Types of Yoga
Your Simple Guide to Every Style of Yoga

There are many types of yoga that reach far beyond the hot yoga varieties. Not the hot yoga type? Maybe you can discover a new yoga practice here.

I tell everyone I have a website about Bikram Yoga and they either stare at me blankly or ask, "Is that the hot kind of yoga?" Yes siree, Bob. But your average person really can't tell you the difference between Bikram Yoga and Hot Yoga, never mind the difference between ashtanga yoga and hatha yoga.

So…..it would be nice if someone could make a list of all the different types of yoga and give us an idea of what to expect in those classes. No deep histories necessary, just a brief snapshot of what these yoga styles are. Can somebody do that, please?

SURE!

Styles of Yoga 101

Anusara Yoga

A vinyasa-flow based class that emphasizes goodness, heart-opening, and taking what you learn in class out into the world. Big focus on alignment.

AshtangaYoga

Intense, fast-paced set of poses practiced in the same order

Bikram Yoga

It's what this site is all about. 26 postures in HOT room heated to 105 degrees. It makes you feel clear water flowing over diamonds.

Christian Yoga

Want to do yoga but feel uncomfortable with the Hindu aspect of yoga? Try this yoga and stretch and breathe to Christian worship music and Christ-centered language vs. Sanskrit.

Flow Yoga

A general term for a yoga class in which practitioners move from one pose to another in relatively rapid succession (rather than holding each pose for several minutes.)

Forrest Yoga

This vinyasa-style yoga has a reputation of being "therapy yoga." It is deeply physical and emotional and emphasizes healing and transformation.

Gentle Yoga

A general term for classes that are often hatha-based with emphasis on holding poses, allowing props and relaxation. Great for beginners and those needing special accommodations.

Hatha Yoga

Most physical yoga practices, including Bikram Yoga, are based on hatha yoga. This is because hatha is the general term for the physical practices of yoga (the yoga postures, or asanas) as opposed to the more spiritual and lifestyle guidelines of yoga.

However, if your YMCA or yoga studio is offering a hatha yoga class, you can expect a slow, meditative and basic class that is a great yoga for beginners.

Hot Yoga

A general term for any yoga practice that takes place in a heated room. Bikram Yoga is a type of hot yoga, but all hot yoga is not considered bikrams yoga. Types of hot yoga include the Barkan Method, Moshka Yoga, and several classes at Corepower Yoga.

Integral Yoga

Gentle hatha-style classes that focus on integrating the mind, body and spirit.

Iyengar Yoga

This is the class you get to use all the cool yoga props like straps and blocks. It's all about alignment and holding poses.

Jivamukti Yoga

Imagine a light-hearted spiritual lesson while you get a great workout. And Gwyneth Paltow on the mat next to you. Vinyasa-style.

Kripalu Yoga

Gentle hatha class with focus on meditation, body and spirit.

Kundalini

More spiritual. All about focusing on the breath and how that intensifies the poses. Expect chanting, meditation, and perhaps a gong.

Laughter Yoga

No workout here, just a philosophy and practice of provoking laughter to relieve stress.

What did Bikram say to pet shop owner?

A: Want a hot dog?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Moksha Hot Yoga

As an environmentally-friendly hot yoga girl myself, I've got my eye on Moksha Hot Yoga. Their motto is "calm mind. fit body. inspired life." They only use renewable and green materials in their studios. Classes are hot, but 40 postures rather than 26. Most of their studios are in Canada and (currently) 4 lucky US cities. Hot yoga is exploding + green living is exploding = keep your eye on Moksha….(makes me want to move to Canada!)

Online Yoga

Yes, Modern People…I'm sure Pantanjali didn't intend for this, but it's the New Age so maybe we can add a 9th yoga limb: Online Yoga. What a great type a yoga (he he he!) You can practice yoga in your hotel room, bedroom, livingroom….wherever…it's like Netflix meets a live yoga class, but join for a fraction of the cost of joining a studio.

Power Yoga

A western gym-based fitness yoga. It's vinyasa-style yoga that was derived from Ashtanga roots, without sticking to the set series. Less spirit, more strength.

Prenatal Yoga

You can figure this one out, right?

Restorative Yoga

Use props (blankets, chair, wall) to deeply support and extended stretch. Very mild, calm and accessible.

Sivananda Yoga

Class consists of an opening breathing exercise, sun salutations and then 12 poses practiced at a slow pace. The Sivananda philosophy is based on 5 great principles which I'm sure can only lead to a great life. I wish I could master them:

1. Proper exercise

2. Proper breathing

3. Proper relaxation

4. Proper diet (vegetarian)

5. Positive thinking and meditation

Viniyoga

Teacher gives personalized attention and individual program to each student to meet his/her exact needs

Vinyasa Yoga

Another general term for yoga from which many disciplines have been inspired (such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga.) Expect sun salutations and synchronized breath.

Yin Yoga

All about holding poses for several minutes to stretch connective tissue rather than muscle.

Yoga Nidra

This is a class that is not much more than an extended savasana. Really. New to yoga? This means you lie down the whole class. Wahoo! Chillaxin' your way to enlightenment…I like it.

When summer is here my favorite way to wind down is to sit outside with a great day.. And I absolutely love my Kindle.

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