1. Hatha Yoga
If you’re completely new, perhaps Hatha yoga is the place to start. Classes that offer this style usually introduce you to the basic postures. It is slow: You hold an asana for longer than in other styles, mostly stretching your body and getting used to the idea of a yoga asana.
With some amount of pranayama (breathing techniques) incorporated into the session, Hatha yoga focuses on bringing the mind and body to stillness through movement.
2. Vinyasa Yoga
Classes on Vinyasa yoga are generally fluid. Using the ujjayi breathing technique, a Vinyasa workout will take you through asanas that focus on certain parts of your body. Synchronising your breath with your movements, it seamlessly takes you from one pose to the next, keeping you on your toes.
It helps strengthen your muscles while it quietly works on your mind through controlled breathing. Since no two classes are ever the same, and because it requires constant movement, it’s a great choice for people who like being up and about.
3. Ashtanga Yoga
Developed by Pattabhi Jois who took the style to the West in the 1970s, Ashtanga yoga is one of the popular types of yoga styles across the world. It is similar to Vinyasa yoga in that it coordinates your movement with your breathing. However, unlike in Vinyasa yoga, you will do the same poses in the same sequence every time, making this a great workout for those who prefer routines.
Ashtanga yoga is great for building stamina and flexibility, detoxifying the body and realigning the spine as the asanas you do are vigorous.
4. Iyengar Yoga
One word to describe this yoga style: Alignment. The idea is to maintain an alignment of the head, spine, hips, and feet while practicing yoga. It is strenuous, as once you achieve a pose, you are required to maintain it for a few breaths.
Poses include both sitting and standing ones, and often the use of props such as pillows, chairs and blocks for support. This makes it great for people looking to remedy a situation: chronic illness, obesity, or just plain lack of fitness.
5. Jivamukti Yoga
Combining asanas with chanting, meditation, pranayama and music, Jivamukti yoga can be an intense, yet spiritual experience. Developed in 1984 by two Americans, the type of yoga style focuses on themes that are underpinned by compassion and kindness.
Jivamukti yoga aimed more at developing a certain philosophical outlook to the life than achieving fitness. It could be explored by those seeking direction in their lives.
6. Bikram Yoga
Three decades ago, a man named Bikram Choudhury came up with a yoga routine of 26 poses performed in sequence. But your yoga mat is not all you require for this class. Bikram devised a type of yoga practice, a routine for an artificially heated room, where you sweat it out at 40% humidity.
If you’re willing to sweat profusely as you exercise strenuously in the heat for 90 minutes, it’s a great way to exercise, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. It improves blood circulation and flushes out toxins from your body while helping you build muscle.