The 6 Most Popular Yoga Styles, Demystified

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Thinking about starting a yoga practice but not sure how to begin? A Google search will leave your head spinning — there are literally dozens of styles to choose from. How’s a person to know which is best? Allow us to clear things up!

Read on for the lowdown on the most popular yoga traditions, and tips for determining which one is right for you!

Vinyasa

Vinyasa (pronounced vin-yah-suh) classes are known for their fluid, dynamic sequences of postures. Unlike more rigid styles that hold postures for a minute or more, vinyasa teachers choreograph smooth transitions from pose to pose, and often play music to keep the energy up. Classes will get your heart pumping, and no two are the same.

Good for you if:

you have a background in dance.
you prefer constant movement over longer-held postures.
you dislike routine.

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bikram

Bikram

Bikram yoga, named after its inventor, Bikram Choudhury, is a more rigid, methodical style in which yogis are guided through a 90-minute series of 26 postures, each performed twice. It’s best known for the sauna-like studio conditions — the heat is cranked up to 105 degrees F and 40 percent humidity.  Postures are held for at least 30 seconds, some as long as 60 seconds, and there’s no fluid transition between them.

Good for you if:

you want to test your stamina.
you can handle hot temps.
you want to lose weight.

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G. H. was raised in Minnesota, but currently calls Seattle her home. She's a blogger, editor, and journalist, and she's written everything from news reports to restaurant reviews. If she's not putting pen to paper, G. H. is probably experimenting in the kitchen, chilling out on her yoga mat, or running through a city park.