The best types of yoga for stress relief

As the holiday season kicks into high gear, so do stress levels. Get the most zen out of your practice with these types of yoga.

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Restorative

Focusing on four or five simple poses for an extended period of time, restorative yoga is designed to help you sink into deep relaxation, and direct blood flow to sore or injured areas without straining them.

Vinyasa

Vinyasa, which means “flow” in Sanskrit, is a movement-intensive practice with smooth transitions between poses. “People who are stressed out or struggling with anxiety may need a slow vinyasa class to focus the mind and find peace through movement,” says Vancouver-based yoga instructor and blogger Brittanie Firth.

Yin

Also known as Taoist yoga, yin is quiet, meditative and passive. The idea is to give into gravity and completely relax your muscles. Firth recommends this practice “for the slow, relaxing calm it creates.”

Also, should you chant?
If you think chanting is only for mountaintops, consider this: A study published in the International Journal of Yoga found that activity in the brain’s limbic system (which is associated with mood and emotions) was slowed during the chanting of “om.” “Chanting helps to get us out of our thoughts and be present in a state of peace,” says Joana Peixoto, an instructor at Toronto Yoga Mamas. “The vibration from chanting is very soothing because it’s reminiscent of being in our mother’s womb.” If you’re uncomfortable chanting, try humming or just focusing on the chanting of those around you.

Related:
The best foods to eat after yoga
The mini morning yoga routine you can do in your bedroom
Meditate your headache away