Types of Yoga Classes

Yoga teaches people how to control their breathing and calm the mind. This may help with depression, anxiety and other mental health issues.

Many classes start with the instructor chanting ohm. Shy students are welcome to stay quiet and just listen if chanting isn’t for them. The chanting can help set the tone for the class and unify the class.


If you’re new to yoga, a basic class is a good place to start. You’ll learn fundamentals of the poses and the breath, and you can work at your own pace.

The goal of a basic class is to strengthen and stretch the body, and calm the mind. Classes are usually 60, 75 or 90 minutes.

Vinyasa (which means breath linked with movement) and Hatha yoga are two of the most common types of yoga. Both are good options for beginners, Claire Grieve, a certified yoga instructor and stretch therapist, tells Self.

This class incorporates 1-2 lb weights, functional movements, and short flowing sequences to build strength, balance, and agility. End class with (15) min of therapy ball rolling out the shoulders, neck, back, arms, legs and feet to release tightness and tension.


Flow classes are designed to help you move through poses in a flowing way. You’ll likely work up a sweat, but your instructor will provide opportunities for rest throughout class. Flow classes often include breathing exercises, or ujjayi breath.

Remember when you started a new hobby or practiced a sport and felt totally lost? That’s normal, but over time you learned to manage your body and your mind. That’s what yoga is all about – connecting with your inner self and finding balance and calm in life.

This class teaches students to feel their bodies so they can learn to regulate effort rather than force. Whether you want to get in shape or reduce stress, this class is for all levels. No prior yoga experience needed.


A vigorous style of yoga, this type of class is great for burning calories and increasing muscle strength. It’s also known to improve balance and flexibility. In one study, people with Parkinson’s disease who did power yoga twice a week for four months saw improvements in their tremors and muscle rigidity.

Most classes require students to remove their shoes before entering the studio. This practice is for safety reasons: It keeps rocks and slivers of glass off the mat and helps people focus on their breathing. It also encourages students to be present in the moment, and to let go of worries about their day as soon as they get on the mat. Aim to arrive a little early and take time to settle on your mat before class begins.


Restorative yoga is a gentle, calming style that promotes deep relaxation. It is a slow-paced practice focusing on holding passive poses for longer periods of time with the support of bolsters, blankets, blocks and other props. Restorative yoga is known to activate the parasympathetic nervous system, or the “rest and digest” part of the brain that helps your body heal and function optimally.

This relaxing practice is ideal for those with physical limitations and those who want to feel physically rejuvenated. Despite the low level of movement, restorative yoga provides many benefits, including increased flexibility, reduced pain and stress, and an improved immune system.

Chair Yoga

This gentle form of yoga, using a chair for support, is ideal for all ages. It can reduce pain, improve balance and mobility and calm the mind.

Increased flexibility: Many people believe that flexibility decreases as we age, but the body’s muscles can be trained to remain flexible through consistent practice. Keeping your body flexible is important for maintaining proper movement throughout life.

Chair Yoga can also help improve proprioception, or the sense of one’s own body position and movement, by increasing range of motion in joints and strengthening the muscles around them. This can also lead to a better sense of self-esteem and confidence in daily activities. It can even help relieve anxiety and depression!