What is the Difference Between Hard Yoga and Regular Yoga?

Hatha yoga is a slower type of yoga, with a focus on breathing, controlled movements and stretching. It is the most commonly practiced type of yoga and is perfect for beginners, as it involves a combination of standing stretching poses and some gentle seated stretching poses. Vinyasa yoga has a faster pace than Hatha yoga, so modifications are offered in the poses practiced. Ashtanga yoga is more structured than Vinyasa yoga and there are fewer academic studies examining the effects of Ashtanga yoga classes compared to Hatha yoga classes.

Bikram and hot yoga are similar, with the only difference being that the hot yoga studio deviates from the Bikram sequence in some way. Experienced yoga students often prefer Hatha yoga classes because they want a gentle class that will help them relax at the end of a long day. If you're new to yoga and haven't worked out much, it might be wise to start with a Hatha yoga class. The teacher will guide you through the sequence of poses they have decided for the day.

Joining a yoga class or practicing yoga poses at home can be one of the best ways to increase flexibility. If you're new to Ashtanga yoga and are looking for more information, check out my detailed beginner's guide to Ashtanga yoga. Vinyasa yoga classes can use poses from the wide spectrum of Ashtanga yoga poses and mix them in ways that are more accessible. No matter what type of yoga you choose, it is important to remember that it is not a competition.

Listen to your body and take breaks when needed. With regular practice, you will soon be able to find the right balance between hard and regular yoga.