If you’ve ever practiced yoga, you’ve probably taken a class at either end of the physical spectrum. There are classes that are mostly focused on how hard the workout is. And then there are yoga classes that tune in to a more meditative approach. What you might not know, however, is that there is a huge range of yoga classes to meet nearly every goal you have, be it mind-body balance or better toned muscles.
Let’s start at the restorative end of the yoga spectrum: These classes often hold poses for several minutes at a time and may incorporate meditative elements as well. They may also have the goal of stress and pain reduction. Some yoga practices straddle that middle ground between restoration and testing physical limits. Their origins tie them directly to the Sanskrit traditions of yoga while pushing the body beyond its comfort zone; one of them is jivamukti yoga. Those names be less familiar to many people, but yoga practices like hatha yoga are not. Hatha, bikram, and vinyasa are all fairly well known, and each have a focus on physical strength. Each of them differs, however, in specifics, from the heat level of the room to the sequence of poses.
This graphic can help you understand the focus of different yoga practices as you search for your perfect match on the mat.