Yoga Styles Explained

Here’s some of the most popular styles of yoga, explained.

Iyengar: This style of yoga focuses on precise alignment. The teachers are well trained and the system has a structured training system that helps to indicate the experience of the teacher. Teachers have a good knowledge of how to adjust postures for different physical limitations. This style of yoga is very “right-brained” and is a good one for people need to understand why they are doing something in order to experience it fully. You will likely only learn yoga postures in an Iyengar class.

Kripalu: This style of yoga is more focused on the feeling and energy you feel in the postures. The postures can be challenging in their own way, without necessarily looking gymnastic. Meditation and breath work are an integral part of these classes. This is a great style for people who are seeking an emotional experience of yoga.

Kundalini Yoga: Kundalini yoga focuses on changing your energy experience. The classes include chanting. There are a lot of repetitive arm movements in their “kriyas” or sequences. Your teacher may wear all white and sport a turban. This style emphasizes the power of women and is a great system for women (and men) who are attracted to spirituality.

Power Yoga or Flow Yoga: If you want a workout, look for these classes. They get you sweating and moving. These are great classes if you are seeking physical fitness as your primary yoga goal.

Hot Yoga: Hot Yoga is performed in a very hot room. One of the big advantages of this style of yoga is that the same postures are done every time and the same script is used by every teacher. Because the number and variety of yoga poses can be confusing, it can be easier to feel a sense of accomplishment. This is not a good class for people who have health issues, due to the extreme high heat.

Astanga Yoga: A rigorous sequence of postures. Like Hot Yoga, there is one set sequence that is performed in every class. Each pose is held for 5 breaths. The sequence is challenging but you can quickly move on to the next one if you can’t get it right away. This is a very physically challenging style of yoga. Teachers may use a lot of sanskrit terms. This style is good for very fit people who like a challenge.