your yoga instructor, slight variations can also be observed in each yoga style. Thus, it is necessary to explore multiple yoga styles and experience different teaching methods before choosing your preferred approach. 

This approach will enrich your overall yoga journey, broaden your horizons, and encourage you to venture beyond your comfort zone.

Hatha Yoga Style

Hatha Yoga is a prominently practised Yoga style. 

It is a fusion of physical positions, or asanas, and breath-control methods, or pranayama.

The term “Hatha” was derived from two Sanskrit words, “ha” meaning sun and “tha” meaning moon.

It symbolizes the harmonious merging of two opposing forces. As mentioned above, the primary purpose of Hatha Yoga is to reestablish the balance between the body and mind through a combination of asanas and breathing techniques. Hatha Yoga classes involve various stationary postures, shifting movements, and relaxation techniques. 

This Yoga style further develops flexibility, strength, and equilibrium while cultivating mindfulness and promoting relaxation. It is adaptable enough to be practiced by anyone even if you are a beginner or an experienced yogi. Hatha Yoga strives to establish equilibrium and serenity within the individual by prioritizing posture alignment and mindful breathing. 

By regularly engaging in Hatha Yoga, you can not only boost your physical fitness but also enhance mental clarity, diminish stress, and sharpen your focus. Moreover, this Yoga style constructs a space for introspection and personal growth, enabling individuals to create deeper ties to themselves and nurture inner tranquillity. Hatha Yoga lays the groundwork for other popular Yoga styles and embraces a comprehensive approach to holistic well-being. 

It will definitely offer you a pathway towards attaining physical vitality, mental calmness, and an enhanced sense of equilibrium and harmony in all aspects of life.

Benefits Of Practicing Hatha Yoga Style

Let us now summarize the benefits offered by practising Hatha Yoga:

  • Improved flexibility, strength, and balance
  • Increased body awareness and mindfulness
  • Enhanced relaxation and stress reduction
  • Improved mental clarity and concentration
  • Promotes overall physical fitness
  • Cultivates a sense of inner peace and harmony
  • Supports better posture and alignment
  • Helps release tension and reduce muscle stiffness
  • Boosts energy levels and vitality
  • Can be practiced by individuals of all fitness levels

Vinyasa Yoga Style

Vinyasa Yoga, also called “flow yoga,” is a lively and stimulating practice that combines breath and movement. The term “vinyasa” refers to the intentional sequencing of poses that demonstrate the proper placement of each posture. Unlike other popular yoga styles that focus on individual poses, Vinyasa Yoga involves smoothly transitioning from one pose to the next while keeping your breath in sync. 

In terms of Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga is the polar opposite of it. 

Hatha classes focus on one pose at a time, with rest periods in between. Flow classes, on the other hand, connect poses to form a sequence. This dynamic and fluid form of yoga connects movement and breath, enabling you to change poses with ease, controlled by each inhalation and exhalation.

Vinyasa yoga is dynamic, which will test your body and promote the growth of muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness. You have the chance to discover their physical potential while embracing the present moment with each planned movement. Vinyasa yoga offers a platform for expression and exploration of ourselves in addition to its physical benefits. 

You can add your own distinctive style and creativity to the sequences while adhering to fundamental guidelines like alignment and breathing. This freedom of expression encourages self-discovery and authenticity both on and off the mat, facilitating a deeply personal and transformative experience.

As Vinyasa Yoga rejuvenates your spirit and leads you on a journey of self-discovery, embrace its transformative power. By going with the flow, you’ll discover endless possibilities and significantly improve your life.

Benefits Of Vinyasa Yoga Style

  • Increased strength and flexibility
  • Cardiovascular conditioning
  • Mind-body connection and mindfulness
  • Stress reduction
  • Creative expression
  • Improved focus and concentration

Ashtanga Yoga Style

What if you are on the lookout for a yoga style which is powerful and organized? Then you might want to opt for Ashtanga Yoga. Here the emphasis goes to steady breathing in time with each movement as you move through a series of postures. It is more like using your body and breathing to perform a choreographed dance routine.

This form of yoga is renowned for its physical rigour and can be considered as an alternative for your workout session. This yoga style will undoubtedly improve your physical fitness, flexibility, and strength with consistent practice. 

In yoga styles, the Ashtanga Yoga sequence is intended to produce internal heat and purify the body. 

It is separated into six series, each with a separate focus and level of difficulty, they are: 

  1. Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa)
  2. Intermediate Series (Nadi Shodhana)
  3. Advanced A Series (Sthira Bhaga)
  4. Advanced B Series (Nadi Shodhana)
  5. Advanced C Series (Sthira Bhaga)
  6. Advanced D Series (Sthira Bhaga)

Ashtanga Yoga is traditionally practised in a Mysore-style format, with students practising independently and at their own pace while receiving individualized instruction and adjustments from the teacher.

It promotes self-discipline, self-awareness, and a meditative state of mind. 

Benefits Of Ashtanga Yoga Style

  • Ashtanga Yoga builds strength and endurance.
  • Enhances flexibility and range of motion.
  • It provides a cardio workout, improving heart health and stamina.
  • It generates internal heat, detoxifying the body.
  • Improves mental focus and clarity.
  • Reduces stress, and promotes relaxation.
  • Fosters self-discipline and personal growth.
  • Improves alignment and posture, and reduces injury risk.
  • Boosts energy and rejuvenates.
  • Deepens spiritual connection and inner peace.

Iyengar Yoga Style

Did you know that there is a yoga style that includes props?

In Iyengar yoga, there is frequent use of props like blocks, straps, and bolsters. These simple yet useful aids are intended to support practitioners of all levels and body types, making the poses more accessible and comfortable.

Developed by the visionary B.K.S Iyengar, this Yoga style centres on accuracy, alignment, and the use of props to support the body in achieving proper posture. It is known for its attention to detail and emphasis on body awareness.

In Iyengar Yoga, the practice involves holding poses (asanas) for longer durations with an emphasis on correct alignment and muscular engagement. The practice of Iyengar Yoga aims to create balance and harmony in the body by developing strength, flexibility, and stability. 

It promotes body awareness, concentration, and a deep connection between the mind and body. Due to the exact positioning and inclusion of props during practice, Iyengar Yoga is frequently used therapeutically to assist people with physical limitations or injuries. A supporting block can help with finding stability and extension in a difficult standing pose by bringing the ground closer to your hands. 

Using a strap will guide your body into a deeper stretch, revealing new levels of flexibility. These supports act as your anchor, supporting your body as you work to achieve perfect alignment and muscular engagement.

 Benefits Of Iyengar Yoga Style

  • Improved alignment and posture
  • Increased strength and flexibility
  • Therapeutic benefits for physical limitations or injuries
  • Use of props for accessibility and support
  • Cultivation of concentration and focus
  • Stress reduction and relaxation
  • Promotion of overall physical and mental well-being

Bikram Yoga Style

How about stepping into the fiery allure of Bikram Yoga?

This yoga style will leave you sweating, stretching, and soaring to new heights of physical and mental well-being. Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga invented by Bikram Choudhury that gained more recognition in the 1970s. 

Here, you have to get into a room with a temperature of 106 degrees. The intensity of it burns through your muscles and promotes detoxification through sweating. You’ll feel toxins leaving your body with each drop of sweat, leaving you feeling revitalized and refreshed.

The elegance of Bikram Yoga is revealed in this heated haven. The heated environment in Bikram Yoga is intended to mimic the climate of India, where the practice originated. You will also learn a carefully crafted sequence of 26 postures and two energizing breathing exercises as you set out on this thrilling journey, pushing your limits and elevating your level of physical ability.

The 90-minute class follows a fixed sequence of postures, each designed to target specific muscle groups and body systems. Bikram Yoga is characterized by its disciplined approach, with the same series of poses performed in the same order in every class. It is a combo of sweat and perseverance, building not only physical strength but also mental resilience.

Each posture is held for a specific duration, allowing practitioners to build stamina and this grounds the mind while nurturing a profound sense of self-awareness. The heat is believed to help prevent injuries, increase circulation, and facilitate deeper stretching. Bikram Yoga is often seen as physically demanding, requiring mental focus and perseverance. 

It aims to improve overall physical fitness, increase body awareness, and promote a sense of mental clarity and stress reduction. Embrace the challenge, unleash your inner fire, and emerge from your practice all transformed with this popular style of Yoga.

Benefits Of Bikram Yoga Style

  • Increased flexibility and improved range of motion
  • Enhanced strength and muscular endurance
  • Detoxification through sweating
  • Improved cardiovascular health and circulation
  • Stress reduction and mental relaxation
  • Increased body awareness and mindfulness
  • Potential weight loss and calorie burn
  • Improved posture and alignment
  • Enhanced focus and concentration
  • Increased stamina and endurance

Kundalini Yoga Style

You can go through a transformational journey entering the mystical world of Kundalini Yoga where ancient wisdom meets dynamic practice. This spiritual style of yoga holds the key to unlocking the dormant energy within, known as Kundalini, leading to profound spiritual awakening and personal growth.

At the heart of Kundalini Yoga lies the awakening of the Kundalini energy, a force believed to reside at the base of your spine. Through dedicated practice, this dormant energy inside you will be coaxed to rise, travelling through the seven chakras, or energy centres, within the body. 

As this divine energy ascends, it unlocks a wellspring of transformation and enlightenment, making way for a spiritual awakening. This yoga style is a comprehensive system that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, chanting, meditation, and mantra repetition.

You know Meditation and may have even practised it. Meditation is the pinnacle of Kundalini Yoga, which takes you on an inward journey of self-discovery. Through focused attention and inner stillness, you transcend the limitations of the physical realm and connect with your true essence. 

In this profound state of meditation, the Kundalini energy rises, illuminating the path to higher consciousness. By taking on each position, you arouse the inactive Kundalini energy by drawing on the enormous reserves of inner strength and vitality.

Benefits Of Kundalini Yoga

  • Increased energy and vitality
  • Improved mental clarity and focus
  • Enhanced emotional well-being and stress reduction
  • Strengthened nervous and glandular systems
  • Increased flexibility and physical strength
  • Deepened spiritual connection and self-awareness
  • Improved sleep patterns and relaxation
  • Increased creativity and intuition
  • Balancing and harmonizing the energy centres (chakras) in the body

The practice of this style of Yoga can be overwhelming and should be done correctly. 

It is recommended to learn from a qualified teacher to ensure safe and effective guidance.

Restorative Yoga Style

Restorative Yoga, a calming and revitalizing popular style of yoga that takes you to a realm of profound restoration and relaxation, you can escape into a peaceful paradise of bliss.

The emphasis in this gentle form of yoga is mastering the art of letting go and submitting to a state of total tranquillity.

Picture yourself relaxing into plush poses, time becomes your friend as you relax into each pose. This allows you to spend anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes in peaceful stillness.  This long period of time gives your body the room it needs to completely relax and let go of built-up tension.

There will also be the gentle support of the props cultivating a deep sense of ease as well. Rather than straining and pushing, you give in to each pose’s embrace. Gravity and gentle prodding lead your body into a state of complete surrender. 

Your nervous system gradually comes to a state of relaxation as your mind escapes the non-stop hustle and bustle. You will feel that your tension and stress starting to melt away as you are covered in a calming sense of peacefulness by activating the body’s natural healing mechanisms. Restorative Yoga is a sanctuary for self-care.

It is a yoga style that is a refuge where you can unplug from the obligations of everyday life and reconnect with your inner essence. It serves as a reminder to take things slowly, enjoy the here and now, and allow yourself to relax.

Benefits Of Restorative Yoga Style

  • Deep relaxation and stress relief
  • Improved sleep quality and patterns
  • Enhanced physical and mental well-being
  • Release of physical and mental tension
  • Increased body awareness and mindfulness
  • Balancing the nervous system
  • Improved digestion and circulation
  • Boosted immune function
  • Support for recovery from illness or injury

Yin Yoga Style

In the fast-paced world we live in, finding moments of tranquillity and inner calm can be really difficult.

This is where Yin Yoga can be chosen. Imagine a yoga practice that not only targets your physical body but also nurtures your mind and soul. The foundation of Yin Yoga is based on the Taoist philosophical concepts of Yin and Yang. 

While Yin stands for stillness and passive energy, Yang symbolizes movement and active energy. In the context of yoga, Yang practices, such as Vinyasa or Power Yoga, concentrate on developing strength and flexibility through vigorous movement. But when it comes to Yin Yoga the focus is on the deeper tissues such as the ligaments and tendons, these are rarely addressed in more active forms of yoga.

It involves holding passive yoga poses for an extended duration, typically ranging from 1 to 5 minutes or longer, allowing for a deep stretch and gentle release. The practice primarily focuses on sitting or leaning back postures that apply gentle pressure to these tissues to improve their flexibility and overall health.

In Yin Yoga, the emphasis is on surrendering into each pose and finding stillness, rather than actively working the muscles or seeking flexibility. The practice is often characterized by a relaxed and meditative atmosphere, encouraging introspection and mindfulness.

Benefits of practising Yin Yoga Style

  • Yin Yoga poses encourages practitioners to remain in a pose with a sense of acceptance and ease.
  • Deep breathing is an integral part of Yin Yoga that cultivates relaxation, focus, and a sense of presence during the practice.
  • Most Yin Yoga poses are performed on the floor with blankets and support for the body to maintain comfort throughout the extended holds.
  • Yin Yoga focuses on the areas that are typically not targeted in more dynamic yoga styles. This yoga style aims to increase circulation, improve joint mobility, and enhance overall flexibility.


When embraced as a way of life, yoga fosters overall well-being. The physical, mental, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of our body, the mind and the soul. We have explored the key features and benefits of the 8 most common types of popular yoga styles: Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Kundalini, Restorative, and Yin Yoga in this blog.

By going through it, you have gone through each popular style of yoga that offers relaxation, mindfulness and physical fitness your body will be thankful for.

Do remember to listen to your body, practice each yoga style safely, and respect your limitations. 

Embark on a journey of the time-honoured tradition of yoga with Hidden Manthra.

👉 Read: Introduction to Yoga

👉 Read: Classical Yoga

👉 Read: Preclassical yoga

Yoga For Complete Beginners

Dr. Arundeep M

Assistant Professor (BAMS, RYT, MD)

Dr. Arundeep M, a dedicated Ayurveda Doctor with a profound passion for holistic wellness. He is also a Certified Yoga Trainer, making him well-versed in both ancient traditions to inspire a healthier and more balanced world. As an Assistant Professor at Yenepoya (Deemed to be University), Dr. Arundeep is on a transformative journey to spread the wisdom of Yoga and Ayurveda, unlocking the secrets to a harmonious life. Join him on this empowering path and embrace the power of these ancient traditions for a more fulfilling and enriched existence.

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