Of the several yoga types exercised across the world, two distinctions: Vinyasa and Hatha yoga are some of the most popular. While they share several identical poses, Vinyasa and Hatha have different pacing and focus.
Which of the two is the right for you depends and is subject to your yoga familiarity, your goals, and fitness level for learning and exercising this type of physical activity. In this article, we will look at Vinyasa and Hatha yoga and choose which one can be the better option.
What Is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha yoga may be considered a general term for several of the most common types of yoga learned in western countries today. With this form of yoga, you slowly and purposely move your body into various postures that challenge your flexibility and strength, while concentrating on mindfulness and relaxation at the same time.
Hatha yoga puts particular emphasis on posture and controlled breathing. Building inner strength is crucial and therefore is another essential feature of this form of yoga. Hatha yoga involves hundreds of poses, including well-known poses such as Standing Forward Bend and Downward Facing Dog. These postures are customarily held for several minutes before moving to the next move.
In addition to this, Hatha yoga may be exercised with no specific sequencing. However, schools like Sivananda and procedures such as hot yoga (Bikram) follow a series of 12 poses to 26 postures. Hatha yoga puts more emphasis on proper rest, relaxation, and steadiness. While exercising, you utilize complete yogic breathing, which is occasionally known as 3 parts breathing, which is as quiet and natural as possible.
You consume as little energy as possible, keeping your body relaxed, calm mind, and breath as well. This may be the perfect fit for a new learner as the method is deep and slow. You may build a solid base as you learn to bond with your body and breath.
What Are The Benefits Associated With Hatha Yoga?
The study has revealed that Hatha yoga has extensive benefits which include the following:
- Stress reduction
A study in 2013 in the Journal of Nursing Research established that 90-minute Hatha yoga participation was linked with a reduction in stress levels. Similarly, the research indicated that regular Hatha yoga exercise might lead to stress reduction significantly.
- Depression symptoms reduction
According to a study dating back to 2008, 12 sessions of consistent Hatha yoga practice may considerably reduce depression and anxiety levels.
- Joint and muscle flexibility
Several studies, including a survey, carried out in 2015 in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science, recommend that exercising Hatha yoga enhances flexibility in the hamstring and spine. Similarly, the researchers recommended this type of yoga for aged adults who require assistance in improving their joints’ motion range.
- Core strength
About a study conducted in 2016, 21 days of exercising hatha yoga may lead to improved core balance and muscle strength.
What Is Vinyasa Yoga?
Vinyasa refers to a yoga approach in which you move directly from one posture to another. There is a flow to a Vinyasa yoga class; however, the specific poses and the speed of the flow differ from one yoga instructor to another.
Similarly, you may come across the terms Ashtanga yoga; a term used interchangeably with Vinyasa. While they have the same approach, the significant difference is that Ashtanga yoga follows a typical pose pattern.
On the other hand, Vinyasa yoga moves typically from a pose to another, dependent on the instructor’s discretion. This change synchronizes with your breathing. It is carried out mainly as you breathe out or breathe in and gives you a feeling that the breath moves your body. A fast-paced Vinyasa yoga session may be physically challenging.
Similarly, unlike Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga is perceived as an advanced or intermediate exercise due to the association between breath and fluid movement. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you cannot exercise Vinyasa if you are a new student. However, Hatha yoga is considered ideal for yoga beginners. Again, it puts more emphasis on and period for appropriate form means that the learners may learn the right way with which to practice the poses. Vinyasa is relatively diverse, and although referred to as a more laborious exercise, no specific speed is necessary.
Vinyasa yoga emanates from Ashtanga yoga, a form of yoga made famous by Pattabhi Jois. Distinct from Ashtanga, Vinyasa yoga follows no specific series or sequence. In exercising Vinyasa, you use controlled and audible ujjayi breath, to concentrate the mind and help you through the movements. This breath leads to the creation of internal heat used for internal cleansing.
The Benefits of Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa yoga enhances energy levels while at the same time, lowering stress levels and promoting relaxation. In addition to this, it offers many other benefits which include the following:
- Strength and endurance training
Due to the challenging postures that are carried out quickly, Vinyasa yoga assists in building strong muscles while enhancing your fitness.
- Balance and stability
While balance improvement is a significant benefit of yoga generally, a study conducted in 2015 in the journal PLoS One revealed that for persons with low vision, practicing Ashtanga yoga significantly improves their sense of balance and reduces the risk of falling.
- Cardio Workout
About a study conducted in 2013 in the Journal of Yoga and Physical Therapy, it is noted that Vinyasa yoga physical challenge and fast-paced movements make it a perfect light intensity cardiovascular workout.
- Less anxiety, lower stress levels
In a study conducted in 2012 on women going through cognitive behavior therapy, to stop smoking, researchers found out that exercising Vinyasa yoga experienced lowered stress levels and anxiety as well. Similarly, it assisted the partakers to quit smoking.
- Fat Burn
Building muscles means building more metabolically active tissues, which essentially burns fat for preservation, even while at rest. Of course provided that, you are not offsetting burned calories with extra calories consumed.
- Increased flexibility
Among the notable physical benefits of any yoga exercise is enhanced flexibility from the gentle expansion of muscles. However, in Vinyasa, learners involve more in vigorous stretching as compared to static stretching, the latter of which is further common in Hatha yoga. Dynamic stretching uses a more vibrant, broader motion range to extend the muscles rather than steady elongated-and-hold moves that are a characteristic of static stretching.
What Are The Significant Differences Between Vinyasa And Hatha Yoga?
Vinyasa and Hatha yoga involves several of similar postures. However, a significant difference is the speed of the sessions. Vinyasa moves faster and necessitates enhanced breathing control as compared to Hatha yoga. However, because Hatha yoga involves slow movement and holding on to the poses for a more extended period, Hatha yoga allows more stretching.
To understand the difference at a glance, we picture Hatha yoga as flexibility and stretching workout, while Vinyasa yoga is portrayed as a cardiovascular workout.
Which Is Appropriate For You?
Like any exercise, the form of yoga that is best for you depends on several factors:
Vinyasa yoga is likely to match you better if:
- You are used to yoga postures and know how to exercise them.
- You possess the right fitness level.
- You would like to attain cardiovascular and strength exercise workout throughout the yoga class session.
- You would like to feel challenged throughout the yoga session.
Hatha yoga can be an appropriate match if:
- Are new to yoga exercises
- Have low levels of fitness
- Would like to concentrate on your posture and core strength
- Want to maximize the reduction in stress
- You prefer a slow, more relaxed speed.
What is the difference between vinyasa and hatha yoga ? The Bottom Line
Vinyasa and hatha yoga share several poses. In their particular ways, they each put more emphasis on conscious, controlled breathing to assist you in improving your fitness and relaxation. Practicing both Hatha and Vinyasa should lead to a well-rounded learner. On the other hand, an instructor should possess a good understanding of vinyasa and hatha yoga to determine when best to exercise each.
Our bodies continuously change due to internal as well as external factors. To this extent, therefore, we should not exercise the same yoga poses every day. A significant difference between the two yoga types is how you move from one posture to another.
When choosing the type of yoga approach that best suits you, remember that you may try one style and move to a different pose in case you realize it’s not best suitable for you about your wellness and fitness goals.
Precautions While Exercising Vinyasa and Hatha Yoga
While exercising these repetitive series, it is crucial to exercise while observing care similar to any physically demanding exercise. Similarly, you must seek instruction from a qualified instructor when you are getting to start learning yoga—being under a trained instructor is crucial. This will prevent exercising the poses in the wrong manner to avoid adverse effects on your body and attain the anticipated correct outcome. Vinyasa yoga speed may be quite fast, and if you are not familiar with the poses basics and the names, you may get exposed to injury.