Understanding the Different Types of Yoga: Which Style Fits You?

As yoga becomes more and more common among adults of all ages, you’re beginning to realize that this form of exercise may be ideal for your physical and mental well-being. You’d love to improve flexibility and balance as well as spend time on cultivating peace and mindfulness.

The different types of yoga can be astoundingly confusing for beginners. Make sure you don’t end up in a class that is above your current ability level because pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone at the beginner stage could result in an injury.

The following styles and types of yoga each have specific characteristics that may specifically appeal to you, depending on your current fitness and both your short and long-term goals.


If you’ve never tried yoga before, a hatha class will be perfectly suited to you. Hatha yoga introduces you to basic poses (called asanas) combined with breathing patterns (called prayanamas).

Elementary hatha classes allow you to move at your own pace, finishing one pose before moving onto the next. More advanced hatha classes require to move through the poses at a faster pace, so check with the instructor to determine the intensity level before signing up.


Bikram yoga is also known as hot yoga because the class is conducted in a room with a high temperature – typically 95 degrees Fahrenheit. You will stretch and sweat, burning calories while loosening your muscles and increasing your flexibility.


Are you under significant mental and emotional stress? Are your muscles aching, sore, tense and tired? Restorative yoga could be just the therapy you need. Restorative yoga is sometimes described as a prolonged stretching class.

You only move through a few poses throughout the course of the class and you are encouraged to use props such as blocks and pillows to assist in muscle relaxation. The teacher may encourage you to meditate as well, playing soft music or reciting a poem or verse to help you focus your mind.


Looking for an intensive workout involving multiple muscle groups? You may not associate yoga with rigorous training, but that will change once you give ashtanga yoga a try. Sometimes referred to as power yoga, this style prompts you to move from pose to pose and requires a high level of endurance. This class is best for those who are already familiar with the basic yoga poses and are at an intermediate to advanced fitness level.

Focusing on your wellness doesn’t have to be a chore. Discover which of the different types of yoga improves your quality of life, both mentally and physically, and stick to a regular routine. Enjoy toned muscles, increased balance and flexibility and a renewed, rested emotional outlook on life. Yoga can positively change your life for the better.

Pete Blasi