From hatha to vinyasa, Bikram to power flow, it seems like every spandex-clad yogi has the one style of yoga that they swear by. But with the multitude of options out there (and what seems like new fusions popping up monthly) it’s understandable that you might feel a little lost. Don’t let confusion keep you from finding your bliss—check out our helpful breakdown of the most popular yoga styles to find out which one is right for you.
- Translation: Yoga 101.
- Expect: Thorough instruction of foundational and basic postures with modifications for beginners, mindful breathing exercises (prayanama), deep relaxation, meditation, optional chanting.
- Especially good for: Newbies.
- Translation: Surrender to the flow.
- Expect: Movement synchronized with the breath, Twister-like transitions from one pose to the next, fluidity, music, sun salutations.
- Especially good for: Dancers.
- Translation: Hot yoga.
- Expect: Tropical temperatures, holding poses for multiple minutes, repeating everything twice, half-naked students sweating more than you thought was possible, being surprised by your own flexibility with warmed up muscles.
- Especially good for: Sun worshippers.
- Translation: 8-limbed yoga.
- Expect: Constant movement, the same exact sequence of poses performed in the same exact order every single time, high-intensity, getting in touch with your bandhas (body locks) including, yes, the Mula bandha (otherwise known as the ‘kegel’ muscles).
- Especially good for: Hard-core yogis.
- Translation: Breath-centric, spiritual yoga.
- Expect: Meditation, sensory awareness, learning how to harness your untapped energy, an introduction to the chakras (energy centers in the body), white robes, gongs.
- Especially good for: Higher consciousness-seekers.
- Translation: Structured relaxation.
- Expect: Gentleness, lots and lots of props, only doing a few poses per class but holding them until you forget you’re in a yoga pose, staying seated or laying down, eye pillows.
- Especially good for: Those recovering from an injury, or anyone who likes to be pampered.
- Translation: Go deep or go home.
- Expect: Deeeeeeep stretching, attention to the joints, poses held for as long as 10 minutes, dim lighting, soft voices.
- Especially good for: Those who want to stretch more than just their muscles.
- Translation: Workout yoga.
- Expect: Chaturangas (yoga push-ups), multiple reps, guys (!), water bottles, Lululemon gear, hyped-up teachers, focusing on your core, fun music.
- Especially good for: Athletes.
- Translation: Alignment-focused yoga.
- Expect: Extremely explicit instructions, hands-on adjustments from teachers, use of props to get things just right, students who have been working the same pose for decades, precision.
- Especially good for: Perfectionists.