Vinyasa, Ashtanga, or Bikram: The 101 on Different Types of Yoga


Outdoor Voices

Perhaps I'm biased since it's the one form of fitness I've ever unconditionally loved, but it always bums me out when people dismiss yoga for being "too easy." (Have you tried Bikram?) Or that it isn't good cardio. (Let's revisit that after we go to the heart-pounding vinyasa class at my local studio—after the panting subsides.) One of the reasons that yoga and I have had such a consistent relationship is that there are so many different types of yoga to choose from, depending on my mood or goals. The fact that it keeps my mind clear and my body strong is just a bonus.

I get bored really easily, hence why running and I are on the outs most of the time, and why I think that the cardio section of the gym is just one of the saddest places ever. I need to be distracted by the fact that I can barely breathe and my muscles are screaming "when!", and novelty is just the thing to do it. But I can get on board with the common backbone of all varieties of physical yoga (because what we know as "yoga" in the West is just a small facet of what it actually encompasses): Physical and mental balance, mind-body connection, and focus on the present moment. Meanwhile, being able to select from a menu of physical varieties keeps it interesting.

Whether you're looking to shake up your existing practice or want to give yoga another try, peruse that selection yourself: Check out eight different types of yoga and how they might be a fit for you.