Bad Yogi Guide to Different Yoga Styles

Bad Yogi Guide to Different Yoga Styles

Hi friends! How are you? Ours has been good so far… This week has felt so productive! I’ve cooked almost every day (which is feat by it self, haha), organized a million things, filmed a bunch of yoga for us (!!!), and some other stuff… Don’t you love weeks like that? Feeling very accomplished, you know? πŸ˜‰

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When the manicurist asks if you’d like a glass of bubbly with raspberries, you accept!

Does slicing fruit count as cooking?!

Does slicing fruit count as cooking?!

Oh and shoutout to Marcie in Washington DC who inspired this post and asked if I could give a Bad Yogi take on the different styles of yoga. I thought it was SUCH a fun idea! There are dozens of styles out there, but these are the most common ones that most of us run in to when we’re going to different studios. When I used to go around to different classes, I pretty much walked in without any clue what I was getting in to. Not that it was all bad, but I still wished I had some idea of what to expect. So, let’s do this! πŸ˜‰
Bikram. First thing to know is that it’s HOT. Like, super hot. Depending on what city you practice in, the temperatures range from 105* to 120* F with plenty of humidity to boot. It’s also the exact same set of 26 poses every single time which take about 90 minutes to complete. If you like it sweaty, regimented, and routine, you’ll love this. No music here either.

Vinyasa Flow. Do you do my videos online or have you practiced with me in person? Then you’ve done vinyasa flow πŸ™‚ It’s (mostly) non-stop movement with plenty of sun salutations, variety, and tends to be fairly challenging. If you don’t love the unexpected or are looking for something mild, you may want to pass. But, if you love music, chances are you’ll hear some in a live class! Keep in mind that some studios offer heated vinyasa classes which can really bump up the difficulty factor.

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Hatha. A little bit choppier than vinyasa flow but you’ll probably enjoy this one if vinyasa is too rigorous. Obviously it varies with the teacher, but generally speaking, you can probably expect a gentle, traditional class and maybe or maybe not with tunes πŸ™‚ Usually these classes are in a warm environment, but not so hot that you’ll be working up a big sweat.

Ashtanga. If you’re looking for a serious challenge, check out Ashtanga. It’s pretty fast paced and follows a set sequence of poses, too, but there’s no music. The room isn’t usually heated, but you’ll definitely sweat here since it’s so rigorous!

Restorative. One of my all time favorite classes to take. You’ll work out the kinks and tightness from your day but in the most relaxing way possible. This class will use lots of props and the pace is slow and steady. You’ll spend lots of time with your eyes closed listening to your breath. If there’s music, it’ll be meditative… kind of like the music that plays when you get a massage! πŸ˜‰

Over to you: What’s your favorite class to take? Of course I LOVE vinyasa flow and that’s what got me addicted to yoga. I loved the almost dancy-ness in it! My second favorite is definitely restorative though. What other styles do you guys see regularly?

41 Comments

  1. Kundalini! It’s hands down fav followed by vinyasa. Give kundalini a try! It’s a really beautiul practive!

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    • Yes! Kundalini is such a fun change from vinyasa/highly “physical” practices! πŸ™‚

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  2. Thank you for this. Very helpful.

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    • TGIF PowerFlow at my local studio! Fast faced vinyasa with great tunes on a Friday at 5:30. Makes all the wine and junk of the coming weekend feel not so bad.

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  3. Thank you so much for this! I’m new to yoga (and completely in love) but I havnt learned a lot of the terms or differences in different types of yoga, which is why Bad Yogi is so great for me bc I can just have fun and enjoy myself without worrying about the technical terms. Thanks for the tips, now maybe I’ll have the courage to try a class in a studio!!!

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    • Love hearing that, Melissa! I hope it helps! πŸ™‚ Enjoy your next class <3

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  4. I think mainly I’ve been leaning towards lots of restorative, yin… and lots of hip and hamstring openers… always tight in that area and those feel the best… lol… and vinyasa for playfulness… great article.

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  5. I have to agree with you Erin, Vinyasa Flow and Restorative are the ones I prefer.

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  6. Thank you. As a 60 year old beginner…I appreciate your information. and I LOVE YOGA!!!

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  7. I got into yoga by taking Baron Baptiste’s style of Power Vinyasa yoga at a local studio.

    I’d always wanted to go to yoga but was scared. I thought if I could find someone to go with I’d be more courageous and take the plunge, but I couldn’t find anyone willing to just walk into a studio out of nowhere. So one day I just did it…just walked right in…and fell in love! I can’t afford to go to a studio right now, so I love your videos, Erin. I did both 30 day challenges and I bought the two videos on your site and love them all.

    I wanted to try your DoYouYoga Ultimate Home Practice Package — how are the videos different or similar to the two videos from your site?

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    • The videos will be similar in style but none are longer than 40-ish minutes. Some will be more rigorous and others less so, but it’s still Me πŸ˜‰

      So happy you found my classes and that you enjoy them! <3

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  8. I got hooked on Bikram when I lived in Chicago but since I moved to Indiana there aren’t any classes near me πŸ™ Vinyasa is my second favorite though! I haven’t tried Ashtanga yet but I might have to give it a try πŸ™‚

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    • Aw, bummer!!! Bikram was the first yoga class I ever tried and actually hated it, lol! It grew on me over time, but I still prefer Vinyasa… so cool how different vibes suit different people πŸ™‚

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  9. Loving your blogs in 2015! Lot of love from remote SE AK!!

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  10. Love this post so much. Thank you for the breakdown πŸ˜€

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  11. Due to back issues which were made worse by a car accident later in life, I fell into viniyoga (similar to Iyengar) which helped me to heal tremendously! My body reacts better to the holding of the poses to get in deeper…similar to restorative classes. However, I rarely see this style practiced which is why i’m starting a teacher training this month πŸ˜‰

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    • Interesting– I’ve herd of it but never been able to take a class. I can’t believe I forgot to add Iyengar!!! Also one that I really enjoy… I love that even though it’s slow, it still requires such discipline because of how challenging it can be! Great minds… πŸ˜‰

      Enjoy your training!!

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  12. I would love love love for you to do an ashtanga class! I can’t find a good one anywhere online. I love its intensity and I love your style so I know your spin on an ashtanga sequence would be amazing!

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  13. Good to know! πŸ™‚

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  14. I love restorative and hatha the most, I think. Vinyasa and ashtanga are great too. Heck, I like them all! (Except Bikram–the heat just doesn’t work for me.) Great post! πŸ™‚

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    • Agreed! I taught hot vinyasa classes for a few years and I’m just so over the heat. I’m happy in a room that’s 80* at the most, haha! πŸ˜‰

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  15. Thanks for explaining the different yoga styles. Very helpful. Of the ones i have tried i like vinyasa and restorative.

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  16. I’m always confused what style’s what, so this is useful. I’ve been to some Dru yoga classes, which were really gentle and relaxing, excellent for beginners, people with mobility issues, and after a stressful day at work. The teacher always brought a special playlist and the warmups were quite dancey.

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  17. What about Iyengar?

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    • Was just saying I can’t believe I forgot Iyengar! Adding it now πŸ˜‰ I also love it because it’s so restorative yet challenging…

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  18. My favourite style and the classes I teach are DDP Yoga, I also love Moksha/Modo Hot Yoga which is like Bikram, but it allows for variations, Moksha, Moksha Flow, either with music and also live music. I also love working out with Erin to switch things up. Thanks

    Steven

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  19. I love practising and teaching DDP Yoga. I also love Moksha/Modo Hot Yoga. And Working out with Erin to switch it up.

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  20. I have yet to meet a yoga style i don’t like …. though doing my RYT in Hatha πŸ™‚

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  21. Vinyasa did it for me, that’s where I found my first lasting connection with Yoga. In second place is Yin Yoga. Love to hold poses for longer and feel how my body gets comfortable and starts to relax.
    Erin do you think you could put up a Kudulinin class on youtube? I’d love to get to know it.

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  22. I took a bhakti class the other day and LOVED it!

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  23. Definetly restorative. it feels like its recharging my body from a hard week, especially since I would have classes into the late hours. the second would be vinyasa flow.

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  24. Thanks for this, it’s awesome! Here’s what I’d love to see in a blog post…the beginner’s guide to *the mindset of* yoga. I don’t have money to pay for classes and I’m new to the whole yoga thing. All the beginner’s guides I’ve found on the internet are about the physical poses…which is great, but I don’t really know what my *brain* is supposed to be doing during those poses. I don’t know how the connected breathing thing is supposed to work, either. I don’t just want to go through the motions at home…I want to learn the yoga mindset!

    Thanks and you’re wonderful!

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  25. nope…add raspberries to anything and all bets are off. I had a very bad experience with raspberry wine. to this day I can’t even eat a raspberry Skittle.

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  26. I love doing vinyasa with you:) Could you do some restorative videos so we could all try it?
    xoxo

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  27. Any Erin , just started ur yoga challenge and I love it , thank you for doing this it is very helpful. I have a question actually 2 if u could help me I’d greatly appreciate some advice. I first started w/ vinyasa (loved it ) but stop cause I was the oldest in the class and felt like I didn’t fit there , so I tried Kripauli and loved that too but I can’t breathe the right way when doing either of them I just get in the moment of the pose and how long did it take u to get good at yoga . I’m sry if it seems silly because it’s simple I know to you but seems so hard for me . Thank You so much ,sincerely Shari

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  28. Ah I just noticed that you wrote it! Thanks so much Erin! It’s exactly what I was hoping for and more. So, so helpful πŸ™‚ (PS- it makes sense that vinyasa flow is my favorite if that’s what you’ve been teaching in your videos. :D)

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  29. Hi Erin! Thanks for this description! My daughter and I love your online yoga classes. In fact, through your classes we were introduced to the style of Vinyasa yoga. Before that we had done some classes at a yoga center near us, and most of what we did there was a yoga/pilates blend class. What we didn’t know at the time was that the yoga in those classes was Hatha yoga. So when we started to look for yoga videos online to do at home, we came across your classes. We LOVE your laid back, less spiritual style of teaching. But as we did more and more classes we were surprised by the faster pace than what we did in our local classes! We finally figured out that you must be doing Vinyasa yoga! While we do love it, sometimes I need something a little slower pace, depending on some health junk I’ve got going on. Do you know of any online Hatha classes that would be similar to your teaching style, but with the Hatha style of yoga? Pretty much we are looking for a “Hatha” Erin. πŸ™‚

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  30. Hatha, Vinyasa, and restorative are favorites. I also enjoy teaching athletes who need specific attention for the unbalances their sport brings. I hated yoga when I took my first class but I learned that they’re are different styles and different teachers. I love your accessibility. Enjoy anything I can find from you

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  31. I love vinyasa flow! I love all the movement in it such a great workout. I have been doing your videos since september 2014 and love them. My 17month son tries to copy down dog and cobra its so cute!

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  32. I’m a bad yogi the yoga i like best is the dancey kinda that just flows I didn’t know that it had a name. I’m new enough to this that I don’t flow as well as I should. I also like any that focus on breathing sinces it helps my asthma.

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  33. Fantastic post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thank you!

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