You may be wondering which type of yoga is best for your personality. There are so many options for yoga classes that looking for a practice that fits your personality is a great way to start.
If you love routine and challenge try: Ashtanga or Bikram
Ashtanga is the same 90 minutes sequence every time. There are five levels of sequences. Although, most people never graduate out of the first level as it is very intense and must be mastered before moving on. There are many complicated stretches and balance poses as well as about 85 vinyasas. This class is good for people who have yoga experience and want to bring their yoga to the next level. It is also great for people who want to know what to expect, as it is the same every week. You notice progress in your poses because of the consistency, which can be very motivating. This practice is great for type-A people who love routine and challenges.
Bikram is a 90 minutes series of the same 26 poses done in a room heated to 95-108 degrees Fahrenheit. These classes are intense. They are not for the faint-hearted. It is nice that it is the same series, especially when it is so challenging. Knowing what’s next gives you something to work towards, and creates a mindset of overcoming challenges. Just like with Ashtanga, if you have a dedicated practice with this series, you will see growth over time.
If you are competitive try: Power or Vinyasa
This is a great practice for those wanting to learn arm balance poses and sweat a lot during their practice. Power Yoga is a vinyasa yoga practice which is based on getting fit, increasing stamina, and strength. It is also great for reducing stress. The synchronicity of the breath with the movement creates focus in power yoga.
Vinyasa is a yoga class where poses are strung together in a flow. It is usually done at a pretty quick pace and has a lot of vinyasas to connect the poses. This is a good choice for someone who doesn’t like the “slow pace” of yoga, who feels comfortable always being on the go.
If you are stress-prone try: Restorative or Yin
In this practice, your body is propped and supported in a way that completely supports you. You are not stretching or engaging muscles. Your parasympathetic nervous system kicks in and your body starts to relax. This creates a reduction in cortisol levels and can, in turn, help you lose weight. Restorative yoga would be good for anyone living with high amounts of stress or anyone wanting to manage their stress levels.
During yin yoga, you will hold passive poses for an extended amount of time, around 3-5 minutes. Unlike in restorative, you are stretching. It’s designed to get into your connective tissue, increasing your flexibility. Yin yoga would be good for anyone wanting a more meditative practice or looking to focus on increasing their flexibility. If you don’t like being in uncomfortable positions and have a hard time staying calm when you are uncomfortable this practice might be hard for you. But then again, it might be exactly what you need.
If you are open minded try: Kundalini
Kundalini yoga focuses on meditation, breathing, mantras, and asanas (poses). This practice is good for those who are interested in the spiritual part of yoga. If you are someone with racing thoughts that has a hard time with a wandering mind during yoga, this could be a great option for you, as it is a very guided.
What you think is good for you may have the opposite effect
I would like to add that sometimes you need the opposite of what you would think. If you are stress-prone, yin or restorative would probably be great for you, but you also might benefit more from a power or Ashtanga class. The class that seems the most out of your character just might have the biggest benefit for you. The key is to experiment. Try out different types of yoga and reflect on how you feel after your particular yoga practice. Although matching your personality to your yoga style may seem like a good fit, keep in mind that sometimes opposites attract.
What type of yoga matches your personality? How did you find it?