Types of Yoga
Yoga Alliance® embraces all types of yoga. Given the wide variety of approaches available today, it can be very confusing to determine what type is right for you or your facility.
On the YA Directory, we ask our teachers and schools to help you learn about their approach to yoga by using friendly descriptions, which we’ve explained below.
- Gentle yoga classes are typically calming, relaxing, and less physically demanding than other classes. They may also use props to aid students in their practice.
- Spiritually-oriented yoga classes often include meditation in addition to asana practice. They might also emphasize yoga philosophy, chanting, mantra, or cultivating spiritual growth.
- Flow yoga classes are typically invigorating, and they often include aerobic elements. Each posture is usually held only for a short time before moving to the next posture.
- Alignment-oriented yoga classes give particular attention to precision bodily placement, often with longer holds of asanas. Classes might use props to help students attain the desired alignment.
- Fitness yoga primarily emphasizes the physical dimensions of yoga practice. Typical objectives might include aerobic conditioning, gaining strength, or building stamina.
- Hot yoga classes involve practicing in heated rooms (varying in temperature, potentially up to 110°F). The postures themselves may or may not be physically demanding.
- Specialty yoga classes often customize yoga for particular groups, such as seniors, children, expectant mothers, and those facing serious health conditions. Specialized training is important for teachers who work with these groups.
In addition to the types of yoga we identify on our Directory, it’s common for a teacher or school to identify with a style, tradition, or lineage of yoga. Common names you may hear or read about include Ananda, Anusara, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Integral, Kripalu, Kundalini, Power, Prana, Sivananda, Vinyasa and many more. Each style has unique characteristics, and it can be helpful to consult with a specific teacher or school, or review the details on their profile, to learn more about their approach to yoga.