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Hatha Yoga Versus Vinyasa Yoga

Updated: Dec 9, 2022

Oftentimes when we sign up for a yoga class we see “vinyasa flow” or “hatha yoga” or even “yin yoga” and etc etc. This can be confusing and even daunting! Here I will explain hatha versus vinyasa yoga so when you are going to your next yoga class you will know which suits you best…

First of all, let’s make it clear that yoga has evolved and continues to evolve. The first type of yoga was called Vedic Yoga. This style dates back to the oldest written sanskrit work in the world, roughly 11,000 years ago. Known as the oldest book in the world…

Much how humans have evolved with our cultures and tools, so has yoga. A newer style of yoga now is called Buti Yoga. Buti yoga leans heavily towards fast paced exercise with music driven dancing with dynamic yoga asanas.

Okay, so let’s dive into what hatha versus vinyasa yoga means.

What is hatha yoga?

Hatha in Sanskrit means force. Essentially, placing our bodies into positions, yoga asanas or physical techniques.

Hatha yoga tends to be more grounding as it slowly connects the breath with movement. Sometimes holding poses for 3-7 breaths. This style of yoga is slower than the more well known fast, hot yoga flows in Western culture.

If you attend a hatha class, know you will slow down and get deep into each asana. The music attached to hatha yoga usually is slow, meditative music.

Though, this practice can be very powerful and be supportive. In our retreats, Wholesome Alchemy teaches hatha yoga: to ground, to be, to connect. Hatha yoga slows us down and connects us deeper with the breath and body, thus inviting the union with soul.

Here is a beautiful 60 minute opening Hatha yoga flow...

When is the best time to practice hatha yoga?

For me, I tend to practice hatha yoga when I feel airy, ungrounded, unsure, overwhelmed, or stressed. The practice is also beneficial for women when we are cycling.

If you see a hatha yoga course in your local yoga studio, try it and see how it feels for you. It is a beautiful tool to connect back to the roots of who we are.

What is vinyasa yoga?

Vinyasa, on the other hand, is a smooth transition between asanas while connecting breath to movement. This usually follows a “yoga sequence” where the teacher guides you from pose to pose, ending the sequence with a downward facing dog.

Vinyasa is faster paced and a lot of times put with higher frequency music. When attending a vinyasa class, EXPECT MOVEMENT! The majority of classes in Western culture are vinyasa-based yoga. Western culture tends to enjoy the faster paced, hot and sweaty classes that leave us feeling like we got a good workout in!

When is the best time to practice vinyasa yoga?

Vinyasa is great for strengthening and conditioning! The best time to practice Vinyasa, for women, is during our White moon phase when we are more energetic and free flowing.

For me, Vinyasa is a beautiful practice to enjoy whenever I feel I need to get out of my head and/or release some energy, or when I feel energetic and on top of the world!

Vinyasa is the most practiced style of yoga, so if you attend your local yoga studio there is a great chance you know vinyasa :)

In the end…

At the end of the day, learning yoga and the different styles is a beautiful practice to begin. There are so many types of yoga, styles of teachers, and beautiful places to deepen your practice.


Do you have a desire to deepen your practice? You want to explore the world?

Check out the Wholesome Alchemy Retreats, a place to travel the world, connect deeper to yourself, and embody your Truth! Join us…

If you have any more questions, Connect with Courtney

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