How To Choose The Style of Yoga That Is Right For You

When choosing a yoga style that is right for you think about and feel what your body and mind need on a given day. Maybe you’re looking for a hot sweaty workout or you’re looking for restorative benefits. Maybe you need a spiritual experience with a compassionate approach.

When choosing a yoga style that is right for you think about and feel what your body and mind need on a given day. Maybe you’re looking for a hot sweaty workout or you’re looking for restorative benefits. Maybe you need a spiritual experience with a compassionate approach. Click through and answer 4 questions to find your yoga style or pin it now to read later. @jillconyers

When you think of yoga do you picture a single stereotyped image then, possibly thinking that’s not for me? I know there was a time when I did and based on that misconception I closed my mind and heart to the practice.

There are hundreds and hundreds of styles and variations of yoga and finding the right one for you might make the difference between a lifelong beautiful practice or rolling up your yoga mat for good.

Choose a yoga style that matches your current fitness level, your personality and your goals for practicing yoga.

All of the most commonly known styles of yoga practiced in the West are a form of Hatha yoga, in addition to others with slight variations on a traditional style, but with a branded name.

As the foundation for many styles of yoga, Hatha Yoga balances the physical, mental and energy bodies, awakens pure consciousness and and purifies the body.

What style of yoga is right for you?

Ashtanga Yoga

The dynamic physically demanding practice synchronizes breath and movement to produce an internal heat designed to purify the body. This style is great for building core strength and toning the body.

Bikram Yoga

This set series of 26 postures and two breathing exercise is done in high heat for 90 minutes. Bikram Yoga’s specific yoga sequence of poses is staid to systematically work every part of the body, increasing the flow of fresh oxygen rich blood, while the heat serves to speed detoxification.

Forrest Yoga

An intensely physical practice with a  strong internal focus, Forest Yoga involves holding poses for extended periods in a heated room. Demanding everything you’ve got, intense sequences emphasize breath and abdominal work, and are designed to make you sweat, eliminate toxins, and release emotional tension.

Ishta Yoga

Ishta Yoga integrates the ancient sciences of Hatha Yoga, Ayurveda and Tantra. It’s breath-centered alignment-oriented practice combines elements Iyengar Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga and incorporate subtle-energy techniques like mantra and visualization meditations to expand awareness and generate emotional well being.

Iyengar Yoga

By paying close attention to anatomical details and the alignment of each posture, Ivengar Yoga is the practice of precision. Poses are held for a long periods and often modified with props. This method is designed to systematically cultivate strength, flexibility, stability, and awareness.

Kripalu Yoga

A challenging approach to asana practice that emphasizes meditation and breathwork, and encourages inward focus and spiritual attunement.

Kundalini Yoga

A blend of spiritual and physical practices with a goal of building physical vitality and increasing awareness and pure consciousness. Kundalini Yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras.

Power Yoga

This fitness-based vinyasa practice is an offshoot of Ashtanga, and has many of the same qualities and benefits, including building internal heat, increased stamina, strength and flexibility, as well as stress reduction. Teachers design their own sequences, while students synchronize breath with the movement.

Prana Vinyasa Flow Yoga

A creative, energetic and fluid form of vinyasa, Prana Flow is guided by the flow of pranic energy through the body resulting in near continuous movement. It incorporates elements of ecstatic dance, moving meditation, Bhakti, Ayurveda and music.

Restorative

Restorative yoga typically involves only five or six poses each class, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest. Held for 5 minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends.

Yin Yoga

This practice is designed to help you sit longer, and more comfortably, in meditation by stretching connective tissue around the joint. A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and supine poses held for 3 to 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia tissue.

Yoga Nidra 

Enjoy yogic sleep as the teacher takes you through a guided meditation that systematically brings awareness to each part of the body. Students find a deep state of relaxation. The ancient practice of yoga nidra is said to help reduce stress.

Keep an open heart and mind to the practice and you’ll know when you’ve found what’s right for you.

Still not sure what style of yoga is right for you?

Ask yourself these 4 questions:

  1. What is your goal(s) for practicing yoga? If your goal is fitness then choose a more vigorous yoga style like power, ashtanga, or Bikram keeping in mind your fitness level and considering a beginner class.
  2. Do you have an injury or medical condition that limits what you can do physically? Then start with a slower class that focuses on alignment, such as Iyengar yoga or Kripalu yoga.
  3. Are the meditative and spiritual aspects of yoga your primary goal? Then try one of the yoga styles that include plenty of meditation, chanting, and the philosophic aspects of yoga. For example, you might try kundalini yoga.
  4. What does your body and mind need today? Your style preference may change from week to week or even day to day. You might feel like the energy of power yoga on Monday and the calming relaxation of restorative yoga on Friday.

When choosing a yoga style that is right for you think about and feel what your body and mind need on a given day. Maybe you’re looking for a hot sweaty workout or you’re looking for restorative benefits. Maybe you need a spiritual experience with a compassionate approach. Click through and answer 4 questions to find your yoga style or pin it now to read later. @jillconyers

IN CASE YOU MISSED THE FIRST 2 POSTS CELEBRATING YOGA WEEK AT JILL CONYERS | FITNESS, HEALTH & HAPPINESS:

DON’T MISS MORE GREAT POSTS COMING TO CELEBRATE YOGA WEEK:

  • Yoga inspiration and quotes to Live Your Yoga
  • Running and Yoga: The Perfect Pair by Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home
  • What Yoga Teacher Training [or maybe just Yoga] Has Taught Me

Lets chat. What style of yoga do you practice most often? If you’re new to yoga and starting to practice, what style would you try first?

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41 Comments

  1. After answering those questions I think I should try Restorative Yoga. I want to relax and rest. Thank you so much for this share.

  2. Thanks for your sharing how to choose the style of yoga that is right for me. After reading this post i have a suitable yoga class to join,

  3. My favorites are restorative and ashtanga. I’ve really lucky to have a great ashtanga studio not far from where I live.

  4. Very interesting! I’ve always wanted to get into doing Yoga but have been too intimidated to give it a try…I’m not very flexible after having 2 kids!

  5. I never knew there were so many types of yoga! Thank you so much for sharing this. I feel like the little I do know about yoga, and do practice has really uplifted my spirits. It especially aided me in getting over post partum depression! #BloggersPitStop

  6. I need yoga to relax me and give me more strength since my posture has become horrible.

  7. I never knew there were so many varieties of yoga! I think Ashtanga yoga is what I’ve been doing in my little women’s fitness group, but I’d love to try Ishta yoga!

  8. I do not do enough yoga period and I really need too. I wish we had a great power yoga studio in my town!

  9. Oh my, I had no idea that there were so many types of Yoga. Thanks for your descriptions.

    Kathleen – Bloggers Pit Stop – the home of great posts

  10. Due to where I live, I have to rely on Yoga DVD’s and I’ve found I like the gentle ones which are made for older or not very flexible people. I tried one that had me doing a downward facing dog followed by raising one leg. I ended up on my back at that point. That particular move is not for me. You are right you have to find the variety that works for you.

  11. It’s funny, I started with Bikram and love it. I realize it is taxing in many ways but I always feel so awesome after it! This is a great list of the various kinds of yoga!

  12. vinyasa is my favorite right now. BEcause i am not doing much cardio and light weights, it really helps me stay strong! great break down here! <3

  13. I prefer vinyasa yoga, but sometimes I just need Hatha!

  14. Such a great guide to someone who is new to yoga. Often I am confused when I see class schedules because I am not sure which style is suited for me.

    Thanks!

  15. I had not heard of a few of these! Forrest Yoga sounds intense – in a good way! I could probably benefit from some Yoga Nidra.

  16. I had no idea that there were so many different types of yoga pants! Thank you for sharing the tips.

  17. I love switching up my yoga style now and then. Helps me work my body in different ways.

  18. This is a really great breakdown, thank you for sharing! (and I’m book marking for later!) I recently started working at a new gym, and was excited to see a lunch time yoga class. Turns out it is Yoga Nidra…not the type of yoga I was expecting!!!

  19. I have yet to try the other types of yoga to find out what exactly works for me. But yoga has always been relaxing and it doesn’t cause you any stress unlike some exercise routines! This is really informative and I appreciate this list so much!

  20. What an informative post! I didnt know there were so many different versions of Yoga but found out my style immediately which is Yoga Nidra with the meditation!

  21. I love Bikram yoga of all that I have tried. But after reading your list I realized that I have so many more to try before I set claim to my favorite style.

  22. I tried Bikram yoga a little while back, but I was pregnant and the heat made me sick. I keep meaning to go back now and try it.

  23. Oh my gosh, I so appreciate all the information you have in this post! I am trying to choose a yoga style now and you have helped a great deal. Thank you so much

  24. I’ve been practicing yoga for three years and I’ve only heard of half these types! So cool the variety that yoga can offer. I enjoy vinyasa, Bikram, restorative and Iyengar.

  25. good lord, I never knew there were so many different types of yoga. I thought there was just hot yoga and not hot yoga.. shows you what I know.

  26. Wow – this is so insightful about yoga. I didnt realize there were so many forms. I just hear people going to yoga, and inviting me along. And most all the classes I attended were the duplicate copy of each other. Your post makes it much more appealing to find the right one!
    Karen | GlamKaren.com

  27. It sounds like restorative yoga might be right for me. Deep relaxation with some stretching and I’d like to get some core work done.

  28. Because I do a lot of high intensity exercises I am learning to really like the yin yoga as a chance to relax and really stretch out my muscles.

  29. great post. i definitely need some more restorative yoga these days. although a good power yoga class can be great to start the week!

  30. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    I tried a yoga class and didn’t like it, but I know there are so many other kinds out there, so I need to try another kind to see if I like it 🙂

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