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Fitness
Published Tuesday Feb 04, 2020 by Christa Quattrocchi

Find Your Flow: Which Yoga Style is Right For You?

Yoga is an ancient practice believed to help unify the body, mind, and spirit. Over the years, we’ve seen more styles of yoga than Game of Thrones storylines, so we know it can be pretty overwhelming to try and differentiate them all. Just like searching for the perfect pair of jeans, you may have to try out many different yoga classes before finding the one. So, we’ve created the ultimate guide to yoga styles to help you find the right fit for you. 


Hatha 

Translated to ‘sun and moon,’ Hatha yoga is the entry point for physical and mental balance. 

What to expect: 
The foundations. Hatha classes are typically structured classical postures, focusing on the breath, proper alignment, and slow transitions. All movement is completed on both sides so you can walk away feeling blissfully balanced. 


Vinyasa 

Flow and let it go. Vinyasa is the kombucha of yoga, it’s pretty much available on every corner in a variety of flavors. 

What to expect: 
A creative, flowy, physically demanding class, Vinyasa lets you move through postures at a steady pace that matches the rhythm of your breath. Since each class is creatively crafted by its teacher, no two classes will be the same. Though one thing you can rely on time after time is the sanctuary of savasana or “corpse pose” (which is exactly what it sounds like—a reclined meditation to end class). 

Corpse pose

Power Yoga/Sculpt 

If you’ve ever thought, yoga isn’t a workout, think again. Power yoga is Vinyasa’s marathon-running friend.  

What to expect: 
A focus on strength training, possibly with the addition of weights. This energetic style of yoga is meant for those who want to incorporate strength training on the mat.  


Aerial  

On par with a Cirque-du-Soleil showcase, aerial yoga will elevate your practice—and we’re not speaking metaphorically. 

What to expect: 
You’ll climb into a hammock that’s suspended from the ceiling to get into juicier postures without all that joint pressure. Some describe the feeling as being in a cocoon, which can be especially healing for trauma survivors seeking a more protective space to practice. 

Aerial Yoga

Yin 

Dreaming of the day you can seamlessly slip into a full split? Yang’s other half brings you a smooth way to increase your flexibility by getting you into the deeper layers of connective tissue. 
 
What to expect: 
Long holds and a very grounded practice. Make sure to grab some props, like blocks, blankets, bolsters, and straps—they are your most fashionable toolset to finding more space! Yin postures are held for 3-5 minutes each, creating a greater depth of physical and mental stillness. Pro Tip: If you’re a fitness junkie, check out a Yin class once per week as a counterbalance to all of that built-up muscle tension. 


Bikram 

Are you someone that gets lunch from the same place every day? Creatures of habit, this one’s for you. The yoga system developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 20th century is made up of 26 postures and two breath techniques (AKA 26+2)
 
What to expect: 
Sweat. You’ll practice in a carpeted, mirrored room heated to 105. Not to be confused with ‘hot power yoga,’ these 26 poses are always taught sequentially, and instructors don’t have creative freedom. 

Yoga foot stretch

Ashtanga 

As if yoga didn’t already require enough self-discipline, K. Pattabhi Jois leveled up with his modern system of Ashtanga yoga. This physically demanding method requires yogis to practice a progressively structured series of postures. 
 
What to expect: 
Independence, baby! If it’s your first time, you’ll want to register for a ‘led’ class, as the series are typically practiced in silent, un-guided spaces where you can come and go as you please. Each pose is held for five breaths to cultivate strength in the discomfort. 

Kundalini 

Kundalini is the loveable, eccentric aunt, dressed in all white and inviting more than just physical modalities of yoga to activate the sacred, spiritual energy located at the base of your spine. 
 
What to expect: 
Kundalini classes are sequenced based on what is known as a kriya—a series of postures, breathing methods, or chants practiced for minutes at a time. Be prepared to use your voice and fire up that core! This one is stealthy in bringing on the soreness. 

Candlelit Child's Pose

Iyengar 

B.K.S. Iyengar was a dude all about that alignment. And could you blame him? No one is looking to get hurt doing yoga
 
What to expect: 
Props, props, props! Grab those blocks, straps, blankets, even chairs (yes, the ones you sit in) on the way in. Some studios even have a wall configured with props to help you enter postures in the proper alignment. Offerings are typically classified by level, so if you’re new, start with Level I and work your way up as you become more comfortable.

Christa Quattrocchi Headshot
Written by
Christa Quattrocchi
Acquisition Program Manager
About the author
Christa is a 300hr certified yoga instructor on a soulful journey to integrate spiritual practices, such as astrology, tarot, and pranayama, in her guidance both on and off the mat. She is Mindbody’s resident witch and advertising aficionado. Beyond her credentials, you can find Christa channeling creativity through writing, cooking plant-based goodness, & surfing her home waters in sunny San Diego.
people in upward dog practicing yoga on mats
Fitness
Published Wednesday Jul 28, 2021 by Bree Lewis

Sweat Redemption: 5 Tips for Getting Back Into Your Hot Yoga Practice

Yoga
Fitness
Expert Advice

If you’ve ever taken a hot yoga class, you know it’s always going to be one thing—outrageously hot. Not the “let’s hang by the pool and get that sun-kissed glow” kind of hot either. I’m talking that “I can't believe I have this much sweat in my body” and “I may or may not pass out” kind of hot. It’s nothing to mess around with, and after a year or so of not being able to go, it’s easy to forget just how serious that heat can be.

To get the maximum enjoyment and benefits out of your heated yoga classes, you need to prepare yourself before and take care of yourself afterward. Luckily, I’ve been taking some classes (sweating enough for the both of us) and I’ve listed my five favorite must-dos to help you readjust to your heated classes and get back to the hot yoga summer that we all want.

1. Go at your own pace

Heated classes are difficult in nature. The normal difficulty of regular poses is mixed in with the added challenges of sweating and dealing with the humidity and the heat (at times, I’ve seen the thermostat climb to 108 degrees—yikes!). Depending on what type of yoga class you’re taking (sculpt, Bikram, power vinyasa), the difficulty level and temperature are going to vary. It’s also important to remember that each person in the room is going to practice in a way that’s unique to them. Hours slept, hydration levels, food intake, and different lifestyles are all contributing factors that make our practices different. What you practice on your mat is your own––trust your body and only do what feels right to you.  And remember, it’s okay to take breaks!

2. Hydrate like your life depends on it (honestly, it might)

The rise in temperature mixed in with the humidity that we all know and love creates the perfect recipe for sweating—like A LOT. You go into a heated class dry and come out feeling like you just took a dip in the pool. Before heated classes, I had no idea it was physically possible to sweat that much. If you’re going to a heated class, especially after a long break, it’s easy to forget just how much you might sweat. Is it possible to lose that much water if you haven’t consumed it first? Trust me, going into your heated class super hydrated is going to make a world of difference and help you feel good throughout your practice. And don’t forget to take some sips of H2O while you’re practicing!  

3. Nourish your body

Heated classes are challenging, but I can’t stop going. Nothing quite compares to overcoming the challenge— and experiencing the cleanse my body feels after I’m done. It’s the perfect blend of hard and rewarding, but I couldn’t do it if my body wasn’t properly nourished. On the days I know I have a heated class booked; I like to make sure I am eating right. I make sure to take my vitamins and fuel my body with fruits, vegetables, and my favorite superfood shake. I hold off on food about an hour before my practice, so I feel comfortable. After the class, I like to replenish with a big protein shake (boosted with collagen to aid with muscle recovery and skin elasticity). There is no one-way path for properly nourishing your body but making sure you’re fueled for the challenge of a heated class is essential for getting the most out of your practice and feeling good on and off your mat.

4. Replenish those electrolytes

Increasing and maintaining your water intake on the days you take a heated class is important, but sometimes you need something a little extra. If you’re sweating that much, you’re basically an athlete (at least in my book) and if you’re performing like a rockstar yogi, you need to hydrate like one as well. That means replenishing those lost electrolytes. Reward yourself and your body for the hard work and treat yourself to your favorite drink. I switch off between electrolyte-boosting drinks and coconut water depending on what I’m in the mood for that day. Adding these to my post-practice self-care routine has helped me feel more hydrated after and ready to take on the world again after especially sweaty classes.

5. Bring the right equipment

Usually, a yoga mat is all you need for your practice––but heated classes are a different ballgame. I’ve gone with just a mat, and I’ve slipped all over the place. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than having sweat drip all over the place while you’re trying to hold a pose that makes you grip your mat for dear life (never again). Make sure you bring a towel to place over your mat, this will help with support and grip. Bringing a smaller towel is also a good idea. You can use the smaller towel to dry yourself off during water breaks or whenever you’re feeling just a bit too sweaty. This is a small step that makes a world of difference during those super-hot classes.

So, there you have it. Five of my favorite tips (more like lifesavers) that have helped me readjust to those heated classes I love so much. Getting back into it is a challenge for us all, so know you’re not alone. No matter where you’re at in your practice, remember to be kind and gentle to yourself––celebrating your health and your body’s ability to do what you love. We’re all just getting back out there, together.

Ready to jump back into your hot yoga routine? Browse Mindbody to find the perfect class for you

While you’re at it, check out some Intro Offers near you that can help you get back to your cadence of hot yoga classes.

bree lewis headshot
Written by
Bree Lewis
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Born and raised in a small mountain town just south of Yosemite National Park, Bree is an avid lover of health, wellness, and connecting to the outside world around us. As a Cal Poly English major alumn, she has a knack for books, writing, and all things words. In her free time, she enjoys being outside, drinking craft beers, and keeping life jazzy!