What Are The Different Types of Yoga?

Yoga Types

Are you wondering “What are the different types of yoga are?” Great because we aim to answer that question in this article. There are many different types of yoga and it can be difficult to know which style is right for you. This post will help you find which of the yoga types is best for you, your fitness and goals.

There are many kinds of yoga from hatha, ashtanga, Iyengar or Sivananda that are perceived as traditional yoga to those which as mix such as Sun Power to Yoga suspended in a silky hammock. Each of the yoga styles may suit a different person. The participant may prefer a traditional mat based practice or aerial yoga where the hammock supports the entry and exit into traditional moves and some new inverted moves and transitions have been developed.  

The Different Types of Yoga

Hatha Yoga

In Western culture Hatha Yoga is one of the more popular yoga types practiced. This style of yoga focuses on physical yoga poses and sequences as well as breathing exercises.  Classes will combine both relaxing and activating exercises that help to build strength and flexibility. 

Whilst classes can be quite demanding and make you sweat they are usually suitable for beginners. A Hatha yoga session will usually incorporate yoga poses such as the upward and downward dog, the tree or bow pose, or the crow in to a hatha Yoga Sequence. The class will usually end with Savasana – 5- 10 minutes of deep relaxation laying on the mat in corpse pose.  

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga is a popular style of yoga based on the teachings of contemporary Indian yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar. The method emphasises precision and alignment. Often this style of yoga is recommended to beginners. Frequently classes make use of yoga props such as blocks, chairs, ropes and straps to help people get into and hold poses. The poses 

Students work on the physical body for several years to build the strength, flexibility and stamina. Some students go on to discover the benefits of learning to focus the mind, body and breath to achieve a feeling of presence. This allows them to take on more internal, meditative aspects of the practice.

Sun Salutations and Vinyasas similar to Ashtanga discussed below are taught but there are subtle differences. 

Sivananda Yoga 

This type of yoga is taught as a complete system for physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It is though that the technique help students to cope better with the stresses that life brings. Student will find increased health and connect to inner peace.

The practice includes asanas, meditation, mantra chanting and selfless service. Many students also follow a  healthy vegetarian diet as well. Many students comesto know and feel firsthand what is healthy. It gives energy, reduces stress, focuses the mind and cultivates integrity.

The practice was named after Swami Sivananda – one of the most influential spiritual teachers of the 20th century. It was established in 1957 by Swami Vishnudevananda who was a close disciple of Swami Sivananda (1).

the practice relies on a core sequence that includes a balanced set of 12 postures. The postures are performed in a prescribed order and are interspersed with relaxation poses, such as Savasana (Corpse Pose). Poses either augments or counterbalances the preceding one. 

Practice can be for either 30 minutes or three hours. 

Astanga Yoga

This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures (2). This process produces intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat which detoxifies muscles and organs. The basis of Ashtanga is Sun Salutations A & B which are followed by other sequences called vinyasa. these sequences get progressively harder the more experienced you get. There are sequences which you can use to extend the practice.

Students will find that they have improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.

Sun Power Yoga

Sun Power yoga was founded by Anne-Marie Newland in the 2000. It is a mix of Hatha, Iyengar, Sivananda and Astanga. After studying all four styles of yoga Anne Marie came up with her own version, a mix of all four. 

Here’s what she took from each branch of yoga (3):

  • Hatha Yoga For Theory, Philosophy And Classical Asana
  •  Iyengar Yoga For Alignment And Posturing
  •  Sivananda Yoga For Subtle Mind And Breath Work
  •  Astanga Yoga For Heat, Flexibility And Stamina
The result is a Vinyasa Krama, The Sequencing Of Asana/Postures In there own Unique Blend. This essentially means that the poses are sequenced, there might be a  class theme or a peak pose that the class is working towards. The poses will be sequenced with the aim of the class in mind. The breathe will also be synchronised with the movement.

Aerial Yoga

A style of yoga that has been developed in the last ten years of so. There is a debate if Michelle Dortignac or Christpoher Harrison are responeblie for it’s devlopement. Possibly a combination of the two. Perhaps Harrison developed antigravity fitness and Dortignac took the idea to her yoga practice. 

Since classes began several subtypes have been developed, with teachers taking their own take on it. 

Essentially aerial yoga utilises a hammock like prop to aid the entry and exit into traditional yoga poses. Traditional poses can be performed in several ways either by standing in the hammock, hanging from the hammock or using it to suspend the arms, feet or whole body in a posture.

Some schools use hammocks made from aerial silks material these are called aerial yoga hammocks. Other schools use parachute material which is made like a hammock and then 1-3 sets of handles are added. 

You can find our more about this unique yoga type in the area of our site dedicated to aerial yoga.

Hot Yoga

Yin Yoga

Yang Yoga

Acro Yoga


Most styles of yoga are suitable for everyone but if you are looking for the best types of yoga for beginners why not start with some simple hatha yoga. This is often sold as being suitable for beginners. However, you will find that most styles of yoga can be adapted for beginners. The instructor might offer classes of different intensity and may recommend that you take a certain class which they think is the best yoga for beginners. 

Newbies - Where to start

If you are looking to start yoga and you’re not sure where to start why not try finding a local studio. Then take a look at their website and see what yoga class types are on offer. See which one you like to the sound of and give it a go. You may have to try a few classes before you decide which of the class types are for you. Don’t make the mistake I did and give up after you first try. I went to a very meditative style of class with a friend and never went back, however years later I tried a class at the gym and I fell in love with it. Which I had tried a few yoga types before I had given up. I could have been reaping the benefits for all these years.

In Summary

Different forms of yoga have evolved over the years since yoga was first developed. These different forms have led to a huge variety in the practice, meaning that there is something out there for everyone. Whilst some older generations might turn there nose up because they think it is all about meditation younger generations know that there will be a style that suits them. 

If you are looking for a different yoga style then how about aerial yoga or hot yoga? These are modern practices that have only been developed in the last 10 years or so. Due to their newness they are often only available in specialist studios. 

All types of yoga have many health benefits, will take place on a yoga mat and utilise yoga equipment such as blocks, bolsters, straps, yoga hammocks, chairs and blankets. 

The location will vary depending on the yoga type. Hot yoga can only take place in a warm room or in some cases a hot pod. Aerial yoga will take place in a room that has somewhere that the hammocks can be hung from.