Finding The Right Type Of Yoga For You: A Road Map

Would you like to get into Yoga but are stumped by all the different types of Yoga out there?  Look no further – we have a roadmap for finding the right type of Yoga, in both a fun and serious way.

A Roadmap To Help You Find The Best Yoga For You

Among the surprising number of different Yoga types out there, each differs in approach and its suitability for beginners, intermediate and advanced students.

It’s therefore important that you make the right decision about which is the best Yoga for you so that you start off on the right foot and avoid any disappointments.

Part of this exercise is to find out what your personal abilities and goals are, and what you would like to get out of Yoga.

We’ve laid out a roadmap for you to make this process easier and hope you will enjoy the ride, by:

  1. Weaving your way through a fun-filled Yoga-maze
  2. Do a Yoga Quiz
  3. Work through our Yoga type list

Finding The Right Yoga Type The Fun Way

YogaTrail has developed a very amusing diagram 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 a good insight into the many different types of Yoga that are about.

What was your result?

Find Your Yoga Style The Fun Way - Picture Credit

Diagram by

Do A Yoga Quiz

The next step could be to do a quick Yoga Quiz.  The goal of this exercise is to find the Yoga style that is compatible with your personal needs, abilities and possible physical limitations.

This Quiz developed by the Chopra Centre to move you along on your Yoga search.  Hopefully, that will clarify things a little further.

Different Types Of  Yoga And Their Benefits

There is a vast range of Yoga styles and approaches to choose from.

Whether it’s a sweaty and vigorous Bikram (hot) Yoga class or a relaxing and opening Restorative Yoga class – it all depends on YOU!  Each Yoga type offers different benefits, depending on what your goals and physical abilities are.

Overall, you will find that each kind of Yoga 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 Yoga types list and check out how the different kinds of Yoga 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.

Finally, the Yoga Bible by Christine Brown is an essential resource on Yoga.  A beautifully illustrated book, it covers over 150 poses or asanas, together with step-by-step instructions, as well as breathing techniques.  Each pose is explained in detail in terms of useful lead-in exercises, variations and other helpful explanations.

Get Practical!

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.

Subscribe to a couple of channels to get a taster:  Yoga With Adriene or Ekhard Yoga are great places to start from.

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 types of Yoga.  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.

Related Questions

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

In closing

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.

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