What Types of Yoga I Practice and Why

easy seat

Did you know that there are many different types of yoga that you can practice? I only realized this when I started practicing yoga regularly! The type of yoga you choose to practice may depend on your goals, your current health or past medical history, your level of physical activity and your personal preference. This blog post is to share with you two types of yoga that I personally practice: Restorative and Vinyasa yoga. The goal of this post is not to recommend these two yoga types over others. Instead, it is to give you an idea of how I ended up choosing these yoga types based on my personal goals and some of the features and benefits that I considered.

Key features of Restorative Yoga:

  • Slower pace
  • Fewer postures (I usually go through around 5-6 poses, ~ 10 min session)
  • Longer holds for each pose (I usually hold each pose for about 30-60+ seconds but some people may prefer to hold poses for shorter or longer periods)
  • May use props (depending on your body and flexibility, certain props may be incorporated for comfort or ease)
  • Meditative and focus on breathing. (I like to play gentle music in the background 🙂 )

Benefits of Restorative Yoga:

  • Promotes relaxation (both mental and physical) and stress reduction
  • Restoration and healing effects for the body
  • Balances mood
  • Gentle and appropriate for beginner to advanced levels of yoga practice
  • Improves flexibility and movement
  • My overall goals: relaxation and flexibility

Key features of Vinyasa Yoga:

  • Also known as “flow” (I usually practice “quick flow” or “power yoga” which falls under the Vinyasa umbrella category)
  • Involves a sequence of poses (I practice in a varied sequence so the order of the poses may change each time)
  • May involve a variety of different poses (this way I don’t get bored!)
  • Movements synchronized to breathing
  • May or may not involve a warm-up or cool-down
  • Faster pace, active, more vigorous movements

Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga:

  • Can give you a good workout
  • If you enjoy variety you can change up your routine each time
  • May improve strength, balance and flexibility
  • Beginner to advanced levels depending on poses involved
  • My overall goals: something that is fun, can get my heart pumping, tone my muscles and give me a good workout

For my clients who have more complex health conditions and want to practice yoga, I often develop a specific home yoga routine for them. This may involve a combination of different yoga types as well as modifications to specific yoga poses in order to make it appropriate and safe for them to practice. Many clients have told me that they think they are “not flexible enough for yoga” but soon realize that there’s always ways to make things work in physiotherapy sessions with me! In the end, the yoga exercises that I prescribe to clients aim to help them achieve their specific health or fitness goals and serve as a beneficial component of their treatment plan when combined with other physiotherapy interventions.

If you are interested in reading more about different yoga types, I found this article with good summary points of various types of yoga: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/the-11-major-types-of-yoga-explained-simply

I hope this post helps you find the type of yoga that you may want to practice! Stay tuned for my next blog post, which will also be about yoga!

Please read: If you are unsure or have any questions about content from this blog post, remember to consult a registered physiotherapist or a physician. Please visit Contact if you have questions, comments or feedback for me 🙂 

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