Common types of yoga

Let’s say right now you’re trying to do yoga for the first time, or for the second time, and you still have not found the type of yoga that suits you the most. This article will help to guide you on deciding the type of yoga that is the best for you and for your needs.

Basically, there are 8 types of yoga that you can find in most yoga studios:

Hatha Yoga

Most of the types of yoga which are available these days can be categorized as Hatha Yoga due to its characteristics focusing on physical alignment practice and breathing technique. If you have ever heard about Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, and Power Yoga, those types of yoga can be categorized as Hatha Yoga as well; even though practically, the pace of Hatha Yoga is slower.

Hatha Yoga suits best for first timers. Practicing Hatha Yoga can introduce you to the basic posture and help you to identify the names of the posture. You might also be able to get deeper into each posture better due to its slow pace.

Vinyasa Yoga

This type of yoga usually goes with the flow dynamically and involves coordination between physics, posture, and respiration. Vinyasa Yoga usually has a faster tempo and no formal pattern (a.k.a freestyle), but usually the instructor always conducts the whole class with certain purpose. For example, today’s session will be focused on strengthening the hand muscles, and for the next session will be focused on backbend, or in one session you will be provided with poses which are beneficial for all parts of your body.

Hatha Yoga suits best for people who like spontaneity, dynamic, and do not like routines. In every session of Vinyasa Yoga, you will always feel surprised with the variation of the posture series.

Due to the dynamic movement and the involvement of both posture movement and respiration, Ashtanga Yoga, Jivamukti, Baptiste, and Power Yoga can be categorized as Vinyasa Yoga as well.

Ashtanga Yoga

Compared to Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga is type of yoga which is very dynamic, very intense, and most of the time very athletic. In Ashtanga Yoga, it has its own have-to-do series called Ashtanga series. There are 2 methods in practicing Ashtanga Yoga. The first method is called Led Class, a class where the teacher or instructor leads the class. Another method is called Mysore, methods of practicing in which you follow the posture series, such as Primary series without teacher’s instruction, or the teacher is in the room just observing and helping you to adjust your posture. Practicing Ashtanga Yoga needs a high dedication, thus it will be great if you want to feel the instant benefits from practicing yoga physically and mentally.

Ashtanga Yoga suits best for those of you who are fully committed and dedicated, especially if you are also athletic.

Iyengar Yoga

This type of yoga focuses on the precision of the posture and attention to the human anatomy in detail. Most of the time you will be in one posture in a long interval, or sometimes there is also modification of posture using tools (block and strap/wallrope). This yoga method is very systematic and usually aims to increase the strength, flexibility, and stability of the body. Iyengar Yoga can also be beneficial for therapy in certain body condition.

Iyengar Yoga suits best for those of you who loves paying attention to details. Iyengar Yoga also can be practiced for those of you who would like to do therapy for your health condition.

Hot Yoga

Hot Yoga is type of yoga which is conducted in the heated room. The most popular type of this yoga is Bikram Yoga. Bikram Yoga is conducted in 42 Celcius degrees room with 26 settled posture. If you are a travelling person and would like to do yoga between your travelling, whenever you are in every part of the world, you can still practice Bikram Yoga with the same heat of the room and the same posture series.

Hot Yoga suits best for people who enjoy the sensation of streaming sweat while exercising. Streaming sweat comes from the heat of the room which imitates the detox effect; this effect is beneficial for your health. Those 26 posture of Bikram Yoga could also make your body more flexible. Most of the time, this kind of thing encourage you to go back practicing yoga as soon as possible routinely to elevate the strength and flexibility of your body.

Beside Bikram Yoga, there are several types of yoga which can be done with the same methods (practicing in the heated room), such as Hot Ashtanga, Forrest Yoga, Baptiste Yoga, Core Power Yoga, and HotBarre Yoga.

Kundalini Yoga

This type of yoga combine physical and spiritual value. By putting together body posture with a dynamic respiration technique, meditation, and also chanting, Kundalini Yoga aims to increase the vitality of the body and self-consciousness.

Kundalini Yoga suits best for those of you who enjoy meditation, and would love to explore your energy, intuition, and mindset. If you would like to know deeper about yourself spiritually, you might add Kundalini Yoga to your yoga journey as well.

Prenatal Yoga

Specially designed for pregnant women, this type of yoga can help the mom-to-be physically and mentally. Usually, Prenatal Yoga focuses on training the respiration, hip area, and restoration poses which are beneficial to restore the energy when the pregnant women feels tired due to the hormonal change.

For those of you who are pregnant, practicing this type of yoga routinely can make you feel stronger and keep active during pregnancy. Besides, practicing this yoga also can be beneficial for the fetus. Besides practicing by yourself during pregnancy, there is also studio which offer Prenatal Yoga class for couples who would love to practice together and spread the knowledge between couples to prepare themselves for giving each other support during birth process.

As the name suggest, Prenatal Yoga suits best for pregnant women. Even though you have never practiced yoga before or even have never exercised prior your pregnancy, you still can do this specially prepared yoga for your pregnant condition.

Yin Yoga

If most of the types of yoga explained above focused on dynamic training, Yin Yoga focused on passive training, where you are in one pose for 3-5 minutes, and kind of postures are sitting, gentle twist, or lying down. This yoga method can be beneficial to train your meditative side. Besides, it will be great for your health because it aims to give stretching for your joint and fascia (one of the tissue layer).

Yin Yoga suits best for those of you who are calm. However, Yin Yoga also could suit for a person who are active, dynamic, and most of the time being very busy. Yin Yoga is very beneficial to restore the energy and increase your sleep quality due to your body condition while practicing; your body will be relaxed and your respiration quality will be increased.

There are still a lot of type of yoga apart from these 8 types of yoga explained above. However, from these popular types of yoga, you have already had plenty of options. I would suggest you to practice different types of yoga with various teachers. This might help you to understand which type of yoga that you like the most. Besides, you could also find out the most suitable type of yoga which match your personality and routines. Practicing several different types of yoga routinely could also be great for you, because your yoga journey will be more colorful.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnose or treatment.

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Dian Sonnerstedt Yoga Expert
Dian Sonnerstedt is a yoga practitioner since 2016. Her love of yoga turned her from working as a Marketing executive in huge corporation, to a life as a full-time yoga instructor. She received her certification from One Song Yoga School in 2014, followed by certifications in Prenatal/Postnatal Yoga, Sunshine Network for Thai Yoga Massage, and Yin Mindful Immersion Yoga in 2015. Dian officially registered in Dian teaches various types of Yoga including Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, and Prenatal Yog. She has opened private classes, as well as classes for office, and in studio @Yoga42 Senayan Arcadia. She wants to share her knowledge of Yoga and inspire everyone to love Yoga, as it has had a positive impact not only physically but mentally on the practitioners. In this column, Dian will share all about yoga, why it is good for you and how to practice Yoga for those who have experience, or who had never touched a yoga mat. Find out more about yoga with Dian Sonnerstedt on her Instagram account @diansonnerstedt (
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