Hey everyone,welcome back! I hope that you all had an amazing time at THON, I know that I did! Hopefully the Warrior posture were helpful in stretching your legs before or after you were standing for hours on end. This week I’m going to deviate from the typical practice of teaching a yoga pose or breathing technique and I’m going to talk about two different types of yoga that are practiced: Vinyasa and Hatha. If anyone read had look on the Penn State Fitness Schedule I linked to one of the previous posts, you may have seen these two names being thrown around and wondered what they are.
To start, I will tell you all about the similarities between the two types of yoga. Both of the two variations still work on the same core values of yoga that were discussed in the three part blog series “Yoga’s Recipie” early in the last semester (Go check them out if you have not already!). The also both work to increase an individual’s overall health, strength, flexibility, and mental strength. Also, the postures that are practiced in each are usually the same variations of asana such as Downward-Facing Dog, the warrior poses, Triangle and Bridge (which I will be discussing shortly). Additionally, they each usually use a systematic flow of these poses in orders usually called salutation (for example, sun or moon salutations). Obviously, depending on which type of salutation the class incorporates, there may be slight variations to the type of poses encompassed.
Moving on to the difference, I will start with Vinyasa, as it is the harder of the two types I am discussing. This practice is very fast paced in comparison to Hatha. When moving through the motions of Vinyasa, it is extremely important to have a good control over your breathing. In this practice, you are typically changing from one pose to another with each exhale and inhale. For example, you would inhale into Downward-Facing Dog and then on the exhale you would move into a lunge position before moving into Warrior I on the next inhale. The fast paced movement causes for this form of yoga to be very strenuous; however, in this type of class there is typically more of a flow that can be formed. It also is more of a heart-pumping, sweat-dripping class. In Hatha Yoga, on the other hand, the poses are held for a longer duration of breaths. The number of breaths range, but most of the classes that I have been in hold them from anywhere between 5-10 breaths, like you would do if you were practicing one of the poses I’ve discussed. With this in mind, this type of class allows for a more relaxing practice. It also allows for you to take the time to better stretch areas that you would like and take the time to ensure that you can focus on the form of the pose. I also believe that this practice helps to increase your flexibility better than Vinyasa.
Personally, I would recommend starting off with Hatha Yoga classes. The added breaths in between the poses is beneficial to people who are just starting off practicing because it allows them to get acquainted to the various postures at a slower rate. Then, once comfortable with that, you could transition into Vinyasa to add a little spice to your work out. Let me know what you guys think about these class types if you have ever been to any of them! If you haven’t, I definitely suggest Hatha Yoga 8-9PM Mondays in the white building with Lindsay.