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What are the different types of yoga?

Posted by Anne P.

Many, many years ago I took classes in Hatha Yoga. I notice that there are a variety of types of classes offered now. How do they differ? How do you determine which type of class to take?

I've just signed up for "Vinyasa flow" yoga and "Power" yoga but I truly don't have a clue what to expect in these classes. Hope I'm not in over my head (so to speak).

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You are absolutely right, yoga is everywhere and at the same time nowhere at all.

I believe the different types of yoga are, to one degree or another, a function of western culture's need for constant stimulation (and thus a new toy every few years), and a necessary diversity needed to suit a dynamic, growing process called "yoga".

In my training as a yoga teacher we were required to investigate and report on all of the different types of yoga flavors. Here are some differences based on my study, practice, and experience:

There are practices that are warm, hot, and downright sweaty. There are those that move to something else on each breath and those that stay in one position for many breaths. There are practices that teach only asana and others that teach all of the Eight Limbs from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.

Many of the current "styles" qualify as "hatha yoga". Some of the practices have strong connection to a lineage dating back thousands of years while others do not. Some practices take this from here and that from there and mix in someone's opinion, preference or personal experience and then slap a label on it and call it Anne's Yoga or Shanti or Lotus or what-have-you.

I believe the larger question is "what yoga is for me?" And since you have free will you are never over your head. You simply do not return to a class that does not serve your growth as a human being.

Relative to expectation, there is no reason (or benefit) from expectation. You'll actually reap a greater harvest heading in without any expectation at all. But if you must have such a thing for peace of mind, then I can post again since I originally trained in the power vinyasa practice.

There is classical yoga and then there is classical yoga, As Gordon states, style is just a Western ideal.  Though one can grow in a yoga class, yoga really begins outside of the class.  Choose a class that enables you to go beyond the mere walls of the studio (please remember fitness centres offer a strange version of 'yoga' its not yoga) and beyond the asana, yoga for me is practiced 24/7, its a way of being, its a way of interacting with the world, nature and who I am.  Find yoga that enlightens you to who you are.

trying to stay away from Western commercialism yoga and tight skimpy clothes yoga--just want the meditation, breathing, knowledge and integrating body, mind, spirit--which style is for me?


There are many different styles of yoga being taught and practiced today. Although all of the styles are based on the same physical postures (called poses), each has a particular emphasis. There is a quick guide to the most popular types of yoga that can help you decode the schedule at your gym and figure out which class is right for you at
NOTICE: The information provided on this site is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on Wellsphere. If you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.
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