Choosing the right yoga class can make or break your practice. Not sure where to start? See which of these 7 disciplines best suit your lifestyle.
New to yoga? Try Iyengar.
Iyengar is a gentle practice that focuses on proper body alignment. Classes are slow, and instructors typically lead you through each movement step-by-step. Bolsters, blocks and belts are used to help you get into position, so flexibility (or a lack thereof) is not an issue here.
Stressed? Choose Hatha.
The term Hatha pertains to the physical practice of yoga. This discipline really focuses on the asanas or postures, and you move into a pose then come out of it in a full sequence before moving on to the next. Meditation and breathing techniques to help to deepen your mind and body connection are also learned here.
Need to relax? Go for Yin Yoga.
With calming music, deep breathing, and a serene vibe, a Yin Yoga class is ideal for those who want to relax. Poses are mostly lying down or seated, and are held for several minutes. You get a deep stretch to boost flexibility, and give your body a chance to unwind and feel the release of tension.
Injured? You need Restorative Yoga.
Restorative Yoga focuses on healing the body and the mind. Poses are held for long periods of time with the aid of pillows, blankets and straps. If you are obese or have impaired mobility, this discipline is also your best bet.
Is it time for a more challenging practice? Pick Vinyasa.
Vinyasa or Flow Yoga is the perfect next step from a starter-level practice. Here, you go from pose to pose in a constant flow of movement and breathing. Instructors are usually more creative with poses and sequences here, as Vinyasa is more flexible than other forms of yoga.
Want to lose weight? Ashtanga is the way to go.
Ashtanga is fast-paced, and you hold each pose for only a few breaths before it’s time to transition into the next one. It is a great cardio workout, and in a session you can burn anywhere from 300 to 500 calories.
Up for a real challenge? Hot Yoga is for you.
These classes are held in a hot room, so expect to sweat a lot. Its most popular type is Bikram, which uses a 26-pose Hatha-inspired sequence. Only attempt if you are in great physical health!