An opportunity to stretch, unwind, and release tension, providing a good counterpoint to both busy lifestyles and cardio workouts, Hatha and Vinyasa yoga share many of the same poses. In their own ways, they each emphasize controlled, conscious breathing to help you relax and improve your fitness. The biggest difference between them is the pace at which you change from one pose to the next. Vinyasa Yoga is like a cardio workout and Hatha yoga, a stretching and flexibility workout. When deciding which yoga approach is best for you, keep in mind that some days you may need a slower or faster pace and my classes provide room for variation to suit your needs. What to expect: We move the body slowly and deliberately into different poses that challenge your strength and flexibility, while at the same time focusing on relaxation and mindfulness in-between faster pace moves for cardio.
Benefits of Hatha Yoga
- Stress reduction. A 2013 studyTrusted Source in the Journal of Nursing Research found that participation in a single 90-minute session of Hatha yoga was associated with stress reduction. The same study determined that doing Hatha yoga on a regular basis can reduce perceived stress even more significantly.
- Reduced depression symptoms. According to a 2018 studyTrusted Source, just 12 sessions of regular Hatha yoga practice can significantly decrease levels of anxiety and depression.
- Muscle and joint flexibility. Numerous studies, including a 2015 studyTrusted Source in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, suggest that participating in Hatha yoga improves flexibility in the spine and hamstrings. The researchers also recommend Hatha yoga for older adults who need help improving the range of motion in their joints.
- Core strength. According to a 2016 studyTrusted Source , just 21 days of Hatha yoga training can lead to improvements in core muscle strength and balance. Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
- Endurance and strength training. Because the challenging poses are done in quick succession, Vinyasa yoga helps build muscle strength while improving your fitness.
- Stability and balance. While improved balance is a benefit of yoga in general, a 2015 studyTrusted Source in the journal PLoS One found that for people with low vision, a course of Ashtanga-based yoga significantly improved their sense of balance and reduced their fall risk.
- Cardio workout. According to a 2013 study in the Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, the fast-paced movements and physical challenge of Vinyasa yoga make it an ideal light-intensity cardiovascular workout.
- Lower stress, less anxiety. In a 2012 studyTrusted Source of women going through cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) to quit smoking, researchers found that practicing Vinyasa yoga training helped lower stress and anxiety levels. It also helped the participants quit smoking.