These days, it’s not uncommon to see headstands on sandy beaches, tree poses overlooking wide mountains or standing splits in front of famous buildings and landmarks. Yoga is truly everywhere and embraced by countless different cultures across the world. In Japan, a new generation of young yogis practice Oki-do yoga, which features martial arts-inspired moves. In the small coastal Kenyan island of Lamu, an annual four-day Lamu Yoga Festival attracts yogis from around the globe.
If that doesn’t inspire a little wanderlust, a look at these breathtaking yoga photos will. Can’t get away for a luxe escape? No problem! Travel to one of these affordable yoga retreats or opt for a class in an unexpected venue like a brewery or nightclub.
Whether you’re downward dogging in a heated 100°F room or floating onto Warrior II in a dance-inspired sequence, there are dozens of ways to flow and celebrate yoga’s meditative movement. But what unifies the various styles of yoga is awareness to the breath and the powerful asanas (poses) that challenge us physically and emotionally. Many yogis use the practice to cope with grief, relieve stress and heal from traumas.
And so today, on International Yoga Day, there’s no better time to unroll your mat with us. (Fun fact: It’s also summer solstice season, which commemorates a time when the yogi and mystic Sadhguru asked his students to spread the science of yoga to different parts of the world.) But which style of yoga should you choose?
A Newbie’s Guide to 10 Popular Yoga Styles
Many experts recommend Vinyasa yoga for beginners because it teaches basic poses that are the foundation for the different practices. Think: Downward dog, cat and cow movements, chair pose and planks. For those who are looking for a more challenging pace and longer routines, Ashtanga might be a good fit. Kundalini yoga, a style that has recently caught “om” to many sun salutationers, is more meditative and focuses on spirituality and mindfulness.
Check out the infographic below to get the scoop on the 10 most popular types, including benefits, tips and more.
To help you perfect your headstand and Chaturanga, here are 26 yoga resources.