Once upon a time, I didn’t have a regular practice. Then a door opened and I walked into a steamy, sweat-soaked studio nearly every single day during my two years of graduate school at NYU. The Read
There are many different types of yoga to practice, so it's important to find out which type of yoga is right for you. Here's a quick introduction to some of the most common and popular types of yoga:
Bikram Yoga - Get ready to practice yoga in 105 degree heat and in 40% humidity -- hot! Though Bikram only has 26 poses and there's lots of alignment work so it might be a good fit for beginners.
Class is also likely to be focused on slow and gentle movements so it's a great type of yoga to wind down with at night
Commonly called "Vinyasa flow" or just "flow", you'll definitely be moving, flowing from one pose to the next. Other than starting with a sun salutation, no two classes will be alike. It's the most popular style of yoga in America.
"Kundalini" refers to the energy of the Root Chakra, which surrounds the area around your lower spine. Expect lots of work in your "core" area and classes are known to be pretty intense.
Commonly called Power yoga, Ashtanga is definitely physically demanding. It's probably best suited for an ex-athlete or someone looking to really push their body.
Expect lots of props with this type of yoga such as blocks, harnesses, straps, and even cushions. There's also a lot of focus on alignment so Iyengar can be great for physical therapy.
Founded in 1997 by John Friend, Anusara is epitomized by "the celebration of the heart. Expect many "heart-opening" poses like backbends and more talking by the instructor in class.
Looking to wind down after a long day of work? Or perhaps you want to quiet your mind? Restorative yoga might be the answer as it's focused on relaxation.
Jivamukti is mostly practiced in NYC as it was founded there in 1984 by Sharon Gannon and David Life. It's a mix of vinyasa flow sequencing infused with chanting and a vegetarian twist.
If you're an expectant mother then Prenatal yoga is probably for you. (Sorry, guys!) Some say that Prenatal is one of the best types of exercise for moms-to-be as there's a lot of core work and a focus on breathing.
Have you found a type of yoga that might be a fit for you? Before you head to class, check out our Yoga Poses for Beginners library to become familiar with some of the most common poses.
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To learn more about yoga, check out our video course The Complete Guide To Yoga.