With so many awesome yoga studios out there that offer full class schedules and a variety of practice types, the beginner yogi could easily be overwhelmed. Here is a brief description of four common types of yoga practice to help the beginner find his or her niche and to inspire the seasoned yogi to maybe try something new.
Vinyasa flows are among the most common in studios today. Often classes titled "all-levels" or "power yoga" fall into the category of vinyasa. The word vinyasa means "to place in a special way." It is a fluid and highly variable practice that emphasizes grace, composure, and maintenance of the ujjayi breath. Vinyasa class is a great all-levels option because the student has so much freedom to flow fast or slow, focus on strength or flexibility, and really make it his or her own practice.
Yin is a restorative style of yoga that focuses on deep stretching through long holds. Most yin practices are on the mat and use props such as blocks, bolsters, and walls to allow the student to release into postures. Students usually hold each posture about 5min, which creates intense physical sensations, releases deep-seeded emotions, and offers the student a more mediative practice.
Traditional Bikram yoga classes are 90mins and heated to about 108 degrees. In each practice, the Bikram students flow through the same 26 postures which you can see here: https://www.bikramyoga.com/about/26-postures/
Bikram is great for the student who enjoys a very structured and predicable class. It is also a great option for those looking to detox, as the heated room and longer holds will definitely increase perspiration rate.
Kundalini yoga focuses on igniting the kundalini energy through mantra, meditation, asana, pranayama and attention to the bandhas. Practices are divided into kriyas which are specific sequences designed to align, detoxify, and energize the body and mind in preparation for deep mediation, greater awareness, and higher consciousness. Kundalini is for the student seeking a more spiritual practice and who's not too shy to chant in class ;)