By Sétaré Pender, Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer
Choosing a yoga class can be difficult. There are over six different types of yoga. I myself in the beginning of my practice didn’t know where to start. You may believe that all yoga classes serve the same purpose. Or that maybe there’s only one type of yoga.
As a result of that mindset, the choice becomes attending any yoga class without putting any thought into it. Consult with your physician before taking any yoga class.
As I mentioned there are over six different types of yoga classes:
1.) Hindu tradition believes that the deity Shiva, himself is the founder of hatha yoga.
Hatha yoga (Sanskrit haṭhayoga, IPA: [ɦəʈʰəˈjoːɡə]), also called Haṭhavidyā , is a branch of yoga. The word haṭha (lit. “force”) denotes a system of physical techniques supplementary to a broad conception of yoga. 
2.) Vinyāsa are used to enter and exit asanas.
Vinyāsa (/vɪnˈjɑːsə/ vi-nyaah-sa; Kannada;Sanskrit: विन्यास; IAST:vinyāsa) is a Sanskrit term often employed in relation to certain styles of yoga, that usually refers to a transition between two different positions. The term vinyāsa may be broken down into its Sanskritic roots to assist in decoding its meaning. Nyasa denotes “to place” and videnotes “in a special way.”
3.) Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga usually taken place in a heated room. At 40% of humidity and a temperature of 40 °C (104 °F), only 26 specific poses are performed. Some people would say it’s militant because anywhere you go to take a Bikram yoga class is exactly the same. You do progress and get better at the poses once they’re practiced multiple times.
4.) Prenatal Yoga is first chosen by consulting with your physician and doing research on the instructor making sure they are certified in prenatal yoga.
Prenatal yoga is a combination of moving carefully and gently through poses. Prenatal yoga classes also involve mild stretching that will help you prepare your body for birth, breathing techniques that’ll help soothe your body while in labor. Other types of yoga safe for pregnant woman is Restorative Yoga & Hatha Yoga.
Research suggests that prenatal yoga can:
- Improve sleep
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Increase the strength, flexibility and endurance of muscles needed for childbirth
- Decrease lower back pain, nausea, carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms, headaches and shortness of breath.
List Above From Prenatal Yoga Source from Mayo Clinic Staff
5.) Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, is a form of Hatha Yoga that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). Iyengar yoga is often associated with props. If you’re not as advanced and need assistance. There are props such as yoga blocks to heighten your level, yoga straps to help increase flexibility. Blankets are also used. Folding a blanket multiple times and placing it underneath your knee, hip bone or seat will help with known injuries.
6.) Restorative Yoga,
Is a type of yoga specially known for relaxation. Many poses where you would be in multiple laying position usually with your legs resting up against the wall. Many times restorative yoga classes use blankets under the feet and pillows underneath the neck and head. If you need a great resting exercise or time to relax after a long day.
All practices of Yoga have their place and their benefits so if you are not sure about which one works for you best again consult with a physician and also with a well experienced Yoga Instructor.
Good Luck in finding the right class for you !! Happy searching!️