Yoga isn’t just about challenging your body and channelling your mind any more. The new yoga is all about having a hook. Trendy types of yoga introduce something new into the mix: whether it’s a flowing dance, sweating bullets in boiling heat, or laughing ˜til you cry, there’s a yoga type for everyone. We enlisted yoga nut Joelle Tomlinson, 20, to help guide us through some of the yoga styles she’s tried that are trending now.
Vinyasa (Flow) Yoga
Vinyasa is a general name for yoga classes that ask you to breathe before shifting poses. Transitions are smooth and poses seem to flow together (hence the name flow yoga) like a dance. Flow yoga poses vary according to the teacher, but one of the most common is the Cat-Cow stretch, which arches your spine.
I’ve always been an athlete, so I was shocked when it turned out to be one of the most physically challenging things I’ve done, said Tomlinson. Combining physical exercise with the feel-good vibes that actually fill the studio is addicting.
Hot yoga describes any yoga style that is done in a heated (usually to 105 degrees Fahrenheit) humid room. The heat encourages deeper stretching and breathing, and also allows you to sweat out impurities. Bikram yoga is the most common hot yoga and involves more advanced stretches and poses. But there are other styles of yoga that can be done as hot yoga, too. Tomlinson tried out Hot Hatha yoga, and said it creates new respect for your physical and mental self.
The longwinded explanation will tell you that it’s to prepare your body for meditation, but it’s known more as a purification class, said Tomlinson. You move through a series of poses. They challenge muscles in your body you didn’t know you had.
Tomlinson cautions to make sure to drink plenty of water. Since you lose so much water in sweat, hot yoga can leave you feeling lightheaded without proper hydration.
Laughter yoga isn’t as physically intense as other yoga styles, but is more focused on improving mental health. As the name suggests, you laugh your way through basic yoga poses. According to Tomlinson, you have to force yourself to laugh in the beginning, but before you know it, the fake laughter itself actually becomes funny and infectious.
I was crying with real laughter by the end of it, said Tomlinson. It’s a really positive experience, and I think it would be beneficial for those who feel like they need an uplifting activity.