During a kundalini yoga class all poses will be directed to focus on the root chakra, which is the area surrounding the lower spine and abdomen. For this reason, these classes are going to be heavy in core training and will give you quite the abdominal workout.
This type of yoga features poses that are difficult to enter, and as a result takes advantage of a lot of yoga props, including straps, blocks, harnesses and sometimes cushions. It is better to be somewhat familiar with the basics of yoga before entering an iyengar class.
Restorative yoga classes are created with the idea of restoration and rehabilitation in mind. The poses are completed at a slow pace and plenty of moderations are encouraged to make the pose as comfortable as possible for you. This type of yoga is filled with opportunity for stretching and is ideal for those recovering from injury or who are looking to incorporate yoga into an already intense fitness regime.
This is a form of “heart opening” yoga. The goal of an anusara class is to help you breathe easier and feel more open and free to the world. To accomplish this, you must go through a lot of backbends that will physically put you in a position where you can open your heart to all of your expectations.
In addition to the top 10 types of yoga for fitness, there is prenatal yoga. This form of yoga, as it sounds, is created for women who are expecting. The classes are female only and the poses are modified to accommodate the woman and her soon to be child. The poses are selected to ease the pain that is often present in the body during pregnancy. There has been some research to link prenatal yoga participation with an easier birthing session, though these claims are not verified.
There are many studios who offer yoga classes that are separated by gender. Many women feel more comfortable in an all-female yoga class, thanks to the positions that the yoga poses require us to shape our bodies into. However, there are other benefits to gender based classes, including poses that are often modified to accommodate people of different genders. Men only yoga classes will focus on upper body development in different ways than will an all female course, for example.
There is no restricted age group that yoga is recommended for. Unlike other fitness activities like weight lifting, which is not recommended for those under the age of 13 or adults over the age of 65, yoga classes can be modified to fit the needs of any person at any fitness level. At any age, yoga is going to promote upper body and core strength, will promote flexibility and can help to reduce injury.
In recent years, many studios have begun incorporating yoga into other forms of fitness, including dance, running and Pilates. These are especially great yoga classes to take for those who are looking to maximize their workout. When combined with additional activities, yoga classes can provide a full body workout and can enhance the quality of either workout when performed independently. Barre fusion classes incorporate yoga into ballet movements by having you do poses on the mat before going to the bar. In a similar way, Pilates, which features benches and targeted weight lifting activities, will incorporate yoga by bringing you onto the mat and having you stretch by using yoga poses in between sessions. Running clubs will often do yoga to enhance stretching and reduce the risk of injuries among athletes.
Yoga is a wonderful form of physical fitness, and there are many types of yoga out there. Most of the yoga classes listed above are able to accommodate people of varying physical abilities, and so are ideal for beginners and advanced yogis alike.