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  • Writer's pictureMassoga® Massage Yoga

12 Types of Yoga

Yogaan ancient practice that unites the mind, body, and spiritoffers numerous styles to suit different needs and preferences. Whether you seek mental clarity, physical health, or enhanced energy, there's a type of yoga that fits your vibe. Understanding the diverse types of yoga can help you choose the right style to support your goals and enhance your well-being.

From the dynamic flows of Vinyasa yoga to the meditative stillness of Yin yoga, each style has unique benefits. By embracing the different types of yoga, you can discover a practice that cultivates inner peace. 

Join us on this rejuvenating journey to discovering the types of yoga practices.

Exploring Yoga Styles 

1. Hatha Yoga

A reflective rainbow streak in front of a woman holding a yoga pose

Hatha yoga is one of the oldest and most widely practised forms of yoga. It aims to balance the mind and body through a combination of postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation. The word "Hatha" is derived from the Sanskrit terms "ha" meaning sun and "tha" meaning moon, embodying the balance of opposing energies.

This style focuses on slow and deliberate movements, making it ideal for beginners. Practitioners aim for proper alignment and hold poses for longer periods to build strength and flexibility. Props like bolsters, blocks, and blankets can be used to ensure that poses are done safely, accommodating those with physical limitations.

2. Vinyasa Yoga

A group of people practicing yoga in a park

Vinyasa yoga is often referred to as "flow" yoga due to the seamless transition between poses driven by breath. Each movement is synchronised with an inhale or exhale, creating a dynamic and continuous flow. This type of yoga can be quite vigorous and is effective for building strength, flexibility, and balance.

The routines vary, preventing the practice from becoming monotonous. This makes Vinyasa yoga perfect for those who enjoy creativity in their workouts. As it also incorporates cardio elements, it's suitable for those looking to improve overall fitness.

3. Iyengar Yoga

An instructor assisting people with their yoga poses

Iyengar yoga—named after B.K.S. Iyengar— is known for its emphasis on precision and alignment in postures. It utilises various props such as blocks, straps, and chairs to help practitioners achieve the correct alignment regardless of their flexibility or experience level.

Among all the kinds of yoga, this one is particularly beneficial for those with physical limitations or who are in rehabilitation. The detailed instructions and modifications ensure that poses are performed safely, reducing the risk of injury. Moreover, Iyengar yoga is slower-paced, allowing for deep concentration and mindful adjustments in each pose.

4. Ashtanga Yoga

people practicing ashtanga yoga

This yoga style is a physically demanding practice that follows a specific sequence of postures. It starts with a series of sun salutations, followed by standing and floor poses that are held for five breaths. This yoga type requires a strong sense of discipline and is often practised by those who are looking for a challenging workout.

Due to its rigorous nature, Ashtanga types of yoga classes build endurance, strength, and flexibility. To boot, it fosters concentration and a deeper connection between breath and movement. This makes it an excellent choice for experienced yogis who want to master a structured and intense practice.

5. Kundalini Yoga

a person practicing Kundalini yoga

Kundalini yoga focuses on awakening the kundalini energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine. This practice incorporates chanting, meditation, and mantras in addition to physical postures and breathing exercises. The aim of these types of yoga classes is to unlock this energy and achieve a heightened state of consciousness.

Amongst the wide range of the various types of yoga, Kundalini yoga is known for its uniqueness in terms of holistic approaches that meld spiritual and physical elements. It appeals to those who are interested in exploring the meditative and energetic aspects of yoga. Regular practice can lead to increased creativity, intuition, and a sense of inner peace.

6. Massage Yoga

people practicing massage yoga

Massage yoga is a unique fusion of therapeutic massage and yoga techniques designed to promote holistic well-being. This approach integrates the physical benefits of yoga—such as improved flexibility & strength—with the relaxation and stress relief provided by massage therapy. 

Experienced practitioners tailor sessions to individual needs, ensuring a personalised experience. The combination of these two disciplines aims to enhance body awareness, reduce tension, and foster a deeper connection between mind and body. This innovative practice is ideal for those seeking a comprehensive method to improve overall health and achieve a balanced, harmonious sense of being.

Elevating the experience to new heights, massage yoga is offered through retreats held in scenic areas. From a yoga retreat in Queensland to a yoga retreat in Italy, the backdrop plays a leading role in the healing properties of this yoga style.

Yoga for Different Needs and Populations

Yoga can be tailored to meet the diverse needs of various populations. From restorative practices aimed at stress relief to prenatal sessions focusing on safety and mobility, these styles offer targeted benefits.

1. Restorative Yoga

a woman practicing restorative yoga

Every now and then, people need to undergo a restorative experience in order to shed the layers of stress that build up over time. 

Restorative yoga concentrates on relaxation and healing by using components like bolsters and blankets. This style of yoga aims to reduce stress and anxiety. Poses are held for extended periods, allowing the body and mind to enter a deep state of relaxation. It's particularly useful for individuals dealing with chronic stress or those recovering from injury, as it encourages mindfulness and promotes emotional well-being. This form of yoga can also enhance flexibility and improve the function of the body's connective tissues.

2. Prenatal Yoga

a prenatal yoga class

Prenatal yoga focuses on promoting a relaxed state and ensuring safety for expectant mothers. After all, moms-to-be are carrying another life form in them, so their exercise routine needs to align with the delicate care requirements of pregnancy.  

This gentle yoga practice incorporates pelvic floor work, mild stretching, and breathing exercises tailored for pregnancy. These sessions aim to increase mobility and prepare the body for childbirth. Classes emphasise the importance of accommodating a growing belly and avoiding poses that may compress the abdomen. To top it off, this yoga style also helps in reducing common pregnancy discomforts, such as lower back pain and fatigue, while fostering a connection between mother and baby.

3. Yin Yoga

a woman practicing yin yoga

If we can sit in front of our computers without moving anything but our fingers and eyeballs for hours on end, then perhaps we can hold a yoga pose for three to five minutes. 

Yin yoga targets the body's connective tissues through long-held postures and deep breathing techniques. Poses are typically held for a few minutes, allowing for a deep stretch that benefits the joints and ligaments. This practice enhances flexibility and cultivates a calm mind. 

Yin Yoga can be particularly soothing for those seeking a quiet and meditative experience.

Complementary Practices and Yoga Subcultures

The following practices and subcultures expand on the traditional forms of yoga by incorporating aspects like service, spirituality, music, and teamwork. Each emphasises unique elements, fostering community and personal growth through different approaches.

1. Karma Yoga

5 people happily practicing karma yoga

Rooted in Hindu philosophy, Karma yoga focuses on selfless service and action. It encourages practitioners to perform work without expecting rewards. The practice involves volunteering and serving the community, aiming to purify the heart and mind.

The word "karma" in Sanskrit translates to action. By dedicating one's actions to others, Karma Yoga aims to reduce selfishness and promote a sense of connection. Many yoga studios incorporate service projects and community events as part of their Karma yoga initiatives.

Furthermore, important elements include the philosophy of ahimsa (non-violence) and compassion, aligning actions with ethical living. Practitioners believe that through serving others, one can attain a higher level of spirituality and personal satisfaction.

2. Jivamukti Yoga

two people practicing Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti yoga combines physical postures with spiritual teachings, music, and chanting. Founded in 1984 by Sharon Gannon and David Life, this practice integrates traditional yoga philosophy with more dynamic movements.

A typical Jivamukti class involves pranayama (breathing exercises), asanas (physical postures), and meditation. Chanting in Sanskrit and listening to music are also significant parts of the practice, providing a holistic experience.

Jivamukti emphasises five central tenets: ahimsa (non-violence), bhakti (devotion), dhyana (meditation), nada (music), and shastra (scripture). These principles aim to create a balanced practice that nurtures both body and spirit. Teachers often guide students through a blend of these elements, fostering a sense of community and

spiritual connection.

3. Acro Yoga

two people practicing acro yoga in a park

For the more dauntless fitness enthusiasts out there, Acro yoga might be the spiritual adrenaline rush that you are looking for. 

Acro yoga blends yoga with acrobatics, focusing on balance, communication, and physical practice. It requires a teamwork approach, typically involving a flyer, a base, and a spotter to ensure safety and collaboration.

Classes often start with traditional yoga warm-ups before moving into pair or group exercises. The flyer performs dynamic movements, supported by the base, while the spotter provides guidance and ensures stability.

Offering a unique form of movement, Acro Yoga fosters trust and connection between participants. Studios offering Acro yoga encourage strong community bonds, often hosting workshops and events to bring practitioners together. The practice challenges physical limits while enhancing coordination and teamwork skills.

Discover Serenity with Massoga 

To wrap up, exploring the myriad yoga styles—from the dynamic Vinyasa to the meditative Yin—highlights the profound benefits yoga can offer. 

Now, imagine deepening your practice amidst the serene landscapes of Australia or the picturesque beauty of Italy. 

Join Massoga’s yoga retreats in Victoria, Queensland, and Italy to experience unparalleled rejuvenation and tranquillity. Embrace this opportunity to elevate your well-being in breathtaking surroundings. 

Contact us to book your retreat today and embark on a revitalising journey with Massoga!

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Written by Wallis Murphy-Munn

Wallis Murphy-Munn is the founder of Massoga®, a unique practice that combines the therapeutic benefits of massage with the restorative elements of Yin Yoga.


Her hands-on teaching approach has led to deeper relaxation for her students, inspiring the creation of Massoga®.


In addition to her practice, Wallis enjoys writing blog articles to share her insights, advocating for the importance of human touch and simple connections in an increasingly isolated world.

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