4 Styles of Yoga That We Offer
One of the most pertinent questions someone new to their mat might ask is what is the difference between the styles of yoga that we offer; Vinyasa, Yin, Yin/Yang, and Hatha. While every teacher’s class may vary, here’s a quick breakdown of what we teach and why:
Vinyasa: Wikipedia states, “The vinyasa forms of modern yoga, including Pattabhi Jois's 1948 Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and its spin-off schools such as Beryl Bender Birch's 1995 Power Yoga and others like Baptiste Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga, Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Power Vinyasa Yoga, and Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga, derive from Krishnamacharya's development of a flowing aerobic style of yoga in the Mysore palace in the early 20th century.” Furthermore, explaining that a vinyasa “is a smooth transition between asanas (yoga poses) in styles of modern yoga such as Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga and Bikram Yoga, especially when movement is paired with the breath.” To put it in layman's terms, our vinyasa classes are breath-to-movement based classes, typically vigorous, where the teacher will sequence together certain poses on the right side body, followed by a flow (or vinyasa, hence the name of the class) to reset the body, before performing the same sequence of poses on the left side body, again followed by a flow. Vinyasa is an invigorating practice where you breathe and move the body often combining many ranges of motion including lateral flexion, extension, rotation and flexion. Vinyasa yoga builds strength in the body as well as over time improving balance and flexibility.
Yin: Wikipedia defines yin as, “a slow-paced style of modern yoga with postures, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—for beginners, it may range from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more.” For most of the yin classes that we offer, students are seated on the ground, holding stretches. Our yin classes target the release of not just the muscles, but of the fascia or connective tissue located just below the skin. While yin may seem easy at first, the stillness of these poses makes them a wonderful practice in patience as well as meditation.
Yin/Yang: Yin/Yang is a class that combines yin, with vinyasa (yang) styles of yoga. While different teachers may compile these classes in different ways, typically our yin yang is half and half, starting with a body warming vinyasa flow class, followed by moving to the ground and the slower yin style. If you enjoy both styles of yoga, this is the perfect class for you.
Hatha: Wikipedia defined hatha yoga as, “a branch of yoga, one of the six schools of Hinduism. The Sanskrit word haṭha literally means "force" and thus alludes to a system of physical techniques.” Hatha is one of the broadest terms in yoga, and can be thought of in many different ways. In general our hatha yoga classes are the in between of yin and vinyasa. Hatha is still a breath-to-movement practice, but is slower paced than our vinyasa classes. Students can expect to be seated a bit longer than in a vinyasa class, with more floor-based poses at the beginning and end of the class. While hatha may seem easier than a vinyasa class at first, typically hold times in poses will extend longer than in a flow style class, and therefore is still a strong and energizing class.
The best way to figure out which style is best for you is to try them out! Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments.