Would you like to get into Yoga and start experimenting a bit, but are stumped by all the different types of Yoga out there? Are you looking for some guidance to lead you through the maze of the modern Yoga world?
There is a surprising number of different Yoga types out there. However, each Yoga type differs in approach and focus, and its suitability for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. You can use a number of tools to find out more about the different Yoga types and which would work best for you.
To find the right Yoga type for you, you will need to ask a number of questions about yourself and what you would like to get out of your Yoga practice. We have a number of tools at hand to make this a fun and interesting journey for you. These include a fun graph, a quiz and an informative summary table.
Read on and begin your journey!
A Roadmap To The Different Yoga Types
If you are serious to get a handle on all the different Yoga types out there and finding out which ones would work best for you, we have the road map laid out:
- Weave your way through a fun-filled Yoga-maze
- Do a Yoga Quiz
- Read through our Yoga type checklist
Finding Your Yoga Type The Fun Way
YogaTrail has developed a very amusing chart to help aspiring Yogis find their ideal Yoga type. Start in the middle of the chart below and weave your way through the questions until you end up at your ideal Yoga type! Be game and amble down a few pathways of this maze to get the maximum out of the experience.
While it seems superficial at the first experience, the chart is in fact quite useful to learn which questions to ask.
It will give you your first or added insight into the many different types of Yoga that are about.
What was your result?
Do A Yoga Quiz
The next step could be to do a quick Yoga Quiz. The key to this exercise is to ask the right questions to find the Yoga style that is compatible with your personal needs and physical limitations.
There is a vast range of Yoga styles and approaches to choose from. Whether it’s a sweaty and vigorous Bikram class or a relaxing and opening restorative Yoga class – it all depends on YOU! Each Yoga type offers a different path to connect with the ancient wisdom of Yoga.
Take this Quiz developed by the Chopra Centre to move you along on your Yoga search. Hopefully, that will clarify things a little further.
Get More Detail On Individual Yoga Styles
You will find that every Yoga type out there is based on the same inherent principles of the Yoga tradition. However, each type varies in terms of:
- the degree of focus on the physical, mental or spiritual aspects of Yoga
- the types of Yoga poses and sequences employed
- the strength, fitness and flexibility levels required
- the time Yoga poses are held for and the speed of changing to different poses
- accessibility in terms of difficulty – with gentle and slow Yoga styles generally the best for beginners, older Yoga students or students with Physical limitations.
Check out the following table on some of the key Yoga types out there and how they match up with your personal goals and current level of fitness and abilities.
Get Yourself A Helpful Yoga Book
A great option is always to get yourself a book on Yoga – whether that is an introductory Yoga book for beginners or one that deals with a particular Yoga type. There are many, many Yoga books out there and you will be surprised at the variety.
If you are looking for a good beginner’s book, “Yoga Body and Mind Handbook: Easy Poses, Guided Meditations” written by Jasmine Tarkeshi is a great choice. With a vast experience of over 20 years of teaching, she has taught hundreds of students of all abilities.
Jasmine wrote her book specifically with the beginner in mind. The book covers the key Yoga poses (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and also the approach to mindfulness meditation. The book follows a clear structure and is easy to follow.
Another option is Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit – A Return to Wholeness by Donna Farhi. This book covers the essential teachings of the Yoga tradition and explains how the practice of Yoga helps balance the mind, body and spirit in a harmonious way. Her focus is to show her readers the necessary exercises to help them get into different Yoga poses the safe way. She also makes recommendations on how to incorporate the principles of Yoga into our daily yoga practice.
Nothing beats getting practical and just start trying out different classes either at a local studio or at a community center.
Check Out A Local Yoga Studio Or Community Class
If you are still not able to make a decision, the next step is to check out a local Yoga studio or community class. Discuss with the Yoga teacher or staff which Yoga type and classes are best suited to you.
If you ask, they will probably let you sit through a class and watch from the sidelines, so that you can form your own impressions. If you are wondering what makes a good Yoga teacher, check out our article the 10 qualities to look for in a Yoga teacher.
Check Out Free Yoga Classes On YouTube
Most will know that Youtube and various subscription channels are an incredibly valuable resource for all sorts of Yoga classes. These cover all conceivable Yoga types, are of varying intensity and length and designed for a wide range of experience levels.
It’s a great way to start Yoga at home if you are not quite ready yet or happy to move out into the Yoga class environment.
YouTube allows you to check out a Yoga video by following the little images along the timeline at the bottom of the video. This will quickly tell you whether a class is doable or too difficult. Check out the video description, too – this will tell you about the Yoga style and difficulty level.
Get On The Mat
In the end, nothing beats actually getting on the Yoga mat or chair! But with good preparation, you have a much greater chance of getting it right from the start and avoid any disappointments.
It does not matter whether you start off with a community Yoga class or a Yoga video on YouTube, or with a Yoga sequence outlined in a book. But in general, bear in mind that it is important to adjust any physical poses to your own needs and levels of comfort.
Try to be conservative in your approach and respect your own body always. Remember what it can do in terms of its current strength and flexibility. Your Yoga practice will gradually improve both over time.
Doing Yoga at home can give you greater freedom to control your practice. Try to pace or interrupt your practice if things get too difficult or you find yourself too wobbly or exhausted! But even if you are in a class, don’t hesitate to not do a pose or stop completely. Have a break and a sip of water before resuming your practice.
Experiment With Different Yoga Types
Lastly, don’t feel like you are forever committed to any particular Yoga type or school. Every one of these has gone through a long process of development, and every one has its own insights and contributions to the world of Yoga.
Once you have become a bit more familiar with the foundations of Yoga and the key poses and breathing and meditation techniques, experimentation with different Yoga types becomes much easier. It will also become possible to spontaneously participate in a new Yoga class, or go to a Yoga weekend or retreat without fear.
Where can I find out more about the different Yoga types and their benefits? Check out our article about the different Yoga styles.
Which are the best Yoga types for beginners? Following on from the above table, this is generally a beginner’s class in Hatha, Vinyasa or Restorative Yoga, or a class that is specifically designed for people with a low level of strength or flexibility or older students
Doing some basic homework before starting or expanding on your Yoga practice is always very useful. Knowledge gives power and will significantly help you avoid any disappointment. We hope this article will help you on the way and wish you all the best for your Yoga journey.
Picture credit – www.yogagatrail.com