Aerial yoga is a hybrid type of yoga developed in 2014 combining traditional yoga poses, pilates, and dance with the use of a strong, silky hammock (designed to support up to 300kg, just in case you’re doubting). It’s also called anti-gravity or hammock yoga/gym.
You will love it if … you want a nontraditional yoga class which will take you out of your comfort zone, if you’re looking for great sensations (euphoria feeling guaranteed) or if you want to focus on the benefits of inversions – or even to work on your fear to be upside down!
Acroyoga is a physical practice which combines yoga and acrobatics. Acroyoga includes many types group acrobatics in which at least someone is lifted. As such it also draws on traditions of circus arts, cheer-leading, and dance acro. It has to be practiced with 3 people: base, flyer and spotter to secure the group.
I’ve heard it was originally created for kids, to initiate them to yoga in a fun way. Quite glad it’s now for adults as well!
You will love it if … you enjoy practicing with a partner, friend or new buddy. Couples looking to build trust and intimacy will also benefit from this type of practice. And of course, anyone with an adventurous streak who likes to go upside down will absolutely love it!
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a style of physical yoga based on series of specific poses taught in order, created by K. Pattabhi Fois who claimed to have learnt the system from his teacher during the 20th century. It is often referred to a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. The style is quite energetic, synchronising breath with movements. The individual poses (asanas) are linked by flowing movements (also known as vinyasa).
You will love it if … You enjoy routine or a more physical yet spiritual practice. Also great if you want to build self-discipline and a strict independent practice.
Bikram Yoga is a highly coded type of hot yoga, devised by Bikram Choudhury. It became popular in the early 1970s. Classes consist of a fixed sequence of 26 postures, and the practice takes place in a room heated to 105 °F (41 °C) with a humidity of 40%, with the intention to replicate the climate of India. The room is fitted with carpets and the walls are covered in mirrors; the instructor does not adjust the students, who are expected to adjust themselves.
You will love it if … You love a great sweat, you want an intense physical practice, and routine is okay for you.
Hatha yoga is also what is commonly referred to as “yoga” when the type of yoga isn’t specified (my advice: if the type isn’t mentioned: run). The Sanskrit word हठ haṭha literally means “force” and thus alludes to a system of physical techniques. It can be seen as the basic type of yoga, which will allow you to build strong fondations of asanas (postures) and breath techniques (pranayama) to then try other types of yoga.
You will love it if … You’re looking for a balanced practice, if you want to start a yoga practice, or if you are in search of a gentler type of yoga (though it can sometimes be quite tough but it’s a good way to learn to adapt your practice).
Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of asana-based yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of yoga postures (asanas).
The style often makes use of lots of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing the asanas. The props enable beginning students, the elderly, or those with physical limitations to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain.
You will love it if … You enjoy detailed instruction and want to practice it to deepen your practice. Also good for those of us with physical limitations, or those in search of a more classical form of yoga.
The Jivamukti Yoga method was created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984. It is a physical, ethical, and spiritual practice, combining a vigorous asana and vinyasa-based physical style with adherence to five central tenets: shastra (scripture), Bhakti (devotion), ahimsa (nonviolence, non-harming), nada (music), and dhyana (meditation). It also emphasizes animal rights, veganism, environmentalism, and social activism.
You will love it if … You love a good spiritual talk before and during your practice, you enjoy chanting mantras, and combining it with a strong asana practice – and you’re okay with some sort of routine.
Kundalini yoga derives from kundalini, defined in Vedantic culture as energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine until it is activated (as by the practice of yoga) and channeled upward through the chakras in the process of spiritual perfection. Kundalini is believed by adherents to be power associated with the divine feminine. Kundalini yoga as a school of yoga is influenced by Shaktism and Tantra schools of Hinduism. It derives its name through a focus on awakening kundalini energy through regular practice of mantra, tantra, yantra, yoga, and meditation.
You will love it if … You are in search of a physical, yet also deeply spiritual practice and want to work on the energy level. Also great if you enjoy singing or chanting.
Power Yoga is any of several forms of energetic vinyasa-style yoga practice developed in America in the 1990s. These can include forms derived from ashtanga and forms derived from Bikram yoga, or from vinyasa but pushed to the next level of intensity, usually with a quicker pace than most yoga styles. It can be done in a regular studio or in a hot studio.
You will love it if … You want a good workout, or you want a less spiritual yoga practice. Also good if you like ashtanga but want something a little less rigid.
Prenatal yoga can be a wonderful workout for pregnant women. It often focuses on easing pains associated with pregnancy, such as sore hips or an aching low back, as well as stress relief, exercise, and self-care in one session, and the breathing exercises can come in handy during labor and delivery. Designed specifically for moms-to-be, it excludes poses that might be too taxing or unsafe for the changing body.
You will love it if … You’re a Mother-to-be or a new mother who is easing back into exercise.
Restorative Yoga is the practice of asanas, each held for generally around 5 to 10 minutes, often with the support of props such as folded blankets, to relax the body. It is good for everyone but mainly for practitioners suffering from injuries, stress, or illness, who therefore require a yoga practice that can bring them back to a better quality of life. Classes are necessarily small so that each person can receive detailed attention to ensure they are safe and properly supported.
You will love it if … You need to de-stress, you’re dealing with pain, or you struggles to relax.
Sivananda Yoga is a spiritual yoga system named after the guru Swami Sivananda; it includes the use of asanas (yoga postures) but is not limited to them as in most systems of yoga as exercise. This type of yoga classes aimes to ‘practice and teach the ancient yogic knowledge for health, peace, unity in diversity and self-realization.’ This type of practice is relaxing, usually starting in savasana, then some breathing exercises, sun salutations and 12 basic asanas.
You will love it if … You need a gentler form of yoga, or you want a more spiritual practice.
Vinyasa yoga is also called “flow yoga” or “vinyasa flow”. It is one of the most common styles. It was originally adapted from the more regimented ashtanga practice a couple of decades ago. The word “vinyasa” translates to “place in a special way,” which is often interpreted as linking breath and movement. You’ll often see words like slow, dynamic, or mindful paired with vinyasa or flow to indicate the intensity of a practice. I strongly advise you to take a few Hatha classes before diving into a vinyasa class.
You will love it if … You enjoy a creative sequence, you want more movement and less stillness in your practice.
Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga, incorporating principles of traditional Chinese medicine with asanas (postures) that are held for long periods of time, from 2 to 5 or more minutes. The sequences of postures are meant to stimulate the channels of the subtle body known as meridians in Chinese medicine and as nadis in Hatha yoga. Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fasciae, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. A more meditative approach to yoga, its goals are awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality.
You will love it if … You need to stretch out after a tough workout or full day, if you’re interested in a slower-paced practice, if you want to work on your patience or on relaxing your body.
Tantra Yoga combines the practice of yoga with Tantric philosophy, working on deep relaxation of the body and mind through breathing exercises and several ordered sequences of asanas to explore your potential, your limits, and accept yourself more. Practice is usually with closed eyes to connect to your inner body and energy.
You will love it if … You want a spiritual and physical practice, working on your energy and melting tantra and yoga.