Not sure what kind of yoga is going to be best for you? Why not follow the crowd and take a cue from the ten thousand people—from 147 different countries—who participated in the DOYOUYOGA Global Yoga Survey this past year.
The survey data allowed us to see trends that answered some of our most burning questions, including: what are the most popular yoga styles that people practice most? Here are the top three:
1. Vinyasa Flow
Coming in on top, with 57% of respondents citing this as their primary yoga style, is Vinyasa Flow. This yoga style’s popularity could be due to its fast-paced, fluid movement between poses.
Vinyasa is actually a broad category of practice that includes Power yoga and Ashtanga yoga, but when referred broadly as just ‘Vinyasa’, it allows for lots of flexibility and creativity. Vinyasa flow series can be customized to all levels of students, and can really get your heart pumping and your muscles warm, which aligns closely with most everyone’s traditional expectation of exercise.
It’s a great workout, it’s typically not overly spiritual, and you see benefits in your body right away.
2. Hatha Yoga
At second place is Hatha yoga, with 42% of the respondents saying it’s their style of choice. Hatha also encompasses a wide range of yoga styles, but typically is framed as the opposite of vinyasa yoga.
Hatha yoga takes one pose at a time and spends time there. It’s slower paced, and is more focused on stretching. This yoga style is great for beginners or anyone who wants a more leisurely practice more focused on deepening stretching.
3. Restorative Yoga
People also seemed to really like their Restorative yoga, with 29% of responders saying they preferred this style as their primary yoga class. These yoga sequences typically involve a few gentle poses that are held for extended periods of time, usually with the support of multiple props. The poses include forward folds, twisting, and other gentle stretches that many find very relaxing—it’s a great practice to do before bedtime!
The rest of the yoga styles that survey responders reported liking best are more niche variations of the top three—there’s something out there for everyone!
4. Power Yoga
29 percent of the respondents practice Power yoga, a style that adheres to the same tenets as Vinyasa yoga, but is usually designed to be more challenging. Some instructors may move faster between flows and poses, some may add more challenging moves, some may hold poses longer to work on strength. Be prepared to really feel the work in any class that calls itself Power yoga!
5. Ashtanga Yoga
Ashtanga is also a form of Vinyasa yoga, but this style follows a prescribed sequence of poses. Every Ashtanga yoga class will be the same, no matter where you are in the world, because every class performs the same poses, in the same order.
This is the class for you if you love routine and knowing what to expect in your yoga class. It’s a great way to really see progress from class to class and to work toward measurable goals. 24 percent of the respondents practice Ashtanga.