Yoga has evolved from a practice to a way of life. It has its own clothing, accessories, beliefs and following. Whether you’re testing the waters or have swan-dived in, this guide can help you decide which forms of yoga are right for you. Of course, before undertaking any exercise routine, it’s best to talk to your doctor first.

Hot Hot Heat

Hot yoga is practiced in a heated 105 F studio, and intended to detox the body of toxins and burn more calories than other types of yoga. It is generally believed to help increase flexibility and may even support heart health. Increased blood circulation and sweat can also promote glowing, dewy looking skin. Practicing yoga in a heated room is intense. You’re encouraged to push your body to new heights, while also knowing your limits and taking breaks as needed. There is no shame in hot yoga and everyone has their own goals and abilities. Because of this, hot yoga promotes mindfulness and an awareness of your body. There are many types of hot yoga including Moksha, Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, Bikram Yoga and Evolation Yoga.

Interested in trying hot yoga? A quick Google search should help you find the best studio for you. You’ll want to come prepared with a yoga mat, sweat towel, water, and light clothing.

Bend It like Liukin

If you’re looking to channel your inner Nastia Liukin and go for the gold, acro yoga may be for you. This variation is a blend of yoga, acrobatics, dance and healing arts. You’ll have a partner. One of you will be the flyer, and one of you the base. The base supports the flyer as they contort into different positions in the air. Sound extreme? It can be. Beginners usually start out by mastering specific poses with a focus on the healing arts, and then gradually combine those poses to create routines that mirror dances. As you can imagine, acro yoga involves a lot of trust; trusting your partner, trusting yourself, and trusting the process. Even if you are an experienced yogi, becoming comfortable with your partner’s body and movements in conjunction with your own can take some time, so be patient. Intrigued? Take a few minutes to soak up some acro yoga inspo on the web and find a class near you.

Adult Nap Time

Restorative yoga is intended to be simple, usually utilizing only 5 to 6 poses with supportive props. It’s not going to get your blood pumping or leave a pool of sweat on your yoga mat. Rather, it’s soothing, calming, and healing requiring minimal effort. Restorative yoga is your chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, focus on your mind and body, relax and heal. You’ll move slowly and find your own rhythm, allowing your body to take over and guide you through the poses. There are no preconceived standards in restorative yoga. It’s all about your body finding comfort and release. It can also help you identify where you hold tension and stress, allowing you to adjust poses to release those bad energies. Because of its relaxing, healing intentions, rehabilitative properties and rejection of strain, restorative yoga is encouraged for those who could use some mental and physical release.

Rainbow without the Storm

Chakra yoga opens the energy centers of your body through postures and breathing techniques. Your body has 7 chakras including Muladhara (red), Svadhisthana (orange), Manipura (yellow), Anahata (green), Vishudda (blue), Anja (indigo), and Sahasrara (violet). All of the chakras are associated with a region of the body and have the ability to be overactive or underactive, both of which may have negative side effects. Chakra yoga helps you open and balance these areas to promote optimal health and wellbeing.

Relating energy to emotions, chakra yoga removes blockages and negative flows of energy, replacing them with a healthy flow. The end result is harmony and a more peaceful existence.

Yin and Yang

Yin yoga is generally intended to improve range of motion, rejuvenate body tissues, confront stress, and may help alleviate anxiety. All of this is done through the stillness, slowness and lengthened intervals. In this form of yoga, poses are held for long periods of time, often 3 to 5 minutes.

During that time, you’re encouraged to sit with your emotions, practice belly breathing, meditate and give back to your body. Yin yoga may also help increase circulation in the joints. It also promotes a healthy flow of energy and emotional balance.

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