Which style of yoga will best meet your needs? Before finding the yoga that suits you best, it’s often necessary to try a few different yoga classes. The guide below will help you find your bearings and find your way more quickly.
Hatha yoga is one of the most popular yoga styles. It's a rather gentle yoga style, which is ideal for starting yoga and learning basic postures before moving on to a more dynamic or demanding yoga style, such as Ashtanga yoga. The goal of Hatha yoga is to relax, combining breath and postures.
Its benefits: increased concentration, increased vitality, longer breath, distance from stress.
Ashtanga yoga is one of the most popular types of yoga. Like most current yoga styles, it is based on ancestral postures and practices, although its modern form was theorized only in the 1970s by K. Pattabhi Jois.
Ashtanga yoga is very close to Vinyasa yoga. It is based on a quick and energetic sequence of postures (always the same postures and always in the same order), and it is very rigorous and physically demanding. It is therefore ideal for people who are looking for a dynamic yoga style to develop strength, flexibility and energy.
Its benefits: the elimination of toxins, increased endurance and flexibility, strengthening of the joints but also the reduction of stress and anxiety.
Vinyasa yoga is one of the most dynamic yoga styles. It was created in the 1980s, first as a variant of Ashtanga yoga. But unlike Ashtanga yoga, postures can vary from one class to another. In Sanskrit, "vinyasa" means "to place in a specific way". And indeed, Vinyasa yoga is based on the alignment of the body. Another particularity of Vinyasa yoga: each posture is linked in a specific way, the transition being as important as the posture itself in practice!
Vinyasa yoga is accessible to all. To know if you are made for this type of yoga, the best is to try, because the courses can vary enormously according to the teachers.
Its benefits: Vinyasa yoga can be refined but also works the breath to gain endurance and inner well-being.
Bikram yoga was developed about thirty years ago by Bikram Choudhury. The peculiarity of this type of yoga is that it is practiced in a room heated to 40 ° C! During the session, there is a series of 26 postures (always the same series), and especially we sweat a lot! It is important to hydrate during the session.
Note that Bikram yoga is not recommended for people with cardiovascular problems (like sauna!).
Its benefits: it allows, thanks to perspiration, to quickly eliminate toxins, but the heat of the room also limits the risk of muscle injuries and therefore stretch the muscles deep down. This allows to refine the body but also strengthens the immune system and is said to slow down aging.
Yin yoga's main goal is to relax, both physically and mentally. This style of yoga requires a moderate effort, it consists of chaining (and hold long) poses, helped by various accessories such as blankets or bricks. It is ideal on Friday nights, to relieve the stress of the week!
Yin yoga is a type of yoga that requires a lot of flexibility. It is therefore advisable for people who have already practiced another type of yoga.
Its benefits: they are felt above all on the mind, relaxing and invigorating, it allows us to feel calm and relieves stress.
Anusara yoga is one of the newest yoga styles, and it’s becoming more popular. The Sanskrit word "anusara" means "to follow the flow of the Grace, of the Nature and to follow its heart": a whole program! And for good reason, Anusara yoga emphasizes the "intrinsic goodness of every being" and encourages practitioners to open their hearts.
Developed by the American yogi John Friend in 1997, Anusara yoga is very similar to Hatha yoga but with a more playful side. It makes work primarily the upper body: chest, shoulders, back ...
This type of yoga is centered on the alignment of the body, so it is very rigorous and demanding, both in body and mind. It is ideal for those looking for a type of yoga centered on meditation.
Its benefits: refinement of the body, opening of the rib cage, development of grace, evacuation of stress and deep relaxation.
Developed by BKS Iyengar, Iyengar yoga is definitely the most rigorous yoga style. It focuses on the alignment of the body, in all postures, using many accessories (straps, bricks, blankets, chairs, bolsters ...). This type of yoga is rigorous even in the training of instructors, so it is the ideal yoga for those who suffer from a chronic pathology and wish to adapt their practice.
Iyengar yoga is not physical, but especially mental, because it requires great concentration. It is possible to follow courses of different levels. Thus, it is accessible to all.
Its benefits: improved balance and coordination, relief of back pain, removal of stress, improved functioning of internal organs (including the digestive system).
Kundalini Yoga is a type of yoga that puts as much emphasis on the physical side as the spiritual side. The goal of the practice is to release Kundalini (the creative power of life), through postures, breathing exercises, and work on bandhas and mudras (nerve centers). Kundalini yoga classes are very varied and can also include meditation moments, songs or mantras.
It is intended for everyone, especially those who wish to improve their lifestyle or develop their internal and external energy.
Its benefits: it helps to awaken the body and mind, to tone, and strengthen its immune system.
Created in 1984 by New Yorkers Sharon Ganon and David Life, Jivamukti yoga is a variant of Vinyasa yoga. The Sanskrit word "Jivamukti" means "liberation during one's lifetime": the goal of this style of yoga is to relax in depth with the help of songs and series of postures. It is strongly impregnated with Hindu philosophy and emphasizes the connection between living beings and the Earth.
Jivamukti yoga is accessible to all, regardless of your age, as it does not require optimal physical condition or flexibility.
Its benefits: on the physical level (release of tensions, development of the deep muscles ...), Jivamukti yoga allows to purify the negative thoughts, to improve concentration, and to learn the wisdom.
Prenatal yoga is for pregnant women. A mixture of Hatha yoga and Kundalini yoga, it helps mothers- to-be to feel good physically and mentally, and to overcome the difficulties of pregnancy. It is mostly based on breathing exercises and relaxation. It can be followed by post-natal yoga to help moms regain their balance, and relax the tensions of pregnancy and childbirth.