Many forms of yoga exist and it can be difficult to figure out which particular style is right for you. Most styles of yoga are based on the same set of asanas but the experience of one style can be different from the other.
Hatha Yoga – Hatha Yoga is a slow moving class that requires you to hold each pose for a few breaths. Because of its slow pace, hatha is a great class if you are a beginner.
Vinyasa – This dynamic practice links movement and breath together in a flow. Be prepared for your heart rate to rise as the flow will not let you rest in each pose for long and the pace is quick. The continuous movement will excite high intensity exercisers to choose this option.
Iyengar – Props, like Yoga blocks and blankets, will become your new best friend, helping you to work over a wide range of movements that are safe and effective. Each posture is held for a period of time and is about perfection. Detail-oriented yogis would love this form.
Ashtanga Yoga – If you’re looking for a challenging yet orderly approach to yoga, then this is the way. The six series of specifically sequenced yoga poses will make you build internal heat and you’ll perform the same poses in the exact same order in each class. A ‘Lead Class’ will have a teacher calling out the poses, while ‘Mysore Style’ classes require you to perform the series on your own. If you’re a perfectionist, you’ll like Ashtanga’s routine and strict guidelines.
Bikram Yoga – Prepare to sweat: Bikram consists of a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises practiced in a room heated to approximately 105 degrees and 40 percent humidity. Bikram studios, all across practice the same 90-minute sequence. Those who are new to yoga might like Bikram because of its predictable sequence.
Hot Yoga – Hot yoga is similar to Bikram, but it’s practiced in a heated room. However, it is not constrained by the 26 poses. Ideally suitable for hard-core sweat lovers.
Kundalini Yoga – This physically and mentally challenging practice looks very different from your typical yoga class. Kriyas, repetitive physical exercises coupled with intense breath work, chanting, singing and meditating are all a part of the package. The goal is to break through your internal barriers and bringing you a higher level of self-awareness. Best for people looking for a spiritual practice due to its emphasis on the internal aspects of yoga.
Yin Yoga – If you want to calm and balance your body and mind, this is where you’ll find your Zen. The opposite of a faster moving practice like Ashtanga, Yin yoga poses are held for several minutes at a time. Best for people who need to stretch and unwind.
Restorative Yoga – The mellow, slow-moving practice, which will tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, allowing you to experience deeper relaxation is what you derive from a Restorative Yoga session. Hence, suitable for everyone and also great for athletes on recovery days.
So, here’s your quick guide. Hoping you would have taken your pick by now. Please feel free to ask for any clarifications.