Ideal for: Beginners.
What it is: Hatha refers to any practice that combines poses, or asanas, with breathing techniques, or pranayamas. The goal of a basic hatha class is to develop flexibility and balance and to integrate breath into every movement, so it is generally relaxing and restorative. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Nursing Research found that just one 90-minute hatha class significantly reduced women’s feelings of stress. Participants often begin by chanting the syllable om, then move into a series of poses and finish on the floor in a supine position called shavasana for 5 to 15 minutes, says Julie Wood, the director of programming for YogaWorks, in New York City and California.
Good to know: You can gauge the intensity of a class by asking the instructor how quickly you’ll be moving (or “flowing”) between poses. If the answer is rapidly, you may want to find a slower-paced class for your first few sessions.
If you aren’t ready to join a studio, this at-home easy yoga workout is a perfect introduction.