What Type of Yoga is Right for You?
Yoga is a vast umbrella term that encompasses endless styles of the original word. Hatha yoga is the most generic term (Ha meaning sun and thameaning moon) that refers to the balance of energies and sums up all styles of yoga. But there are so many subtypes, like Ashtanga, Iyengar, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Restorative—just to name a few.
So where should you start? I’ve chosen some of the most popular styles and mapped them out so you can match your personality to your perfect practice. Think of this as yoga dating: Just because you have one bad date doesn’t mean you’ll never have success in love. It’s the same in the yoga world: Just because you don’t enjoy one style or teacher doesn’t mean the perfect match isn’t waiting right around the corner (or in this case, the yoga studio around the corner).
Stay open to all possibilities! The goal is to find the style that inspires you and makes you want to show up on the mat. Still can’t find your yoga soul mate? Check out my book The Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga for even more poses, sequences, and practice-perfecting tips!
For the Athletic Overachiever
You love to sweat, work hard, and dedicate yourself. ‘I WILL’ is your motto.
You’ll love: Ashtanga yoga. This style can be done independently or in an instructor-led class. Ashtanga is made up of a series of poses that are done in a sequence. This sequence is challenging and fiery—great for building strength and a fantastic way to see results.
For the Stressball
You’re constantly overworked and going on fumes. It’s impossible to clear the clutter in your mind.
You’ll love: Vinyasa flow or Power yoga. Vinyasa and Power build up heat through constant movement. While working up a sweat, your mind won’t have time to think about anything else except for the exact posture it’s trying to perfect. It’s a fantastic way to clear your head of the to-do list and feel yourself fully in the present moment.
For the Bookworm
You’re cerebral, thoughtful, and a sponge for information. You want to understand anatomy, how the body works, and how to protect it while you practice.
You’ll love: Iyengar yoga. This style created by B.K.S Iyengar (a major influence in the yoga world) is all about nitty-gritty anatomic details. His style of yoga is repetitive, detail oriented, and moves at a thoughtful pace. Plenty of props (think blocks, straps, blankets, wall work) are included to help you access the pose in the most appropriate way for your body type.
For the Social Butterfly
Your practice strategy always involves inviting friends. You love to laugh, play, and are always open to meeting new people in the yoga room.
You’ll love: Acro (partner) yoga or stand up paddle board (SUP) yoga. These styles of yoga have a huge sense of community and playfulness around them. While SUP yoga brings you out into the water with your yogi friends, Acro yoga classes are often held out in a park on a nice day. Either way, you’ll definitely be laughing and talking in between poses.
For the Introvert
The idea of wearing stretchy pants and doing yoga in public is mortifying. You don’t want anyone watching you, and you enjoy your privacy when you practice.
You’ll love: Online yoga. Create a sacred space in your house where you can unroll your mat and pick your favorite teacher or class to take. This option also gives you the freedom to choose who you want to learn from and what style or duration you like best. I recommend my home online studioyogaglo.com.
Kathryn Budig is a jet-setting yoga teacher who teaches online at Yogaglo. She is the Contributing Yoga Expert for Women’s Health Magazine, Yoga Journal contributor, Yogi-Foodie for MindBodyGreen, creator of Gaiam’sAim True Yoga DVD, co-founder of Poses for Paws and author of Rodale’sThe Women’s Health Big Book of Yoga. Follow her on Twitter; Facebook;Instagram or on her website.
Source: Women’s Health