What are the Different Types of Yoga Fitness Classes?

B. Miller

There are many different styles of yoga and yoga fitness classes available to suit every taste. Yoga is an excellent practice that engages the mind and body, creating lean, toned muscles, improved strength and posture, and improved overall health, among many other benefits. Searching for yoga fitness classes online and in the area can be a great way to find new classes and learn some new skills.

There are many different styles of yoga.
There are many different styles of yoga.

Some yoga fitness classes teach a rigorous style of yoga, whereas others may teach a combination of two or more styles. Most classes are intended for teens and adults, though there are also yoga classes available for children, as well as prenatal yoga for pregnant women. In addition, "baby yoga" or "mommy and me yoga" are fairly popular as well, where new parents will bring their babies to class with them, and practice yoga together.

Some yoga classes focus on gentle techniques.
Some yoga classes focus on gentle techniques.

Within these yoga fitness classes, instructors will be teaching one of many styles of yoga. Two of the most common types of yoga practiced are Hatha yoga and Vinyasa yoga. Hatha yoga generally works well as an introduction class, and much time is spent focusing on learning the yoga poses, known as asanas. Vinyasa yoga in quite similar to Hatha yoga, though Vinyasa is a more flowing style that incorporates more breath-work with the asanas. Vinyasa classes may be slightly more intense, and will typically always feature the series of Sun Salutation poses.

Ashtanga and vinyasa yoga offer a challenging workout that strengthens and tones the body.
Ashtanga and vinyasa yoga offer a challenging workout that strengthens and tones the body.

Ashtanga yoga, or power yoga, is another popular type used in yoga fitness classes. This is a very intense and athletic style of yoga based on the teachings of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and features a pre-determined and continuous series of asanas that are linked to the breath. This is designed to create a great deal of heat in the body, producing sweat and cleansing the body while increasing overall strength.

Some yoga classes focus on seniors.
Some yoga classes focus on seniors.

Bikram yoga, or hot yoga, is another common yoga class. In this style of yoga, the temperature in the room is turned up to approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) for the duration of the class. Though there is a series of poses associated with Bikram yoga, not all instructors use this series. Other, slightly less common and gentler yoga fitness classes include Kundalini, Iyengar, and Kripalu yoga, among many others. There are many options for those interested in taking a yoga fitness class, based on one's level of interest and physical abilities, so it is relatively easy to find one that is a good fit.

A Bikram yoga class consists of a set of 26 challenging asanas that is performed twice.
A Bikram yoga class consists of a set of 26 challenging asanas that is performed twice.
In Sanskrit, the word "yoga" means "yoke," referring to a greater union between mind and body.
In Sanskrit, the word "yoga" means "yoke," referring to a greater union between mind and body.

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