7 Styles of Yoga and Where to Start This month, the Be Well blog is all about flexibility and mobility—from chiropractic to exercise to daily habits and more. This means, of course, we’d be remiss not to mention the benefits of yoga! Many folks incorrectly assume that yoga is only for flexible people, when really, it’s a way of increasing flexibility, core strength and more.

Sounds great right? But… where do you start? There are so many different classes and styles. How do you know which will work best for you? Let’s take a second to break down seven of the most popular types of yoga and what they mean for you!

Hatha

This is the style new yogis are most familiar with—slow-moving, breathing-oriented and completely relaxed. It’s not a sweat-breaking practice but more of an introduction to physical poses. This type of class is perfect for beginners.

Vinyasa

Known as “power yoga,” Vinyasa is the most popular style of yoga in the United States. It is based on maintaining continual movement that is fluid from one pose to another. It’s less repetitive and more physically demanding than other classes.

Bikram

What makes this style different than many others is the routine. Each class is held in 105 degree heat and runs through the same 26 poses twice. Bikram is well-known as an amazing detox for the skin and organs.

Lyengar

Sometimes called “furniture yoga,” Lyengar uses props, like blocks, belts, incline boards and harnesses, to help practitioners get into the most accurate position they can. This is especially helpful for those with injuries or structural imbalances. Each pose is usually held much longer than in other schools of yoga.

Yin

A very slow-paced style. The poses are held for longer periods of time and most postures are seated. This is known as an excellent class for those who are in need of calm and peace or need to move slower due to injury.

Restorative

This class of yoga is perfect for people with anxiety or a lot of stress. It’s perhaps the most gentle and relaxing style. Restorative yoga is also known for using props, but the objective is to teach practitioners how to fully relax their bodies so they can properly unwind.

Prenatal

Pregnancy is one of the biggest changes a body can go through. Prenatal yoga keeps muscles strong so they can adapt after giving birth. It’s specifically tailored to be safe and effective for all different stages of pregnancy.


Always consult with your doctor or chiropractor before beginning a new exercise regimen, especially if you have a serious medical condition, physical limitations or experience chronic pain.