Your Guide to the 9 Most Popular Yoga Styles

There's a Yoga Practice for Everyone

Since becoming popular in the United States, a variety of yoga styles have become popularized - with each having their own distinct differences. For a yoga “newbie” demystifying the various yoga practices can be tough. For someone who’s looking to branch out of their standard yoga practice, opportunities abound.

The diversity of yoga styles is what makes can make yoga such a great addition to your lifestyle.

There’s literally a yoga practice for everyone.  

To make it simple and to help you along your journey, let’s quickly explore the different types of yoga so you can continue (or start) your yoga journey!

1) Ashtanga

Ashtanga was brought to the United States in the 1970’s by Pattabhi Jois. This style of yoga is extremely rigid. You follow the same sequence and postures every single time. In this, it’s similar to Vinyasa. Get ready to get sweaty and tired if you attend an Ashtanga yoga class!

2) Bikram

The first thing that should come to your mind when you hear the word "Bikram" is “sweat”. As in, you’re going to sweat profusely! This is due to Bikram yoga classes being held in artificially heated rooms. Bikram yoga consists of a sequence of 26 yoga poses performed at 105 degrees Fahrenheit with 40% humidity. You’ll follow the same sequence every class. This is a very popular style of yoga and should be easy to find.

3) Hatha

Hatha yoga encompasses almost all forms of modern yoga. But, a class marketed in Hatha yoga is not as intense as some of its counterparts. You’ll spend longer in each pose and focus on your posture. You should leave the class feeling longer and more flexible.

4) Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is similar to Bikram yoga, in that you’ll be practicing in a hot room. But, remember all the restrictions on Bikram yoga? Well, they don’t apply to Hot Yoga. There are not any specific sequences or heat guidelines. It will vary by studio.

5) Iyengar

The Iyengar style of yoga is very different than many other styles. It focuses on precision. It’s meticulous. You’ll hold poses for extended periods of time and utilize yoga props like blocks, straps, and blankets to assist. Think it sounds easy? Think again. 

6) Kundalini

Kundalini focuses on releasing your kundalini energy from your body. Kundalini yoga consists of a mix of meditation and yoga. It’s a very “mindful” yoga practice.

7) Restorative

Stressed? Restorative yoga is for you. In this relaxing practice, you a can de-stress your body and mind through long and supported holds. You’ll use props like blocks, blankets, and straps to assist your poses. Be sure not to fall asleep! Learn more about restorative yoga. 

8) Vinyasa

Vinyasa yoga is an adaption of Ashtanga that was built for us Westerners who love cardio! Vinyasa yoga is very fluid and requires a lot of movement. With the lively music and constant movement, you’ll feel like the class is highly choreographed!

9) Yin

Get zen with Yin Yoga. Poses are held for several minutes to lengthen your connective tissue. Yin yoga is a great complement to some of your more active yoga practices like Ashtanga. Come with patience!

There are many different types of yoga and rest assured there is one (or more) that are perfect for you. Each style has it's own quirks and benefits. Get out there and start trying them all!