What is the right yoga style for me?

A not complete list of yoga styles.

Once it got you, you will love it! But the first classes are crucial and will probably set the tone weather you like yoga or not. Wouldn’t it be a shame by just choosing the wrong style or teacher at your first class would make you never return?

That’s why its a good idea to first go to a yoga class or yoga retreat, that resonates with your current character, even if often yoga shows its most benefits, when it triggers your unconscious patterns and challenges you to grow. But no worries, once you like it, it will serve you the exactly right things on your path.

Here is a list of most popular Yoga styles, where some of them are taught at our Yoga School Corfu in Greece.

Flowing with the breath

What is Vinyasa Yoga?

Vinyasa Yoga is an active and flowing style, where yoga postures, also called Asanas are linked by dynamic movements to each other in a cleverly way – always synchronized with a steady full breath. What most people don't know, this is called Vinyasa Krama. Those cleverly or smart linked postures, the movement and the breath are utilised towards a goal. The goal can be different, depending on the teacher's intention. In general the aim of yoga is to create more space, expansion and freedom for the mind and body that leads to self-realization. Often it's also meant to burn the Kleshas, that means (freely translated) to get rid of bad habits, unconscious patterns or restricting emotions, thoughts, concepts or beliefs that are not supporting the flow of your life energy.

Vinyasa Yoga is for you, when…
  • You like to move your body
  • You seek more flexibility and strength
  • You look for an open minded yoga system, that doesn’t put „heavy“ philosophical teachings on you
  • You have no problems with sometimes sweaty energetic flows
  • You sit very much or move very little
  • Want to learn mindfulness in a playful way
Smiling Yogini at the Beach
Relax and restore

What is Yin Yoga?

Yin is a very slow yoga practice with only seated and lying down postures that heals and regenerates the body and calms the nervous system. It's a passive practice where muscle tension is released and the focus is on relaxation. Yin yoga is a compliment to other more active forms. It is a very slow-paced passive practice focused on releasing tension, stretching, and relaxation with the goal of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. The postures are mostly in seated or lying down positions (asanas) that are held for a longer period of time than other styles which heals and regenerates the body and calms the nervous system.

Yin Yoga is for you, when…
  • You like to deeply relax and move slow
  • You want to become more sensitive towards your body
  • You have problems with sleep, digestion, stress, anxiety
  • You have tension in your muscles
  • You want to gain patience and mindfulness
Breath and Feel

What is Tantric Hatha Yoga?

Tantric Hatha in a nutshell (and we could fill many book pages with explaining the philosophical background) is the expansion of life force. This is achieved by the practice of Posture (Asana), Breath (Pranayama) and Meditation (dhyana). Let’s focus on what the actual practice looks like in this style: Tantric Hatha is a combination of first dynamically introduced postures which eventually become steady asanas held in stillness for about 5-8 long breaths. The focus is really strong on the slow and conscious breath and less on the perfect alignment. Thus the postures are in general more easy to follow. In this yoga style there are three main types of Asana practice: Moon, Sun and Fire. Every type has its specific aspects and methods to cultivate different qualities of experience in the body and mind.

Tantric Hatha Yoga is for you, when…
  • You like a slow paced posture practice
  • You want to improve your breathing
  • You want to calm the mind
  • You want to awake your spiritual side
  • You are absolutely new to yoga and like to start slow
  • You like the philosophical & spiritual aspects of yoga
Daily practice

What is Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga means Eight Limbs which is a Yoga Path described in the Yoga Sutra Scriptures. The most famous Ashtanga Teacher was Pattabhi Jois who made this style popular. Ashtanga is a very dynamic and athletic form of hatha yoga, made up of three series, each with a set series of postures. It is rooted in vinyasa, the flowing movements between postures, with a focus on energy and breath. While it is a very physical practice, it also promotes mental clarity and inner peace.

Astanga Yoga is for you, when…
  • You like strong physical exercise
  • You are motivated by your own improvement
  • You really want to get flexible and strong
  • You feel good performing the same sequence over and over
  • You struggle with discipline, because it will teach you exactly that!
Yogic Sleep • the final stage

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a type of guided meditation also known as "yogic sleep" or "effortless relaxation." It is generally practiced while lying back, with a teacher leading the practice session. The practice directs our awareness inward, and we learn to shift between the states of being awake and asleep, where our body finds its natural state of equilibrium (homeostasis) - the breath becomes balanced and calm, subconscious and conscious facets of the mind reveal themselves, and we fall into an innate state of deep, blissful awareness.

Yoga Nidra is for you, when…
  • You feel comfortable to lay down for more than 20 minutes
  • You have an inner urge to explore the deep states of existence/li>
  • You need rest and recovery for body, mind and soul
  • You want to learn to connect to your innate inner being
Complete practice for western people

What is Anusara Yoga?

Anusara Yoga founded by American-born yoga teacher John Friend in 1997. He reintroduced elements of Yoga spirituality into a more health-oriented Western approach to Yoga. The Anusara style emphasizes a set of Universal Principles of Alignment which underlie all of the physical asanas and are connected to philosophical aspects of the practice. It is home for the serious yoga student seeking to take their study and practice to a deep place in a light and life-affirming way.  The school is known for its philosophical connections to non-dual Tantra. The term "Anusara (a-nu-sar-a), means 'flowing with Grace,' 'flowing with Nature.

Anusara is a playful, yet well-informed, practice. The themes often tie together the mind and the actions being taken in the body.

Anusara Yoga is for you, when…
  • You like detailed alignment
  • You like themed classes with depth
  • You enjoy challenging flows
  • You are interested in yoga off the mat
Awaken your spiritual energies

What is Kundalini Yoga?

While some people practice yoga solely for physical exercise, Kundalini Yoga is more of a spiritual practice. It is meant to quiet your mind while, at the same time, opening your chakras so your energy can freely flow throughout your body. Kundalini Yoga is a combination of easy movements, breathing exercises, meditation, and chanting. Its primary goal is on the energetic body, as well as to increase your level of self-awareness and consciousness. The Kundalini is actually meant to be an untapped energy, coiled at the base of the spine.1 This energy can be drawn up through the body, awakening each of the seven chakras. A benefit is that almost everybody, young and old, is able to do the execise of the practice. Some people speak of emotional releases or rushes after an intense practice.

Kundalini Yoga is for you, when…
  • You seek for a spiritual practice
  • You like to sing mantras
  • You love breathing exercises
  • You don’t like to follow complete movements or sweaty classes
  • You want to know and experience more about the energetic aspects of yoga
The origin

What is Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga (yoga of physical forces) is what most people in the Western world think of as yoga as it contains physical exercises (Asana), breath-control (Pranayama) and meditative practices. Hatha yoga was first described in the 2000-year-old text Yoga yajnavalkya samhita. Better known texts on hatha yoga include Siva-samhita, Gheranda-samhita and hatha pradipika, which are relatively recent writings of between 400 and 900 years old. The hatha yoga texts appear to be copies of earlier works of Tantric origin. Hatha yoga is in essence a type of Tantric yoga with four physical stages, namely Sat-kriya (cleansing processes), Asana (physical exercises), Mudra (energy-control), and Pranayama (breath-control); and three non-physical or meditative stages, namely Pratyahara (meditative sense-control), Dhyana (meditative contemplation or visualisation) and Samadhi (meditative absorption). Although hatha yoga is typified by a series of exercises that are used to generate and manipulate physical and subtle forces in the body, its main aim is the same as every other form of genuine yoga, namely self-realisation.

Hatha Yoga is for you, when…
  • You want to calm the mind
  • You look for balanced practice
  • You enjoy moving little and working with the mind
  • You want to start yoga
  • You don’t like too much movement

Cedric is head teacher of INEA•YOGA a Yoga School in Corfu, Greece. Check us out to find trainings, retreats and online videos.

Cedric Stein
Cedric Stein
Head Teacher INEA • YOGA

My mission is to create a safe space for you to connect to your inner being. By following your breath, being in the present moment and noticing yourself.

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