Dust off your mat that's been hiding in your closet for far too long and slip on your favorite leggings – it's time to get your zen on. But, before you head down to the local yoga studio to sign up for a membership, you may want to figure out what style of yoga is best for you. Do you prefer an hour and a half of intense postures in a heated room? Would you rather practice calm, deep breathing exercises? There is bound to be a class that will suit you best.
Take a look at the following guide to help you find out what type of yoga is right for you.
If your body can handle high temperatures ranging around 100 degrees, hot yoga is right for you. Be patient during your first experience in the studio. It does take time for your muscles and mind to ease into the heat, and may take a couple of weeks of attending classes to get used to it. But it's well worth the wait. Hot yoga really gets the blood flowing and the heart racing which helps to strengthen your cardiovascular system. Each class varies, depending on the level and the instructor – some are fast-paced, others are slow. Let the music in the background motivate you as you transition through your flow. You'll almost always leave the class feeling alive and extremely sweaty.
If you're new to yoga and are looking for a way to relieve some stress in your life, hatha may be your solution. It gently helps to restore your body and mind through flexibility as you breathe with each pose, according to Real Simple magazine. Start the class with a chant and end it lying down on your mat in shavasana. Walk away from class with the weight lifted off your shoulders as you leave your worries behind.
Hydrate well before, during and after this 105-degree heated class.
"The heat loosens your muscles, increasing your ability to stretch," Raffael Pacitti, the owner of Bikram Yoga Manhattan, in New York City told Real Simple magazine.
Bikram yoga will test your body's limit for an hour and a half as you endure a sequence of 26 postures, two times through, Lululemon Athletica stated. The best part about regularly practicing this style of yoga is that each time you attend a class the sequence will always be the same. Because of this repetition, you can slowly but surely start to master each position. Your body will become stronger as you continue to go back for more.
If you like a challenge and want to feel the burn, attend an ashtanga class. It could range from 90 minutes to two hours and can consist of about 70 poses, according to Real Simple magazine. It's definitely an intense style, but you'll get fast results when you become an avid yogi of this practice. Build your muscles, gain strength and open your mind to find your inner peace through Ashtanga.
For a twist on the more traditional style, swing by an aerial yoga class. Don't let the name scare you away – you don't have to be an acrobat to participate in this fun style of yoga. Explore your balance as you exert all your energy to support yourself on a hammock, which the Huffington Post mentioned is made from scarf material. Do the unthinkable as you pose hanging upside down and move from side to side. Stretch deeply through intensified breath, build your core strength and remain focused as you tackle every challenge throughout class.