9 Different Types of Yoga and Their Benefits

By Victoria Gray Posted 5/27/2020 in FITNESS

If you've considered trying yoga for all of its excellent health and wellness benefits, you're not alone. Yoga is ever increasing in popularity and there are many different styles of yoga to choose from. So many, in fact, it can sometimes be difficult to choose one that's right for you. In this article, we'll take a look at 9 different types of yoga and their benefits to help you decide what's a good fit.

But first, what exactly is yoga? Yoga is the practice of using a set of physical postures (asanas) to help integrate the body, mind, and spirit for improved physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Yoga practice dates back over 5,000 years, but some researchers think yoga may be up to 10,000 years old. The 3 main structures of yoga are positions (asanas), breathing (pranayama) and meditation.

"Be even tempered in both success and failure. This mental evenness is what is meant by Yoga. Indeed, equanimity is Yoga!"~ Bhagavad-Gita (Ch. 2, V. 48)

Today these timeless and holistic practices of yoga still work helping us to relieve stress, re-energize, build overall body strength, improve flexibility, and gain confidence as well as look and feel younger for longer.

The word yoga is derived from the ancient Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ which means to join, to yoke together to unify or unite as one. One who follows the path of yoga is a yogi or yogin.

People choose yoga to become healthier, lose weight, learn mindfulness, de-stress and bring calm, while others enjoy a high intensity super powered class. However, yoga does not seek to offer a quick fix to one’s problems although it could provide a long-term program for living positively and mindfully.

Practicing yoga regularly in a class with the expert guidance of an experienced teacher can be invaluable when building self-confidence. Making a commitment to attend class regularly can help develop your skills and abilities and enhance the qualities of overall body strength and tone, as well as stress management. You could also notice a difference to your posture, energy, and confidence.

9 Different Types of Yoga and Their Benefits

With such a wide variety of yoga practices available these days, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. Listed below are 9 different types yoga and their benefits.


Aerial yoga uses a silk hammock to deliver a workout inspired by circus aerialists and acrobats. Built around the concept of aerial conditioning, the hammock is used to develop the three primary elements to allow freedom in the air – the pull up, the leg lift, and the front and back split. The hammock also allows for a deeply relaxing “inversion” as it actively decompresses the spine. The result is a challenging, varied, and fun workout suitable for all skill levels including those who are complete beginners. Air yoga is perfect for people wanting to try something new, challenging, and effective. 


Ashtanga consists of about 75 poses performed in the same sequence each time, taking an hour and a half to two hours to complete. Each sequence begins with Sun Salutations, moving through standing and seated poses, inversions and back bends and ends with closing poses. Ashtanga is best suited to men due to the upper body strength needed, but is a good choice for athletic women as well.



This style focuses on a set of 26 poses with two breathing exercises. The original “hot yoga,” Bikram classes are held in a heated room to facilitate deeper stretching while preventing injury. This style of yoga is well suited to people wanting a high-power workout.



Hatha is the most widely practiced form of yoga concentrating on physical health and mental wellbeing through the practice of asanas (poses/postures). Hatha Yoga promotes circulation in all organs, glands and tissues and aligning of muscles, helping with balance and flexibility. Suited to people wanting to improve their flexibility, balance, and overall body strength and create calm within.


This style focuses mainly on finer adjustments in one’s alignment and precision when performing poses. Yoga blocks and straps are widely used to help guide and assist the student. Suited to students wanting to improve their posture, stamina, flexibility, concentration, and balance.


Gaining in recent popuplarity, Kundalini yoga involves unique and specialized practices that focus on the chakras. It should always be taught under the guidance of a guru or a highly advanced Kundalini instructor.


This is self-healing qi gong with Hatha Yoga, breath and meditation to improve flexibility and body strength while calming and restoring. More suited to the 40+ age group because of joint care practices and variations for people with high or low blood pressure. This technique is highly recommended for women trying to become pregnant, specifically with QiYoga® for Fertility.


Raja is a systematic eightfold path developed by Patanjali. The core believe of Raja is the workings of the mind lead to the practice of posture, breath control and meditation to improve concentration. This practice appeals to a true spiritual seeker.


Yin is a more restorative form of yoga that focuses on relaxing the muscles and moving deep into the stretch, engaging the connective tissues. Poses are held from three to five minutes without straining the muscles. Suited for people wanting calm, flexibility, and greater joint mobility.

With so many styles and varieties of yoga the sheer choice can be discouraging. Look at our descriptions and pick three you feel might work best for you. Attend all three different classes before deciding on the style that suits you best.