yoga styles

What style of yoga is right for you today? Use this guide to learn about some of the different yoga styles that are available.

Yoga styles create a feeling of lightness, ease and relaxation. But to get the most benefit and the most enjoyment, you need to find a yoga style and a teacher that suits you.

Many different kinds of yoga styles exist and it can be difficult to figure out which particular yoga style is right for you.

The yoga tree has many branches, from fast-paced hot yoga to more contemplative and spiritual yoga styles.

Most yoga styles are based on the same basic yoga poses (called asanas), however the experience of one style can be radically different than another.

 

yoga styles

Align & Flow Yoga Styles

Align and Flow is a potent alignment-oriented practice that emphasizes the forms and actions within yoga postures. Classes progressively and safely sequence towards more complex poses, and spend time breaking down techniques for honing awareness and skill on and off the mat.


Apex Fusion: Standing Balances – Online Align & Flow Class with Shannon Paige
Apex Fusion: Standing Balances - Online Align & Flow Class with Shannon Paige

This practice emphasizes cultivating adhikara (devoted studentship) and draws upon a wide range of postures that build strength, flexibility, and highly-refined awareness in body and mind.

Anusara Yoga

Anusara (a-nu-sar-a), means “flowing with Grace,” “flowing with Nature,” “following your heart.” Founded by John Friend in 1997, Anusara yoga is a school of hatha yoga, which unifies a life-affirming Shiva-Shakti Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment.

Anusara yoga has become one of the most highly respected schools of hatha yoga with over 1,000 licensed yoga teachers, thousands of teachers in training, and hundreds of thousands of students worldwide.


Chinnamasta Badass Shakti Flow – Online Vinyasa Yoga Class with Jeanie Manchester
Chinnamasta Badass Shakti Flow - Online Vinyasa Yoga Class with Jeanie Manchester

Anusara yoga has a presence on every continent throughout the world, excluding Antarctica, and is in 70 countries, thus attracting media attention worldwide.

Ashtanga Yoga Styles

Many of today’s most popular forms of yoga trace their roots back to the Ashtanga style. Ashtanga is a part of the vinyasa tradition, steadily flowing between poses with synchronized breath.

Traditionally, Ashtanga’s specific system of sequential poses means the primary, intermediate or advanced series you perform in your practice is same as the primary, intermediate or advanced series performed by yogis all over the world.


Everyday Ashtanga – Online Ashtanga Yoga Class with Blair Bradley
Everyday Ashtanga - Online Ashtanga Yoga Class with Blair Bradley

Though some instructors vary the traditional sequencing with additional poses and postures, the Ashtanga style is always a great choice for yogis looking for a mentally invigorating and physically challenging class.

Abs/Core Strengthening

For easeful yoga postures, and a beautiful everyday posture, a strong core is key.

Walk taller, enjoy a healthier digestive system and firmer back with Yoga Download’s variety of challenging workouts designed specifically to lengthen, strengthen and tone all abdominal muscles down to the core.

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga has quickly become one of the most widely known and respected practices in America. Designed by long-time Power Yoga practitioner Baron Baptiste.

This style of yoga combines elements of classical yoga, Ashtanga, Iynegar and Bikram yoga to build a practice that brings personal transformation in body, mind and soul.


Power Yoga with Dave Farmar 6 – Online Power Yoga Class with Dave Farmar
Power Yoga with Dave Farmar 6 - Online Power Yoga Class with Dave Farmar

Having taught Hollywood stars and NFL teams, Baptiste is credited with helping to demystify yoga and make it accessible to all.

This style of yoga is perfect for those looking to combine physical fitness with intuitive spiritual self-discovery.

Barre

Barre classes consist of precision movements performed with the help of a hand rail (which can be anything, such as the back of a chair or couch, or a counter top).

They incorporate stationary ballet techniques that will sculpt and lift your legs, buns and core like no other.

Barre classes will allow you to create focused strength, chiseled buns, and watch your dancer’s body emerge!

Beginner Yoga

If you’re new to yoga, or just looking for a solid foundation, these classes are designed to create the alignment and extension necessary to build a beautiful practice.

Choose any one of these beginner level classes and get your flow off to the right start.

Bhakti Yoga Styles

Bhakti Yoga is a dynamic, soulful, devotional, and rejuvenating style of yoga fusing the principles of vinyasa yoga ( the union of body, breath, and movement) and the qualities of bhakti yoga (gratitude, open-heartedness, humility, compassion, and devotion).


Discovering the Dynamic Qualities of the Universe – Online Vinyasa Yoga Class with Alanna Kaivalya
Discovering the Dynamic Qualities of the Universe - Online Vinyasa Yoga Class with Alanna Kaivalya

Deep rhythmic breathing in conjunction with movement is emphasized.

Cardio Classes

Looking for traditional cardio that understands your yogi sensibilities? Yoga Download has created the Running Coach workout series to guide you through perfectly timed intervals of running and walking.

A challenging workout designed to help you feel with burn, but not the burn out. Different levels of intensity let you grow with your own levels of endurance and strength.

Customized Yoga Classes

Just like you, every yoga practice is different. That’s why Yoga Download lets you create your own custom class, mixing and matching these short yoga sequences to build your best class ever.

Make classes that fit your mood, your schedule or your physical needs.

Children’s Yoga

Our Yoga for Kids section. These classes designed just for kids!

Forrest Yoga

Our Yoga for Kids section. The pillars of Forrest Yoga are Breath, Strength, Integrity and Spirit.

The mission of this style of yoga is to create in each of us a sense of freedom, a connection to our spirit and the courage to walk as our spirit dictates.

Forrest Yoga will teach you to go deeper, find your truth and encourage you to take these gifts you have earned beyond the mat and into the rest of your life.


Fly with Ease – Online Forrest Yoga Class with Cheryl Deer
Fly with Ease - Online Forrest Yoga Class with Cheryl Deer

Forrest Yoga helps you connect to your core – getting strong and centered. It uses heat, deep breathing and vigorous sequences to sweat out toxins while the long holds in the pose progressions help you flush, oxygenate and rejuvenate every cell.

Forrest Yoga honors and celebrates the beauty of life and the power of Spirit. It is an inspiring yoga practice that builds flexibility, intelligence and strength while helping deepen the relationship with your authentic self.

Accessing your intuition, the voice of your Spirit, builds personal strength and ushers integrity into your daily interactions with all beings.

Forrest Yoga challenges you to heal, grow and welcome your Spirit home.

Flowmotion® Yoga

Flowmotion® was created by Sarah Tomson Beyer, an internationally acclaimed yoga teacher who also founded the fresh apparel line, MeSheeky®.

Flowmotion® offers a progressive approach to flow yoga and serves the modern day yogi by encouraging creative expression for coloring outside the lines.


Sarah Tomson Beyer Bio | Flowmotion | YogaDownload
Sarah Tomson Beyer Bio | Flowmotion | YogaDownload

Sarah infusizes specialized soundtracks into her classes, uncovering each student’s dynamic and inherent rhythms while empowering innovative continuous sequencing.

With a background in dance and athletics, a Master’s in Physical Therapy, and two Yoga Journal covers under her belt, Sarah creates an open space that allows her students to express their own flow.

Fusion Yoga

Yoga is a melting pot. Check out these classes that blend two or more styles of yoga.

Online Yoga Teacher Certification

Guided Rituals

Celebrate the seasons of the year and the phases of the moon with guided ritual!

These interactive rituals, all writen and performed by “Fox” Natalie Maisel, will lead you through alter decoration, invocations of elements, directions, Gods & Goddesses, circle casting, lore, guided meditation and ritual activity. Enjoy alone or with a group!

Hatha Yoga

When most of us in the west talk about yoga, we’re talking about Hatha yoga.

‘Hatha’ is the combination of two Sanskrit words: Ha, meaning Sun, and Tha, meaning moon.

As a concept, Hatha represents the balance of opposites – hot and cold, fire and water, male and female, positive and negative.


Hatha Yoga: Strength & Freedom – Online Hatha Yoga Class with Jackie Casal Mahrou
Hatha Yoga: Strength & Freedom - Online Hatha Yoga Class with Jackie Casal Mahrou

Similarly, Hatha yoga works to balance the energies of the mind with those of the body through physical exercises (asanas), controlled breathing and calming the mind with meditation and relaxation.

Hot Yoga Styles

Don’t forget your towel! Based on the Bikram method.

Hot Yoga is typically performed in a room heated to over 100º.

Though the temperatures may seem extreme, the surrounding heat warms up the muscles to promote a deeper flexibility in each pose while reducing the risk of injury.


Hot Yoga 1 – Online Hot Yoga Class with Dawnelle Arthur
Hot Yoga 1 - Online Hot Yoga Class with Dawnelle Arthur

Sweat is also one way the body cleanses itself – so Hot Yoga offers ample opportunity to release harmful toxins.

To get the most out of your Hot Yoga class, try using a space heater in a contained space before performing your Hot Yoga Download.

Iyengar Yoga

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).

The development of strength, mobility and stability is gained through the asanas.

Iyengar Yoga often, but not always, makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing asanas (postures).


Beginning Iyengar Yoga – Online Iyengar Yoga Class with Kevin Durkin
Beginning Iyengar Yoga - Online Iyengar Yoga Class with Kevin Durkin

The props enable students to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain, and making the postures accessible to both young and old.

Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti means “liberation while living.” This modern style of yoga emerged in 1984 from one of New York City’s best-known yoga studios.

Founders David Life and Sharon Gannon combine Ashtanga yoga with spiritual teachings, placing special emphasis on how to apply yogic philosophy to daily life.

Jivamukti is a vinyasa style practice, so classes can be quite physically rigorous.

Each Jivamukti session has a theme that is explored through yoga scripture, chanting, meditation, asana, breath work and music.

Guidelines for a Balanced Life: Silent Meditation

Kundalini Yoga styles

Kundalini yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness.

“Kundalini Yoga, at its highest form, is practiced for the purpose of attaining bliss, opening the heart center, developing power, serving others, attaining self-realization and ultimately merging into devine consciousness.” ~ Swami Sivananda

Practitioners call Kundalini Yoga the yoga of awareness because it focuses on the expansion of sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual consciousness and merge it with the Infinite consciousness of the devine.

As a form of yoga and meditation, Kundalini’s purpose is to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.

“Kundalini Yoga consists of active and passive asana-based kriyas, pranayama, and meditations which target the whole body system (nervous system, glands, mental faculties, chakras) to develop awareness, consciousness and spiritual strength.” ~ Yogi Bhajan

The Kaivalya Yoga Method

Alanna Kaivalya is listed in Yoga Journal’s top 21 Yoga Teachers Under 40 (March, 2008), and now with more than a decade of teaching experience, she has developed a teaching style that is a unique combination of her spirit, her knowledge, and of course the teachers who have influenced her along the path.

Live Studio Classes

These classes are recordings of a live class in select yoga studios.

They offer a unique opportunity to experience taking a live class with your favorite instructor!

Meditation/Relaxation

Between work, family and what’s for dinner, sometimes we need a little help telling our minds to be quiet.

Meditation is a powerful practice that disciplines the fluctuations of the mind so that in our everyday lives, we experience sharper focus, more confidence, creativity, problem solving, reduced stress and healing up those old, unresolved emotional blocks.


Pranic Meditation – Online Meditation Class with April Laliberte
Pranic Meditation - Online Meditation Class with April Laliberte

Yoga Download’s variety of guided meditations are perfect to help you get your mind on track to total relaxation.

Office Yoga

Break the cycle of feeling stressed out and hunched over your computer.

Office Yoga classes are designed to not only give you a much-deserved break, but also to help you slow down, breathe and stretch your weary muscles – right from your desk.

Take as little as 5 minutes for yourself and watch your mood, productivity and creativity instantly improve.

Talk about high-level ROI.

Partner Yoga

Share the joys of yoga and increase the benefits by doing yoga with a partner!

The familiar postures of yoga have renewed power and effectiveness when partners work together.

Power Yoga

A rigorous workout that develops strength and flexibility with continuous movement, Power Yoga is yoga’s version of an aerobics class and is extremely popular in the US.

Power Yoga synchronizes breath and movement (called vinyasa) to create an inner fire, heating up muscles and helping the body’s energy flow continuously.


Empowerment Flow 1: I Think I Can – Online Power Yoga Class with Jackie Casal Mahrou
Empowerment Flow 1: I Think I Can - Online Power Yoga Class with Jackie Casal Mahrou

Classes stress variety – each session targets different muscles and breath exercises, making Power Yoga classes as challenging for the mind as they are for the body.

Pilates

Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates in Germany. Pilates called his method Contrology, because he believed his method uses the mind to control the muscles.

The program focuses on the core postural muscles which help keep the body balanced and which are essential to providing support for the spine. In particular, Pilates exercises teach awareness of breath and alignment of the spine, and aim to strengthen the deep torso muscles.

Pranayama

Lengthen the breath. In Sanskrit, Pranayama is the control and extension of your life force, but in yoga, it more practically refers to breath work.

Scientific research has shown that Pranayama techniques help treat stress and asthma, as well as improve lung function and autonomic functions (things like heart rate, digestion, respiration and sexual arousal).


Pranayama to Ground & Calm the Mind – Online Pranayama Class with Maria Garre
Pranayama to Ground & Calm the Mind - Online Pranayama Class with Maria Garre

Pranayama yogis share that that their practice helps develop a steady mind, strong will-power, enhanced perception and sound judgment – even longer life.

Prana Flow Vinyasa

Prana is the universal source of breath, life energy and conscious intelligence. Prana Flow Vinyasa yoga is designed to be the transformational path to vital living.

Founded by Shiva Rea and the Global Vinyasa Collective of Teachers, Prana Flow Vinyasa is a creative and holistic approach to finding, and embodying, the dynamic flow of yoga.

Practitioners learn both classical and innovative approaches to Vinyasa yoga and the state of flow.

With inspiration from Tantra, Ayurveda, Bhakti and the teachings of modern yoga’s unofficial founder, Krishnamacharya, classes are taught to upbeat music and inspired poetry.

Prenatal Yoga

Got a teeny yogini on the way? These classes are designed for every stage of pregnancy and after you give birth.

Qi Yoga

Qi (chee) means life force, or the spiritual energy of all things; vital energy. It is frequently translated as “energy flow” and often compared to the yogic notion of prana which is a Sanskrit term meaning breath.

Qi Yoga is a powerful blend of breath and movement.

This vinyasa style Yoga practice is rooted in the body’s ideal skeletal and muscular alignment.


QiFlow Body Ability – Online Qi Flow Yoga & Fitness Class with Dawnelle Arthur
QiFlow Body Ability - Online Qi Flow Yoga & Fitness Class with Dawnelle Arthur

Qi Yoga is intended to serve as the basis for all of our programs, the concept being that if our students have a better understanding of how the human body functions they will be more effective in all of their activities.

Qi Yoga creates that body awareness to keep us active and safe many years into the future.

Restorative Yoga

Restorative Yoga props up the body with blocks, blankets, belts, straps or even chairs so that you can go deep into poses for extended periods of time – without risk of injury.

This type of yoga is slow paced and ideal for helping to recover from injury, illness or stress.

Restorative Yoga helps bring the body back to health, reduce stress and find a more blissful state – think of it as ‘active relaxation.’ When the body is supported by physical props, it’s easier to move toward balance.

Strength Training

Classes designed to build muscle strength and tone.

Technique Workshops

Learn to perfect your practice with these technique workshops.

These classes breakdown poses or a series of poses so you can learn proper alignment and balance and take your practice to the next level.

Vinyasa Yoga Styles

Vinyasa means ‘to move with the breath.’ Some of the most popular yoga styles, including Ashtanga and Power Yoga, are taught in a vinyasa style – meaning the series of poses flows purposefully with the breath.

The classes in Yoga Download’s Vinyasa Flow category blend ancient wisdom across many yogic traditions to form new expressions.


Full Moon Flow – Online Vinyasa Yoga Class with Geenie Celento
Full Moon Flow - Online Vinyasa Yoga Class with Geenie Celento

These classes offer more variety in their sequencing than a traditional Ashtanga class, are slower paced than a Power Yoga class, and more vigorous than an Iyengar class.

Vinyasa Flow yoga styles is athletic in nature, combining hard work with deep relaxation to build strength, flexibility, concentration and balance.

Yin Yoga

Yin Yoga styles has the same goals and objectives as any other school of yoga; however, it directs the stimulation normally created in the asana portion of the practice deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues (which we are calling the yang tissues).

Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice.


Yin Yang Yoga for Commitment – Online Yin Yoga Class with Elise Fabricant
Yin Yang Yoga for Commitment - Online Yin Yoga Class with Elise Fabricant

Suitable for almost all levels of students, Yin Yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasize internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles.

Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

 

 

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Written by

Inspired With Life

Meditation and yoga have been a subject matter which I have been practicing on a daily basis for several years now.

I came about this through a life changing accident in New Zealand in 2010 this changed my way of thinking and has led me on the spiritual path.

You can read about my personal experience here > http://inspiredlifecolintandy.strikingly.com/blog/a-critical-rescue

Anyone can learn to connect with their soul if they put some time into the practice. This is something you can do in your own meditations but just be aware that it gets easier with practice and you will get better at it with meditative practice, so don’t be discouraged if you are not successful in the beginning of doing this. I wasn’t very effective in the beginning either. You start by getting in a good quiet state of meditation where you feel internally connected with your inner being.

Once you understand that your life at this moment is part of a much larger continuum than the few decades you will inhabit this body, you open yourself to the high calling and noble journey of cooperatively joining with your soul in its evolution.

Namaste