Type of Yoga
Yoga has come a long way in the past few years. Take a look at any studio’s schedule and you’ll see so many different types of yoga, from ashtanga yoga and kundalini yoga to aerial yoga and acro yoga. You might have even heard about — or tried — some of the more modern and unusual iterations of the ancient practice: hip-hop yoga, HIIT yoga, and naked yoga… just to name a few.
Though the practice is thousands of years old, it only arrived in the US in the late 1800s and didn’t firmly take root until the last few decades. Since then, yoga has gone from a practice associated with hippies to one that’s practiced by nearly 37 million people.
And not all of these millions of people go to a yoga studio to do their downward dogs. If you like to unroll your mat at home, you’re not alone: That’s the number one place people practice.
What Is Yoga?
“Plain and simple, yoga is the union between the body, mind, and spirit — that’s the origins of yoga and that’s how it is practiced in the East,” says Miriam Amselem, yoga instructor of nearly 30 years. “It is a place of discovery and connection with your own body that encompasses balance, proper stretching techniques, breathing, meditation, centering the mind and spirit — that’s yoga in its real form.”
However, you’ll find that every type of yoga has a slightly different definition or interpretation. That is why we see things like goat yoga (aka doing yoga with goats running and jumping around) popping up alongside traditional forms like Iyengar and ashtanga.
But above all, yoga ignores the “no pain, no gain” philosophy that’s often touted in fitness communities — yoga is not a place to push through, go beyond your edge, or ignore your body. The primary tenet is ahimsa, or non-harming, and that starts with choosing the right type of yoga for you.
13 Types of Yoga: How to Choose the Right Kind for You
When you’re trying to determine which of the different types of yoga is best for you, remember that there is no right or wrong one— just one that might not be right for you at this moment.
“Like any form of exercise, choose something you want to do,” says Stephanie Saunders, executive director of fitness at Openfit and a certified yoga instructor. “If you are a very detailed person, Bikram or Iyengar might appeal to you. If you are more of a free spirit, vinyasa or aerial yoga might be fun. Find a class that makes you excited to go.”
So which one will get you excited? Our guide to the common types of yoga can help you decide whether you’re in more of a restorative yoga or a power yoga kind of mood, or anything in between.
Kundalini yoga was brought to the