Meld your mind, body, and spirit with the ancient and holy art of yoga, which happens to tighten your loose and flabby flan butt like no other, too. Whether or not you’re chasing Nirvana, Yoga is a fun, relaxing way to get healthy.

If you’re looking to join a yoga class, you might find yourself wondering which class to pick, out of the many varieties of yoga. Here’s a list of the most popular kinds.

1. Hatha

Hatha yoga is a good place to start for first timers. Hatha yoga’s poses and sequences are slow and gentle to build the strength and flexibility required for more advanced forms of yoga. Everybody’s got to start somewhere—why not somewhere easy and relaxed, so you can loosen up after a long day’s work.

Where to give it a shot: The Living Room by Octave, 357 West Jianguo Road, Shanghai, +86 21 3338-4666 |

2. Sama

If you are more about the stretching and relaxation of yoga, and less interested in using it to stay fit and get fitter, then Sama yoga is for you. In Sanskrit, ‘sama’ means ‘listening’ or ‘concentration’. Sama yoga combines Hatha yoga, meditation, and spiritual guidance for yoga experience which loosens the body and the mind. So it’s for the ‘gym-is-my-church’ kind of people, but more mellow.

Where to give it a shot: The Living Room by Octave, 357 West Jianguo Road, Shanghai, +86 21 3338-4666 |

3. Vinyasa

Vinyasa yoga is the most popular type of yoga in the USA. It’s more casually called ‘flow yoga’ because poses are not held for very long, and smooth transition is part of the practice. So you flow from pose to pose, in time with your breath. Flow yoga has no set sequence, so the instructor decides the poses, often on a last minute whim—just going with the flow. Cool as a cucumber. Zen as a Zamboni.

Where to give it a shot: The Living Room by Octave, 357 West Jianguo Road, Shanghai, +86 21 3338-4666 |

4. Ashtanga

If Vinyasa is a flow, then Ashtanga is a torrent. Also known as power yoga, Ashtanga yoga will tear you up, with its constant movement and difficult poses. It’s best that you’re already fairly athletic for Ashtanga. The intensity will tone your chest and arms while keeping your heart rate up for some cardio.

Where to give it a shot: Red Door Yoga | #903, 69 Yanping Road, Jing An District

5. Bikram/Hot Yoga

If you’re more into bendy, challenging, calorie burning yoga, Bikram/hot yoga fits the bill. Bikram and Hot Yoga stand (or pose) apart from other types of yoga because they’re done while in an extra-heated environment.

The only difference between Bikram and Hot Yoga is the poses. Bikram’s poses have been strictly copyrighted by the creator, Bikram Choudary, while Hot Yoga poses vary depending on the instructor.

Either way, you better be comfortable with being covered, if not drenched, in your own salty bodily fluids.

Where to give it a shot: Bikram Yoga Shanghai | 81 Jiangning Rd, Jing’an, Shanghai, China, 200041, +86 157 2135 2048

6. Iyengar

Iyengar Yoga is an advanced flavor of yoga, nicknamed ‘furniture yoga’ because of the props/position assistants involved. Iyengar focuses heavily on specific alignments of your body parts, and from that focus, and the use of particular props, new kinds of yoga have emerged.

Where to give it a shot: Just Yoga | Minhang, 360 Xingle Road & Xujiahui, 185 Tianping Road, Tianping Hotel 7F

7. Aerial Yoga

Aerial Yoga is for yoga top guns and beginners alike. Or maybe you just like being strung up. The prop, a trapeze sling hung from the ceiling, helps your body stretch further, with the help of gravity. Suspension also shakes up certain poses, like full inversion, which tests your core strength more than your upper body strength when it’s done in the air instead of on the ground.

Where to give it a shot: ChiQi Wellness | 608 Xikang Road, 3rd Floor, Jingan

8. Wall Rope Yoga

Have you seen ‘Inception’? Can you imagine doing yoga up the side of a wall? With rope wall yoga, you no longer have to just imagine. Ropes attached high on the wall hang you like a coat on a rack, so you have gravity to help you stretch, and the wall to anchor on for certain poses.

Where to give it a shot: The Living Room by Octave, 357 West Jianguo Road, Shanghai, +86 21 3338-4666 |

9. Prenatal Yoga

If you weren’t sure, prenatal yoga is tailored for pregnant women and women who recently gave birth. Sorry, food babies don’t count.

The slow-pace, core exercise, and posture strengthening of prenatal yoga helps with the aches and pains that come with pregnancy. Yoga’s focus on breathing is also good practice for the big D-Day (delivery day). After that fateful day, prenatal yoga can help women’s bodies readjust and get back in shape.

Where to give it a shot: Yoga Room | Kerry Center or Four Seasons Puxi

10. Doga

Maybe you can’t do prenatal yoga, for whatever reason, but you do have a dog that might as well be your child. You should give doga (dog-yoga) a try in your own home, because this form of yoga is so new that it hasn’t yet reached Shanghai.

Doga, which started in the US, lets you practice yoga while spending quality time with your dog. There are poses to which your dog can add resistance, and other poses that your dog might actually do along with you. Downward dog is of course among them. There are also poses that you can help your dog get into, but you need to be aware of when your dog has had enough.

11. Tantric

Tantric yoga, a small part of Kundalini yoga, is partners’ yoga, and your dog does not count as a partner. Tantric yoga is not necessarily sexual, as many self-help books and trashy magazines would have you believe. The physical bond formed when two people join together for one yoga pose, though, is intimate and reliant on trust and communication. Sexuality is only incidental to these things.

So feel free to try tantric yoga with a close friend or roommate (Again, not your dog.), or if you have a significant other to practice with, even better.

Where to give it a shot: Kundalini Yoga Asia | Rm 15A08, 495 Jiangning Rd, near Kangding Rd, 1381 1775 866

Author: Enjoy Shanghai

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