Mindbody

Download the app

The MINDBODY app

Fitness memberships, workout classes, wellness services, beauty appointments and more.

Install
Yoga class meditation
Fitness
Published Tuesday Feb 04, 2020 by Christa Quattrocchi

Find Your Flow: Which Yoga Style is Right For You?

Yoga is an ancient practice believed to help unify the body, mind, and spirit. Over the years, we’ve seen more styles of yoga than Game of Thrones storylines, so we know it can be pretty overwhelming to try and differentiate them all. Just like searching for the perfect pair of jeans, you may have to try out many different yoga classes before finding the one. So, we’ve created the ultimate guide to yoga styles to help you find the right fit for you. 


Hatha 

Translated to ‘sun and moon,’ Hatha yoga is the entry point for physical and mental balance. 

What to expect: 
The foundations. Hatha classes are typically structured classical postures, focusing on the breath, proper alignment, and slow transitions. All movement is completed on both sides so you can walk away feeling blissfully balanced. 


Vinyasa 

Flow and let it go. Vinyasa is the kombucha of yoga, it’s pretty much available on every corner in a variety of flavors. 

What to expect: 
A creative, flowy, physically demanding class, Vinyasa lets you move through postures at a steady pace that matches the rhythm of your breath. Since each class is creatively crafted by its teacher, no two classes will be the same. Though one thing you can rely on time after time is the sanctuary of savasana or “corpse pose” (which is exactly what it sounds like—a reclined meditation to end class). 

Corpse pose

Power Yoga/Sculpt 

If you’ve ever thought, yoga isn’t a workout, think again. Power yoga is Vinyasa’s marathon-running friend.  

What to expect: 
A focus on strength training, possibly with the addition of weights. This energetic style of yoga is meant for those who want to incorporate strength training on the mat.  


Aerial  

On par with a Cirque-du-Soleil showcase, aerial yoga will elevate your practice—and we’re not speaking metaphorically. 

What to expect: 
You’ll climb into a hammock that’s suspended from the ceiling to get into juicier postures without all that joint pressure. Some describe the feeling as being in a cocoon, which can be especially healing for trauma survivors seeking a more protective space to practice. 

Aerial Yoga

Yin 

Dreaming of the day you can seamlessly slip into a full split? Yang’s other half brings you a smooth way to increase your flexibility by getting you into the deeper layers of connective tissue. 
 
What to expect: 
Long holds and a very grounded practice. Make sure to grab some props, like blocks, blankets, bolsters, and straps—they are your most fashionable toolset to finding more space! Yin postures are held for 3-5 minutes each, creating a greater depth of physical and mental stillness. Pro Tip: If you’re a fitness junkie, check out a Yin class once per week as a counterbalance to all of that built-up muscle tension. 


Bikram 

Are you someone that gets lunch from the same place every day? Creatures of habit, this one’s for you. The yoga system developed by Bikram Choudhury in the 20th century is made up of 26 postures and two breath techniques (AKA 26+2)
 
What to expect: 
Sweat. You’ll practice in a carpeted, mirrored room heated to 105. Not to be confused with ‘hot power yoga,’ these 26 poses are always taught sequentially, and instructors don’t have creative freedom. 

Yoga foot stretch

Ashtanga 

As if yoga didn’t already require enough self-discipline, K. Pattabhi Jois leveled up with his modern system of Ashtanga yoga. This physically demanding method requires yogis to practice a progressively structured series of postures. 
 
What to expect: 
Independence, baby! If it’s your first time, you’ll want to register for a ‘led’ class, as the series are typically practiced in silent, un-guided spaces where you can come and go as you please. Each pose is held for five breaths to cultivate strength in the discomfort. 

Kundalini 

Kundalini is the loveable, eccentric aunt, dressed in all white and inviting more than just physical modalities of yoga to activate the sacred, spiritual energy located at the base of your spine. 
 
What to expect: 
Kundalini classes are sequenced based on what is known as a kriya—a series of postures, breathing methods, or chants practiced for minutes at a time. Be prepared to use your voice and fire up that core! This one is stealthy in bringing on the soreness. 

Candlelit Child's Pose

Iyengar 

B.K.S. Iyengar was a dude all about that alignment. And could you blame him? No one is looking to get hurt doing yoga
 
What to expect: 
Props, props, props! Grab those blocks, straps, blankets, even chairs (yes, the ones you sit in) on the way in. Some studios even have a wall configured with props to help you enter postures in the proper alignment. Offerings are typically classified by level, so if you’re new, start with Level I and work your way up as you become more comfortable.

Christa Quattrocchi Headshot
Written by
Christa Quattrocchi
Acquisition Program Manager
About the author
Christa is a 300hr certified yoga instructor on a soulful journey to integrate spiritual practices, such as astrology, tarot, and pranayama, in her guidance both on and off the mat. She is Mindbody’s resident witch and advertising aficionado. Beyond her credentials, you can find Christa channeling creativity through writing, cooking plant-based goodness, & surfing her home waters in sunny San Diego.
man working out
Fitness
Published Wednesday Sep 23, 2020 by Sara Lesher

5 Things Instructors Are Doing to Improve Their Virtual Fitness Classes

Fitness
Virtual Classes
Mindbody Community

By now, we all know the benefits of virtual and online fitness classes, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about some of the struggles. To adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, studios and instructors all over the world had to get crafty, many with little-to-no experience with live streaming or recording workouts at home (so, if you haven’t, make sure you send your instructors a quick thank you—because they deserve it). Now that we’ve realized virtual fitness is here to stay—and we’ve all had lots of practice—the virtual experience is getting a whole lot better. 

Here’s what your favorite studios and instructors are doing to improve their virtual fitness classes right now: 


1.    Making classes easy to access 


Everything seems harder than it must be right now...which is why jumping through hoops to get into a class should be the last thing on your mind. As with most things, the simpler, the better (unless we’re talking about the actual workout). Studios are working on creating a one-button experience to join a class. You sign up, get an email, press ‘join,’ and you’re in. And if something happens with your WiFi and you end up getting kicked out, no worries. One button click and you’re back in, without even missing a circuit. 


2.    Quality video, quality workouts 


If there's one thing more annoying than not having easy access to classes, it’s bad quality and connection. We’ve all found ourselves in online classes where you literally can’t follow along due to poor connectivity causing instructors to freeze every five seconds. Or if it’s an on-demand class that doesn’t buffer, you’re stuck looking at a spinning wheel as your heart rate decreases at the worst possible time. Not fun.  

Now, studios and instructors are doing their absolute best to make sure they have top-notch WiFi and streaming services so we can work out without delays. Better cameras, lighting, and space setups are just a few of the investments instructors and studios are making to make virtual workouts as close to the in-studio experience as possible. 

3.    The sound of music... and the instructor’s voice 


For most, working out with music is a must. But figuring out how to balance tunes with the instructor’s voice can be a challenge. In the studio, they have state-of-the-art speakers blasting playlists throughout class, and oftentimes they have headset mics—all adjusted to the perfect volume so you can sweat to the beat, without missing a beat.  

But at home, it’s a little more difficult. Now that instructors have had some time to work on it, they’re figuring it out. Some instructors suggest playlists for you, others have mastered the perfect music to voice volume ratio, and some have invested in some high-quality mic setups for their home studios. In yoga instructor, Dani Schenone’s words, “Instructors are Jedi masters at the music-to-voice volume ratio at this point. When necessary, external microphones offer an amazingly clear experience. I record my classes and listen back, noticing any audio issues I need to address the next time around.” We’re getting there together, and again, thank your instructors. This isn’t easy. 
 

quality video quote


4.    Setup and prep 


With instructors improving their own spaces for filming workouts, we need to be doing the same as attendees. An instructor’s key to creating a good virtual experience is making it all replicable—creating a space and using equipment that’s realistic for anyone to mimic at home. If they're using weights, they should let you know ahead of time, and maybe even give some household items you can use as alternatives.  

Instructors are people too, and they know this. They’re coming up with tons of creative ways to make the experience easier for you, whether it’s propping up their cameras so you can see their entire setup and body, notifying you of equipment needs early in the booking process, or teaching classes that can realistically fit in most spaces. 
 

props quote


5.    Keeping us engaged—and motivated 


Have you seen the videos of teachers trying to keep their kindergarteners engaged over Zoom? Fitness classes are not much different. Signing up for group fitness classes means more motivation and encouragement, so we can’t skip out on the hard moves and cut our workouts short when we’re feeling tired. Instructors, though, have an interesting challenge—keeping that spirit up through a computer or phone screen. And right now (as always), they’re stepping up in several ways: 
    •    They’re always on time, beginning and ending class right when they say they will. 

    •    They talk through all the moves, so you don’t constantly have to be looking at the screen, and demo them at least twice in case you missed the first one.  

    •    They shout out words of encouragement and call people out by name, just as they would at an in-studio class.  

    •    They give tips and pointers for perfecting your form, even if they can’t always see you. 

    •    They have a positive attitude throughout the class and are consistent with their delivery, so we always know what to expect.  

    •    They’re our superstars, and we love them for it. 

 

mcalister quote


Shifting from IRL to virtual fitness has not come without its own set of complications, but let’s not forget about the struggles of the people on the other side of that screen. Our instructors are working hard out here to make these classes better because they genuinely care about our health, well-being, and sense of community.  

Virtual classes are here to stay, and they’re just going to keep getting better and better. Thank you, instructors. 

Sara Lesher
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As Mindbody’s marketing content associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).