Finding the Best Yoga Class for You

Finding The Best Yoga Class For You

My Doctor said to try yoga.  Now What?

So maybe recently you’ve had a check-up from your health care provider and he/she suggested to “do some yoga”. OK, you think, that’s not going to happen, I can’t twist myself up into a pretzel! And off you go never giving it another thought.

Did you know that the word “yoga” doesn’t translate to “pretzel”, but actually to “yoke”? Yoke is synonym for union, which is the only thing yoga is about.  Creating a “union” between your breath, your body, and your mind.  That’s it.  The secret is out!  If you can breathe, yoga-chiropractor-new-smyrna-beach then you, my friend, can do yoga. Period.

So How Do I Find A Yoga Class I Feel Comfortable In?

It can be very intimidating when trying to find a yoga class, especially when the class names are all weird, like “hatha”, “vinyasa”, and “Ashtanga”, etc.  I mean, what language is that, anyways?  This is already too much!  So here’s a quick and dirty breakdown of the yoga styles:

Hatha – this is a slower practice with lots of alignment cues.  Great for beginners!

Vinyasa – this is a faster flow, meaning you’ll be moving from one posture into another without stopping in an attempt to move your body with your breath.

Yin – this is very slow, which does not translate to easier.  Postures are held for several minutes each in an attempt to stretch connective tissue, especially around the joints.  Have no fear; at least the postures are close to the ground!

Ashtanga – this is a strict series of intense postures. It’s physically demanding and is meant to cleanse and detoxify.

Bikram – named after a man who developed a specific sequence of 26 postures performed in a hot room.

Iyengar – named after a man who developed strict “alignment yoga” andencourages props like blocks and straps to align the body properly in the posture.

Kripalu – focuses on meditation, physical healing, and spiritual transformation that overflow into

Restorative – this uses many props to hold your body in the pose so you can completely relax into the posture.

Yoga Nidra – also known as “yogic sleep”, there is no movement in this class.  You will lie down in a guided meditation that allows you to completely unwind and get in touch with your inner self.

Aerial – uses nylon fabric suspended from the ceiling to use as a prop to help with alignment of postures.  Also spend time in assisted inversions to help decompress the spine, etc.


While this doesn’t cover all the different styles, it does explain the most common ones practiced locally.  Call or stop into your local yoga studio or gym and talk to the teachers about what you’re looking for and they can help direct you into a great class as well!

Written by: Michele DiPetrillo, PharmD, RYT200, founder of, Aerial yoga instructor at Kula Yoga, Port Orange & at Altamonte Springs Yoga.

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