Which Yoga Classes Are Right For You?

yoga classes

There are many different yoga classes, but finding the right one for you can be challenging. Taking a few classes to see if the style, teacher, and studio are a good fit can help you make the best decision for your practice.

Yoga is a great way to improve your flexibility. In time, you may notice that seemingly impossible poses become easier to do.


Iyengar yoga is known for its emphasis on precision and alignment. Detailed anatomical instructions are used to help students progress slowly and safely through yoga postures (asanas). This form of yoga is suited for beginners because it is structured in a way that makes it easy to understand.

Most Iyengar classes begin with preparatory poses to open and activate the body before moving into standing and balancing postures. These postures build strength over the course of an hour and a half. Unlike vinyasa styles of yoga, Iyengar classes include longer holds that allow you to explore deeper layers of your body and mind.

The Iyengar method of yoga also emphasizes the use of props to make it more accessible for students of all ages and abilities. The props that are available in a class often include bolsters, benches, bricks, and straps. However, you can also use items that are found around the home such as rolled blankets or towels.


Unlike more static styles, Vinyasa yoga classes are designed to flow smoothly from one posture into the next. This helps cultivate a balance of strength, flexibility and mindfulness.

In Vinyasa Flow classes, poses are grouped together into “asana families” (pose groups that are generally categorized by their physical characteristics such as standing postures, backbends and forward bends). The teacher will typically move through the entire family of postures in a single class.

Classes are paced at a quicker rate than other types of yoga classes and require more attention to the detail of the poses as well as a deep and regular breath. This type of yoga is a good choice for those with more experience in the yoga poses or are ready to challenge themselves.

Balance-challenging poses such as Tree Pose and Warrior Three are also often incorporated into the flow of the class. These poses focus on synchronizing breathing with movement, which can help build power and create balance in the body.


Yin yoga offers stillness and static poses that are held for longer periods of time—typically for five to ten minutes or more. This slow-paced style focuses on the body’s connective tissue and is designed to help you find balance and flexibility. The name of this style is based on the yin and yang philosophy, which recognizes that opposite forces are interdependent and that there can be no light without darkness and no energy without stillness.

In yin yoga, poses are held for long durations to encourage the stretch of deeper tissue like fascia, which doesn’t respond as well to brief bouts of stretching. The long holds also help improve tissue elasticity and deconstruct patterns of restriction.

This type of yoga is not appropriate for students who are in recovery from soft tissue injury, those who are pregnant or nursing and those with low blood pressure. Also, the sustained stress that is offered to these tissues might be too much for those who are already dealing with high levels of anxiety or trauma.


With Restorative yoga, the goal is to help the body find homeostasis. Unlike other forms of yoga, which focus on strengthening muscles, Restorative classes allow students to release tension and relax the whole body. These classes are ideal for people who want to reduce stress and improve their sleep.

The practice consists of long holds of relaxing poses, often using props. A good teacher will be able to provide a deep meditative experience that is healing for the entire body. They may also help students let go of their anxieties during savasana, which is a crucial part of the class.

Restorative classes are a bit different from vinyasa and yin yoga. Although they seem similar, restorative is slow and introverted, while yin is a more active practice that opens the body through dynamic movement. Restorative is also ideal for those with physical pain. It helps to relieve headaches, lower stress levels, and improve sleep. It can also help reduce fatigue and fibromyalgia symptoms.