Yoga is a physical and mental exercise that has been practiced for thousands of years.  It has become one of the more popular health exercises because of its many physical and mental health benefits, including pain and stress relief, strength, flexibility and concentration enhancement.

There are several types of yoga, and all of them have the ability to energize and promote healing and inner peace.  If you are planning to take yoga as an exercise, you should familiarize yourself with its different types so that you will know which one best suits your needs.

Here are the seven types of yoga:

1. Hatha

Hatha is a basic type of yoga which has gained popularity in the western world.  It is a calm and moderately paced exercise which is very common among beginners.

2. Bikram

This type of yoga is practiced in a room with a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit and a humidity of about 40 percent. It applies 26 basic poses which are all intended to boost flexibility and induce excessive sweating.  This type helps dieters to burn more calories.

3. Ashtanga

This is a fast-paced type of yoga that requires more force.  It is also practiced in quick progression with the application of six pre-determined poses.  Its practitioners need to move from one pose to the next every time they inhale and exhale.

Ashtanga is not for the new yoga enthusiast.  Aside from being fast-paced, its poses are quite strenuous.  It is actually a good fit for experienced practitioners who want to lose weight.

4. Iyengar

Iyengar yoga involves the perfect execution of the different poses.  It is helpful to people who want to develop muscle definition because it focuses on the precise alignment of your body parts as you execute the poses. There are instances when practitioners use blocks, straps and harnesses to achieve the ideal form.  Iyengar yoga is best practiced with the help of an experienced instructor.

5. Power

Power yoga is a new type of yoga that uses different poses which are not done in a pre-set sequence.  This is another fast-paced type of yoga which is good for people who intend to burn calories.

6. Prenatal

This is another new type of yoga which is specially developed for pregnant women.  It can also help women who want to stay in shape and regain their balance after giving birth.  It employs breathing methods which are very helpful for pregnant women who are preparing to deliver their babies.  Its ability to enhance the strength of the pelvic floor can help to make childbearing easier for mothers.

7. Restorative

Restorative yoga is the perfect type of meditative exercise for people who are recovering from an injury.  It has a slower pace which makes it easy for people with limited physical abilities to perform.  It uses only a few poses, but those are enough to relieve you of stress and to relax your body and mind.