In recent years yoga has shot to stardom, being practiced by Hollywood’s elite, before long it will receive its own star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Why? Because those who regularly practice yoga benefit from greater physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing (all bases covered, what’s not to love?). Furthermore multiple studies have found numerous benefits of yoga from combating stress and pain to boosting immunity and lowering blood pressure.
The only problem is a new form seems to emerge every week, so how do you know which to choose? We have summarised the main yoga forms so you can decide which is best for you, we’ve even included some wacky ones for the non conventional among you.
This style is referred to as a ‘celebration of the heart’ as many of the poses are focused on spiritual alignment and opening the chest area. Classes are uplifting with a community orientated feel. Props are used for extra support during breath work making this style ideal for beginners.
A.k.a power yoga. Not for the weak, this form of yoga is physically demanding and requires constant movement through cardio and toning exercises.
A great way to sweat out your stresses. Bikram or ‘hot yoga’ focuses on your body’s alignment. There are only 26 poses so even complete novices are welcome.
Perfect for beginners and those who wish to wind down in the evening. Hatha is slow paced and gentle allowing your mind and body to relax and unwind before drifting off to sleep.
A gentle form, ideal for physical therapy. Multiple props from straps to cushions are used to realign your body.
Referred to as ‘liberation whilst living’ this physically intense yoga style is quite popular, especially amongst celebrities like Christy Turlington, Gwyneth Paltrow and Sting. Jivamukti combines vinyasa flow with chanting, music and even script readings.
‘Yoga on conciousness’, students who practice kripalu identify and release their spiritual blockages via held poses.
This branch provides an intense surge of energy throughout your body. Class exercises are concentrated around your spine, so expect to develop abs of steel.
One for females only, unless you were inspired by the film Junior. Classes incorporate a lot of gentle core and breath work to relax and prepare the body for pregnancy and childbirth.
Perfect for busy bees. The clue is in the name; restorative yoga aims to restore a calm, relaxed and zen quality to your mind and body.
One of the first yoga styles to become popular in the west. Practice is focused on mastering 12 poses by concentrating on pranayama (breathing). Slow paced and suitable for all levels of experience.
Ideal for all ages and levels as poses often involve chairs. The focus is on healing and transformation.
This form is often used as therapeutic practice for those recovering from an injury or surgery. Classes are tailored to your individual needs and focus is on healing.
Known as ‘flow yoga’ becuase poses flow from one to another like a routine. No two classes are the same. This popular form is movement orientated.
Referred to as ‘joint yoga’, the poses are designed to direct stimulation deeper into your joints, ligament connective tissue and bones.
If ground yoga is too limiting for you, try this. A combination of traditional yoga poses and acrobatics are practiced whilst you are suspended in a silk hammock. This method is good for further improving flexibility.
Out of the ordinary in every sense, even the founder Sebastien Gendry calls it “weird” and “bizarre”. During a class you may find yourself clapping uncontrollably, milking imaginary cows or embodying a ferocious lion. The focus is more on the social aspects of yoga rather than the physical.
If you miss being a toddler, this is for you. A tantrum session combines traditional yoga with dancing and yelling in order to release stress and anxiety.
Ideal for party animals. Simply put it’s: music, movement and meditation. Don’t forget your glow sticks!
It is important you feel completely comfortable during a class, it may take a while to find an instructor you gel with, but hang in it’ll be worth it.
If you find classes a little pricey try online tutorials, You Tube is particularly helpful.