Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, Kundalini, Iyengar … there are so many freakin’ different types of yoga out there. While we are by no means yoga pros, we have tried just about every type of yoga out there, be it in workout DVDs or in live classes. So to help you decide what type of yoga is right for you, we put together the below guide.
While it doesn’t cover ever single different type of yoga out there, it definitely helps fit just about any need or quirk you’ve got. Simply find the statement that most relates to your personality and lifestyle to find the best type of yoga for you. So what are you waiting for? Read on, future yogis!
Finding the Best Type of Yoga for You
Personality #1: I have an hour or more to dedicate to yoga, and I don’t mind getting really, really sweaty. You need to try Bikram! Bikram yoga classes are done in studios that are heated to a crispy 95 to 105 degrees. Both meditative and focused, Bikram is also physically challenging—and not just because of the heat (although that’s brutal at times). Bikram yoga is a mix of strength, cardio and flexibility. No easy feat!
Personality #2: I’m a beginner and not sure about this yoga stuff. Hatha yoga is a great type of yoga for newbies to try. It’s also the type of yoga you probably know the most about, as it’s the most popular type in the U.S. Through poses accompanied with deep breathing, it’s also great for stress reduction.
Personality #3: I want guns like Madonna (and am already familiar with yoga or am an athlete). Ashtanga yoga it is! This type of yoga is very physically demanding (Madonna doesn’t look like that by accident), and involves synchronized breath with a progressive series of poses and postures (yeah, that craziness you see in photos) that build in intensity. Not for beginners, this is the most athletic form of yoga out there.
Personality #4: I’m recovering from an injury, have super poor flexibility and/or have some wonky pain or issues. Take it easy with Iyengar yoga. This different type of yoga is relaxing, has a slow and controlled pace, and is extra forgiving on beginners or those with physical limitations. Iyengar yoga is also the kind that uses lots of props to make your body more comfortable, including cushions, blankets, straps and blocks.
Personality #5: I’m totally hippity-dippity. If you find yourself a little more on the spiritual, hippity-dippity side, try Kripalu or Kundalini yoga. Both types of yoga are more heady than others and focus on breathing, energy and meditation. Kripalu yoga uses gentle movement as meditation, and Kundalini yoga uses poses to unleash energy. Both may include chanting or loud breathing (for real).
Personality #6: I have exercise A.D.D. and want to try yoga, but don’t want to just lie there. Ah! You’re like me! Try Vinyasa yoga, which pairs breath and movement together for a type of flowing yoga that feels more like a workout than stretching.
Personality #7: I need to chill the heck out. Restorative yoga is your ticket. Nothing more than mediation, deep breathing and lying on your back, restorative yoga is a type of yoga that does just what it promises: it restores you!
I’m a little of No. 5-7, but how about you? What’s your favorite type of yoga? —Jenn