There is no doubt that the regular practice of yoga helps to keep you balanced, fit and calm. However, beginners are often unaware of the differences between each type of yoga, and it is easy to hurt yourself or cause unnecessary strain to the body by beginning your yogic journey with a far too intense practise. Certain branches of yoga are much better suited to a novice body. Here is a list of the best types of yoga for beginners:
Hatha classes are generally quite slow paced, and offer a more comprehensive deconstruction of, and familiarisation with, the ‘asanas’ (meaning ‘poses’) that are also used in more dynamic flow yogas. Each asana is held for at least a few breaths, but are usually held for a minimum of 30 seconds, and can be held for as long as 3 minutes. Classes almost always incorporate the discussion of breathing techniques, as well as states of deep relaxation at both the beginning and end.
Yin Yoga is perfect for those who prefer a slower, more relaxed practise. In these classes, asanas are held for between 3 and 8 minutes, in order to reach your deeper tissues and your fascia, with the goal of restoring elasticity, though this does make it a less desirable practise for those who have had issues with their connective tissue in the past.
Restorative Yoga is suitable for all kinds of yogis. It is a slower, more chilled out practise, with the goal of connecting more deeply with your nervous system. Those who struggle with anxiety or insomnia will find this a particularly helpful practice, as it helps you to really slow down and can be quite meditative. Many props, such as blankets and yoga blocks, are used in Restorative Yoga to help you achieve the asanas.