It has suddenly come to your attention that yoga might be a great way to relieve your lingering aches + pains. But how do you know which types of yoga would be best for you and your issues? Here’s a quick list of the four best types of yoga for complete beginners who are trying to relieve pain themselves.

a pin helping people discover the 4 best types of yoga for beginners wanting to relieve pain

Pain slowly creeps into your body over time. At first, you notice it, but don’t feel bad enough to actually do something about it.

It will go away on its own, you think. That’s what happened last time.

But then one day you notice it hasn’t gone away. It’s still here and now more than ever, it’s making its presence known.

You turn to the internet. Good old Google will surely have the answer.

You search and dig, looking for ideas of things you could actually do to get rid of this nagging, persistent pain.

Then, it hits you. Yoga.

The lightbulb in your head illuminates and you realize for the first time ever, Maybe yoga can help.

There’s Just One Problem…

The problem is you’re totally new to yoga. You’ve never done it before, and now you’re in pain—not exactly an ideal time to experiment with exercise.

But, before you give up and decide to try yoga when you feel better, there’s something you need to know.

Even if you’re injured, today is a great day to start practicing yoga.

Actually, today is a great day to start practicing yoga—especially if you’re injured. Yoga has been used for centuries to help people relieve their common aches + pains.

The key is choosing the very best class to meet your needs to help you feel better. Any of the following types of yoga classes are going to be perfect for someone trying to relieve pain themself. Just return to your trusty friend, Google, to help you find the perfect yoga studio for you.

Want to learn six easy yoga poses to relieve hip pain? Download your free copy of Get Rid of Hip Pain with These Six Yoga Poses now!

The Best Types of Yoga for Beginners Trying to Relieve Pain

When you’re trying to relieve pain yourself, yoga is a great starting point. Many of the body’s aches + pains can be relieved with as little as one yoga practice per week.

Even with such a small commitment, you can take the necessary steps toward helping you feel like your old self.

At least, that was my experience. After having my son, I was constantly having pelvic pain. I tried all sorts of things that didn’t work, and then I turned to Google.

Yoga, Google told me. Try yoga.

It had helped my friends, but I was seriously skeptical about whether it could actually do anything for me. The truth is, I credit yoga with being the glue that helped me cobble myself back together again after childbirth.

The key to success is choosing the right class for your needs. Here’s more about my favorite types of yoga that could help you start feeling better right now.

1. Restorative Yoga

woman relaxing in a restorative yoga pose

Many props support you to help you stay comfortable. These props can include blankets, bolsters, blocks, straps, and eye pillows. Even chairs or the wall can be props when doing Restorative yoga.

According to Yoga Journal, Restorative yoga is based on the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar (the fella who basically brought yoga to us Westerners) and includes gentle twists, supported backbends, and supported forward folds.

The key is to get into your yoga posture, use props to make you feel comfortable and supported, then let your body and mind relax.

For people who are extremely active, Restorative yoga’s slow pace can be a particular challenge. Being comfortable with the stillness is often the trickiest part of this type of yoga practice.

If you’re not sure what I mean, take a comfortable seat, completely clear your mind so that you think of nothing (literally), and then keep doing that for the next 5 minutes. For many people, the mind will wander and the body will fidget. The trick is to keep reigning yourself back in. Return to the present moment and your practice.

Hard, right?

But, with practice, it becomes easier.

Restorative yoga is designed to restore your body and mind. In a class, you will only do a handful of postures, but you will hold them for five or more minutes per side. With the slow pace, you are able to focus on the present moment, your form, and releasing tension.

Benefits of Restorative Yoga

The benefits associated with Restorative yoga practice are:

  • Restorative yoga helps you slow down.
  • Breathing in a supported, comfortable position will lead to relaxation.
  • As you stay in the present moment on your mat, you will experience an increase in mind/body awareness.
  • This slow pace and deep breathing soothe the nervous system.
  • Through the class, you will experience increased mindfulness as you remind yourself to stay present on your mat.
  • The support of the props helps you feel safe and nurtured.
  • As you practice, you will be able to acknowledge and move on. Sure, you might feel tightness or like you need to squirm. Acknowledge those thoughts and let them go.
  • After your practice, you should sleep better. Many people report that they sleep very soundly after practicing Restorative yoga.

Restorative yoga is particularly beneficial for anyone who believes their pain is coming from muscle tightness or anxiety.

Free Restorative Yoga Video

Here’s a free restorative yoga video if you’re interested in giving this type of yoga a try at your home.

You don’t have to wonder what you need to do to get rid of your pain. Download your free copy of The Secret to IMMEDIATE + LASTING Pain Relief (No Matter Which Muscle Hurts) and learn this simple pain-relieving activity.

2. Yin Yoga

baddha konasana pose

Yin yoga is a Western yoga (used by those who live in the West–like the United States, not the East–like India) that was founded in the late 1970s.

It’s basically the complete opposite of what you might think happens in yoga class. Although folks might think of yoga class as active and maybe even fast-paced, this style of yoga is slow-moving.

Like restorative yoga, you might only do a handful of poses during your class. Also, you could use props to hold your pose for a somewhat lengthy time.

According to Bernie Clark (who is considered to be one of the top authorities in yin yoga), the purpose of this long hold is to allow us to work “the deeper ‘yin’ tissues of our ligaments, joints, deep fascial networks, and even our bones.”

This is how yin yoga complements almost all other activities and hobbies. Unlike your favorite activity, yin yoga asks your muscles to relax on a totally new, deep level.

Do You Remember High School Gym Class?

Do you remember how in high school gym class the teacher would lead you through some stretches? You’d get in a position, hold for a while, and move on.

When you try yin yoga, you’re going to notice that you’re doing some of those same stretches from high school.

And, at first, this is going to be a little revolting. (At least, that’s how it was for me.)

The difference between now and then is your instructor. In gym class, your teacher probably didn’t have a great grasp of the how and why for what you were doing. And you were young, your body was bendy and pain-free, so it didn’t really matter.

But now, it matters.

By working with a qualified yin yoga instructor, you’ll discover that what might look like the dumb stretches you did before kickball are actually the masterful, pain-relieving exercises you’ll be doing today.

You’ll soon discover that some guidance from your instructor and attention to your body is the key you need for unlocking tight muscles and joints.

Yin yoga is the perfect type of yoga for anyone experiencing aches + pains caused by muscle tightness.

Free Yin Yoga Video

Thinking of giving yin yoga a try? Here’s a handy video to help you experience this wonderful form of yoga from the privacy of your own home.

3.Chair Yoga

reverse warrior yoga pose in a chair

Simply put, chair yoga is doing yoga with a chair. For many people, getting up and down from the ground, as one might do in a yoga class, is not an easy task. With chair yoga, you use the chair as a prop to help you get into many yoga poses while feeling greatly supported and stabilized.

Think of chair yoga as a yoga class that specifically uses a metal chair as a prop. There may also be bolsters, blankets, straps, and/or blocks, but when you go to chair yoga class, you know you’re going to be using a chair.

But, I don’t want to use any props, you may be thinking. I hear you on that. Sometimes, we get it in our minds that using props might make it look like we’re weak or unable to do the exercise without help.

And I get it. For some people, that dreaded four-letter H-word is the worst of all four-letter words. But, when you’re practicing yoga, that isn’t the case.

Props are items that allow your body to more comfortably and correctly move through therapeutic positions. By practicing these poses to the very best of your ability, you will unlock tight muscles and joints that are causing you aches + pains.

Perfect, right? Because, after all, you are looking for a way to relieve your lingering aches.

What’s awesome about chair class is that it’s perfect for people of all skill levels.

Need help relieving pain? Try chair yoga.

Want to practice yoga without having to get up and down off the floor? Try chair yoga.

Ready to ramp up your usual yoga practice? Try chair yoga.

Truly, chair yoga is the perfect type of yoga for anyone with joint pain or who has pain getting down to or up from the ground, but it’s a great way to keep practice fresh for even the most experienced yogis.

Want to learn six easy yoga poses to relieve hip pain? Download your free copy of Get Rid of Hip Pain with These Six Yoga Poses now!

4. Hatha Yoga

Sarah Stockett practicing reverse warrior pose

Hatha yoga is really a generic term that indicates a yoga class that teaches yoga’s physical postures. (You may not be aware that yoga is an Eastern religion and the physical yoga practice is only one component of fully practicing yoga.)

Although many people in Western society may not be fully on board with practicing yoga as a religion, it is widely acknowledged that the physical postures of yoga are largely beneficial for people of all shapes, sizes, and abilities (and religions).

When you sign up for a Hatha yoga class, here’s what you should expect:

  • a slower pace than some other forms of yoga,
  • attention to correct alignment during the postures,
  • basic instruction on some of the breathing techniques in yoga, and
  • encouragement to look within and deepen your body/mind connection.

Hatha yoga is the perfect type of yoga for anyone with aches + pains but no significant or debilitating limitations.

All These Types of Yoga Sound Great. How Do I Choose?

The reason all of these types of yoga seem great is because they are. You’re not getting married, so don’t feel like you have to choose just one kind of yoga and settle down. Try them all!

And, you should also try a bunch of local studios.

It’s important to find the studio and teacher that works best with your needs and personality, but you won’t know what’s available until you start to look around.

Whether you decide to try one or all of the above types of yoga, your body will thank you. When you’re in class, remember that you want to take your time. Move mindfully to ensure that every pose you practice helps you get one step closer toward achieving your goal of easing your aches + pains.

You don’t have to wonder what you need to do to get rid of your pain. Download your free copy of The Secret to IMMEDIATE + LASTING Pain Relief (No Matter Which Muscle Hurts) and learn this simple pain-relieving activity.

About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.