Practicing yoga has so many benefits, from improved balance and strength to an increased sense of calmness and positivity.
There isn’t just one way to practice yoga.
In most cases, it includes having an open mind and a yoga mat.
And on some occasions, you may not even need a mat.
Whether you are new to yoga, or an experienced yogi looking for something new, here are unique types of yoga to enhance your practice or make it a little more fun.
1. Aerial yoga
Ditch the mat and count on silks.
Aerial yoga is done with the help of silk fabric or ropes. The fabric provides extra support during yoga, making it a fairly low-impact activity.
Using the silks can help with flexibility, stability and balance, while also taking pressure off the body, making more challenging yoga poses a bit easier.
2. Hot yoga
Are you ready to sweat? If you aren’t afraid of extreme heat, give hot yoga a try.
Hot yoga makes for a pretty intense workout.
Typically, a hot yoga studio is heated up to a temperature of 80–100 F making for a sweat-filled session.
Count on calories to be burned during hot yoga.
Beware, though, that when doing hot yoga you’re at greater risk of dehydration.
Make sure to properly hydrate before, during and after your session.
Also, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor about practicing hot yoga ahead of time.
If you have any problems with the heat, or any preexisting health conditions that could affect your time in the heated studio, this type of yoga may not be ideal for you.
3. Laughter yoga
Who doesn’t want an excuse to have a good laugh while exercising?
Dr. Madan Kataria in India developed laughter yoga in 1995.
During this type of yoga, there are lots of breathing techniques involved, as well as clapping and chanting.
Laughter yoga, also known as hasya yoga, promotes voluntary laughter and is often done in a group setting. After all, laughing is contagious.
Laughter yoga is known to help with stress relief and also acts as a mood lifter.
4. Dog yoga
Dog yoga, or doga, is often done at home between a human and his or her pet companion.
This is a practice that Suzi Teitelman started in 2001.
It doesn’t just provide physical and mental benefits for you, but also for your furry friend.
If you’re new to this practice, there are many studios you can visit for dog yoga in a group setting.
You can also participate in puppy yoga.
5. Aqua yoga
Aqua yoga is done in the water.
While an indoor/outdoor pool is a popular setting for this type of yoga, it can also be practiced in a body of water such as an ocean or lake.
If you are practicing aqua yoga outside, especially in the summer months, don’t forget your sunscreen.
This type of yoga is great for both beginners and senior yogis since a lot of the pressure is taken off the body from the water and less mobility is needed to participate.
This low-impact practice includes breathing, poses and meditation while improving strength, flexibility and balance.
6. Goat yoga
Goat yoga is a relatively new type of yoga, but a rapidly growing one.
If you participate in goat yoga classes, expect adorable goats to join you on your mat.
Sometimes, they’ll even hop on top of you while you are holding a pose.
This practice, created by Lainey Morse in 2016, helps reduce stress, anxiety and improves your mood.
This is a very joyful experience for many who participate.
7. Paddleboard yoga
You won’t need a yoga mat for this practice, but you will need a solid paddle board.
This type of yoga can be a bit challenging, but it’s great for improving balance.
Paddleboarding yoga is exactly what it sounds like.
It is yoga that is done in a body of water on a paddleboard.
When choosing the body of water for your yoga experience, try to pick an area with calm waters.
Move into a seated pose, cobra, child’s pose, plank and downward-facing dog on your paddleboard.