If you’re looking for a well-rounded practice that will keep you fit and flexible, Vinyasa is the style for you. It’s a type of yoga that keeps you moving continuously and smoothly, often linking one breath with one movement. It’s great if you get bored easily, because there is a lot of variety in each class, in terms of postures and sequences. Each instructor comes up with their own sequences, so no two classes will ever be exactly the same. You’ll even get a chance to do arm balances and inversions, making it a challenging practice for all levels and body types. You’ll want to stay away if you’re looking for a calming practice or if you’re prone to injury.
Are you seeking to figure out how to properly align your body? Do you like taking your time sinking into postures? Are you looking for balance and flexibility? Then Hatha yoga is for you. Often used interchangeably with Iyengar yoga, Hatha uses classical asanas--or postures--to restore the body while using props. Sometimes there are periods of rest between each posture to make sure you’re getting the full benefits of this calming practice. However, if you’re looking for something with flow and intensity, you’re better off finding another practice.
Is life spinning out of control for you? Yin yoga is a practice meant to let go of stress and unwind overworked muscles. It features slow-paced movements that require deep stretching. There aren’t cardio or fluid movements. This style is about relaxing the deep connective tissues of your body. You spend a lot of time on the floor using props like blankets, straps and blocks. You’ll hold poses for a long time, allowing you to sink deeply into each one. If you want strength training or muscle development, this isn’t the practice for you.
If you like routine and tough pushes, Ashtanga yoga is for you. There are six series of Ashtanga, each more difficult than the last. You move through Sun Salutations before you practice the series you’re working on. And you don’t learn the next sequence until you’ve perfected the series you’re currently learning. It’s Vinyasa but with way more structure. If you like memorizing a set of postures so that you can do it anywhere, this is the type of yoga best suited for your needs. If you don’t like high-impact work, then steer clear of this practice.
Hot, hot, hot. If you like getting your sweat on, try Bikram yoga. You’ll be working hard over 90 minutes and 26 postures done twice, all in a 40 degree Celsius room. You’ll learn verbally, without demonstrations from the instructor, so make sure that’s a style that works for you. Bikram doesn’t flow--you do one posture, pause, and then go to the next. If you have back, neck and knee issues, this yoga can help restore your health. And if you’re looking for a challenge, Bikram is the way to go. If you don’t like heat or discipline, this isn’t the style for you.