For the curious and/or confused, we’ve put together a handy guide to help you navigate a few of the more popular and widespread styles, based on your personality. Keep in mind, these are just suggestions — you’re not always going to gravitate toward one particular style just because you’re an extrovert or introvert. The best practice of all: approach any yoga class with openness, curiosity, and few expectations. (The same attitude will serve you well in your day-to-day life, too.)
If you’re an industrious powerhouse who tends toward introspection, try: Ashtanga
Physical, athletic, and challenging, (kind of like you, no?), Ashtanga is a set series of poses, learned at your own pace. As a self-practice, Ashtanga gives you the chance to hone your discipline and patience. “Ashtanga is most often represented through a Type A personality because of this person’s drive and fortitude,” says Alana Kessler, an Ashtanga instructor and owner of Sangha Yoga Shala in Brooklyn. “Ashtanga helps balance out the competitive, ‘go- go-go’ nature by encouraging focused concentration using the breath, and over time leads to a softer, quieter mind.”
If you’re an intuitive seeker with a penchant for details, try: Iyengar
Curious, thoughtful yogis who love to play around (think: blocks, blankets, hanging upside down from rope walls) will be drawn to Iyengar yoga. A typical class might be focused on mastering the finer points of one or two poses in total, rather than “flowing” through poses rapidly. With so much focus on the physical aspects rather than the spiritual, you’ll leave class feeling confident in your mastery of, say, Triangle Pose. Attention to proper alignment, muscular actions, and physical structure make Iyengar great for analytical people, and also for students with injuries or other physical limitations.
Photo: Via Free People
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