How To Determine Which Type Of Yoga Is Right For You
There are many different styles of yoga. If you’re new to yoga, it can be overwhelming & confusing when you’re trying to choose which class or studio you want to commit to.
When I first started practicing, I definitely didn’t even think about researching what each type of yoga might entail. However, it would have been nice to know since some types of yoga are more intense or vigorous than others. If you walk into a power class looking for something stretchy & grounded, you might not walk out of the class with the most positive impression, because power classes are meant to be very dynamic & intense.
So to clarify your confusion and make it easier for you decide which is right for you, below is a list of the most common types of yoga you might come across.
Types of Yoga
- Vinyasa or Flow Yoga: This practice is typically faster paced with the emphasis on flowing multiple poses together. It’s a strong practice that usually gives you a challenge due to its dynamic nature. However, even though it’s faster-paced & dynamic, it may still be suitable for beginners if the class is labelled as open or all levels, or L1 or L1-2.
- Hatha Yoga: This practice is still dynamic and strong, but it’s slower in nature. In this style of class, you will find that poses are held longer than you would experience in a vinyasa or flow class.
- Yin Yoga: This practice is very slow with the focus on stretching deep into the fascia & connective tissues. Poses are held between 3-5 minutes and are all grounded (on back, seated, or on stomach).
- Restorative Yoga: This practice is similar to yin, but it involves more props and the poses are gentler in nature with long holds.
- Ashtanga: This is a very vigorous practice derived from vinyasa yoga. There are different levels in this practice each with their own set of poses. The traditional Mysore ashtanga practice is done early in the morning and it is not guided (you are expected to know the poses by memory). In the western world, you can find more guided ashtanga classes.
- Power Yoga: Also a set series of poses, derived from vinyasa or flow yoga, that may differ slightly from teacher to teacher. Expect intensity and a lot of heat in this practice!
- Sivananda: This practice is based on 12 yoga poses. It’s a very slow & methodical class.
- Bikram: This practice is 90 minutes long and is always done in a very hot room. Come with an open mind and expect intensity.
- Iyengar: This practice is very prop-based and is also done more slowly, but it can still be challenging and strong.
Personally, I love the balance of flow yoga and yin yoga. My gymnastics background loves the challenge of flow yoga, but my love for meditation pulls me to yin yoga.
Choosing your type of yoga is a personal choice. The first thing to decide, before choosing your style of class, is what you’re looking to get out of your yoga practice. If you want something more stretchy & not physically intense, then try yin, restorative, or maybe even hatha. If you want a workout, go to a power class!
Do you have a preferred style of yoga? Share it with my in the comments!