When I began doing yoga, I’d a tough time trying to unravel all the different styles and exactly what their purpose was. Then I began checking out the 8 Limbs, which really tossed me for a loop. After doing yoga for more than 10 years, I can not state I have done every style, but I’ve actually done enough of them to obtain an understanding of the different types of yoga. So, how do you tackle picking a yoga style that’s right for you? Begin by articulating your yoga goals.

flexible yogi

The following are different yoga goals:

  • Improve flexibility
  • Improve strength
  • Lose weight
  • Injury rehabilitation
  • Spiritual pursuit
  • Improve performance in a particular sport
  • Stress relief
  • Toxin elimination

Fortunately, many yoga styles will accomplish numerous of those objectives. As an example, Ashtanga (or Power Yoga) can drastically improve both strength and versatility while assisting you slim down. Gentle yoga (a.k.a. Yin Yoga) can help with versatility, spiritual pursuit, tension relief and depending upon the routine, injury rehab. It’s also important (and I did not get this for a while), that you can do more than one design of yoga as part of your yoga program. You do not have to restrict yourself to one style.


Some yoga programs are fairly regimented. They make claims about a specific style of yoga being the best or the ‘real’ design of yoga. Frankly, I find such statements frustrating. There’s no ‘one’ style of yoga that’s the ‘true’ form of yoga. There are numerous excellent and effective yoga styles. That said, various designs are created for various results. That’s why the starting point is identifying your preferred result.

The following is a list of popular yoga styles accompanied by purpose (expected outcomes):

Power/Ashtanga Yoga

Increase strength, balance and versatility. Can result in weight loss and muscle toning. Very strenuous. Poses are not held for a long period of time. Instead, it’s a continuous flow of positions.

Iyengar Yoga

Improve versatility, balance, focus and alleviate anxiety. Much less physical than Ashtanga yoga. Poses are held longer. The central concept is posture accuracy. A great deal of emphasis is on the correct positioning (if you don’t such as being fixed constantly, this isn’t the yoga for you). This style also relies on props to assist alignment.

Yin/Gentle Yoga

I love gentle yoga since it’s so enjoyable. The postures are generally easy, however held a very long time. They develop exceptional flexibility, focus and assist with easing anxiety.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga confused me for a while in the start since I did not understand it’s an umbrella term for many yoga styles. Most physical yoga styles fall under the umbrella term. When yoga is described Hatha yoga, it occasionally merely implies a flow of positions, often integrating the standard positions that are held for a moderate period (5 to 10 breaths).

Hot Yoga

Bikram is the trademarked name of a style of hot yoga. The distinguishing function of hot yoga is that it’s exercised in a space with the temperature cranked up. It assists with contaminant elimination (that’s the theory). You sweat a lot (and I indicate a lot).

There are 26 fundamental postures that make up the regimen. Some hot yoga regimens drift from the 26 postures. The point is that when exercising yoga in a hot environment, you’ll stretch additionally and sweat more.

Core Yoga

Core yoga is a just recently established yoga designed to boost and sharpen your core section. It integrates a variety of postures that target your core directly or indirectly. Not all core regimens are the very same. Like numerous yoga designs, the routine varies.

Kundalini Yoga

I haven’t done a large amount of Kundalini Yoga, so I do not know a lot about it. It includes different breathing practices during postures in an effort to harness energy. It’s chakra-centric yoga. Sorry, this is one design that I am not horribly knowledgeable about (I have done a fair bit of the above-mentioned styles).

Other styles

Many yoga instructors and studios have developed their own styles (Anasura, Jivamukti to name 2). The majority of fall under among the above styles in format or could incorporate a range of styles.

I wish the above assists you get a much better understanding about the numerous designs of yoga. Once again, there is not a ‘best’ yoga style. It boils down to your preferences and goals.

Jon Dyer is a contributor to YogaBaron.com.