7 Styles of Yoga and Where to Start For people who’ve never taken a class before, yoga can be… well, intimidating. It’s hard to know where to start. There are so many different classes and styles. What’s best for a beginner? What specific needs does your body have? It can be kind of stressful. But trust us, that’s the exact opposite of what yoga will do for you. What you need is a starting point! Let’s take a second to break down seven of the most popular types of yoga.

Hatha: This style is the type new yogis most imagine—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 keeps fluid between 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 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.

Iyengar: Sometimes called “furniture yoga,” Iyengar 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.

7 Styles of Yoga and Where to Start

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.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are many more classes to choose from. However, before you jump into any new exercise routines, it’s always best to make a quick visit to your physician for a wellness check. Your doctor will be able to give you some good recommendations based on your specific needs. Then, take to researching! And remember, it’s all about choosing what you think will suit you best.