For individuals who want to start practicing yoga, the large number of styles offered can quickly become overwhelming. Nearly all types of yoga offer the same benefits, ranging from increased strength to greater flexibility. The right style of yoga largely depends on three primary factors.
First, is fitness your primary goal? Styles like Power yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and Bikram yoga offer a more vigorous, athletic approach and a total-body workout. If you want to develop a mind-body connection, another style may prove more effective.
Second, do you have a chronic medical condition or serious injury? Slower styles of yoga like Iyengar or Kripalu yoga, as well as Viniyoga, may provide a safer environment to test the limits of your body and develop strength in a controlled way. These three styles, which focus on alignment and require you to hold the pose for a prolonged period of time, may prove ideal for older people.
Third, is meditation a key goal of your yoga experience? Several styles integrate meditation and mindfulness, such as Kundalini yoga.