Which yoga style is best for you? reached out to experienced yoga practioner, teacher, and guest lecturer Shona M.K. Maggio. Drawing on her extensive background in many disciplines and practices, she offers her ideas for whom each of the 8 yoga styles are most suited.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha is slower-paced than some other forms. The focus is on the fundamentals, which include holding each posture for a few breaths. Hatha yoga is considered a softer type of yoga in many places. However, the Sanskrit term “hatha” actually refers to any yoga that teaches physical postures.

Ask a Yogi: Hatha yoga is most suited for those who like to take things step by step, focussing on the
“now” in each pose. Hatha helps with restoring harmony and balance.

Vinyasa Yoga

Get your groove on with this dynamic workout that combines movement and breath in a dance-like manner. You won’t spend much time in each position in most courses, and the tempo can be fast, so expect your heart rate to surge. Teachers frequently play music, syncing the rhythms to the positions’ sequences.

Ask a Yogi: Vinyasa Yoga is most suited for those that enjoy pace, fluid movements, challenge and a degree of intensity. Those with joint issues need to be mindful. Vinyassa helps with detoxification, moving energy blocks, and overall tonality of musculature.

Ashtanga Yoga

Try Ashtanga yoga if you want a demanding but organized approach to yoga. You’ll flow and breathe your way through six sets of specially scheduled yoga positions to create internal heat. The catch is that in each class, you’ll do the same positions in the same order. Some studios have an instructor who calls out the postures, whereas Mysore style courses require you to do the series on your own. 

Ask a Yogi: This style quite often attracts the more disciplined of mind and body. Recommend for those who appreciate a smaller scope of movements with more fine tuned focus on individual postures. Ashtanga yoga helps to improve balance and coordination and the mind- body connect awareness.

Iyengar Yoga

You’ll grow fastidious about precision and detail, as well as the alignment of your body in each posture. Props, such as yoga blocks and blankets, as well as straps or a ropes wall, will become your new best friend, allowing you to practise within a safe and effective range of motion. Each pose is held for a longer amount of time than in Vinyasa. If you’re new to Iyengar yoga, even if you’ve done other forms of yoga before, you should start with a level one class to get a feel for the technique.

Ask a Yogi: This style of yoga is very focussed on alignment of body and breath and mind. Recommended for the more clear intended for the ‘ path of yoga ‘, as it requires consistency. Iyengar Yoga helps with those with back pain, and those in need of spinal alignment corrections.

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Bikram Yoga

Prepare to sweat: Bikram yoga consists of a set of 26 postures and two breathing exercises performed in a room with a temperature of 105 degrees and a humidity of 40%. You’ll know precisely what to do after you unroll your mat since all Bikram classes follow the identical 90-minute routine. Keep in mind that the hard exercise, paired with the heat, might make the session feel taxing. Take it easy if you’re new to Bikram: rest when you need to and drink plenty of water beforehand.

Ask a Yogi: Recommended for those who need to burn out the internal battles and frustrations of daily life, and also for those to whom physical cleanliness in mind and body,( ie eat well and work out often) are of importance.

Kundalini Yoga

This physically and intellectually demanding exercise does not appear like a conventional yoga session. You’ll chant, sing, and meditate while doing kriyas, which are repetitious physical exercises combined with rigorous breath training. What is the goal? To tear down your internal boundaries, unleashing latent energy and increasing your self-awareness.

Ask a Yogi: Kundalini yoga is suited for those who seek to explore the energetic fields and spiritual side of yogic practices. It helps to promote being “ awoke” to your spirit and soul. It also aids people in easing stress, anxiety and in restoring mental clarity.

Hot Yoga

In the same way as Bikram yoga is done in a heated environment, hot yoga is. Teachers, on the other hand, are not bound by the Bikram sequence’s 26 poses. While the heat will make you feel like you can go deeper into some poses than in a non-heated class, overstretching is simple to do, so don’t go past your limits.

Ask a Yogi: Hot yoga is suitable for those who like the flow of Vinyassa with an extra challenge. The ultimate of detoxification when you combine the fluid consistency with the high intensity heat. It helps with overall tonality and detoxification.

Yin Yoga

This is where you’ll find your zen if you wish to quiet and balance your body and mind. Yin yoga positions are maintained for many minutes at a time, in contrast to a rapid paced practise like Ashtanga. This meditation technique is meant to restore length and flexibility to your deeper connective tissues and fascia. Instead of consciously flexing or activating the muscles, you’ll utilise props to allow your body to relax into the position. It may make you feel anxious at first, but stick with it for a few courses and you’ll be hooked on its restorative properties.

Yin Yoga is suitable for those who see yoga as a practice and discipline of harmony and restoration. Yin is taught from a heart centred space and it is a practice that brings you back to yourself to land in relaxation, trust and containment.

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