There are all sorts of ways—books, TV shows, blogs—to work toward either physical fitness or personal zen, or some combination of the two. One that’s been around for thousands of years is yoga.
Say “yoga,” though, and many people have one idea of what that practice is or what it looks like. Turns out, though, that yoga means different things to different people, and can help remedy a variety of problems or get you closer to a specific goal.
In India, traditional yoga is often found in one of five styles of Asana practice: Hatha, Ashtanga, Viniyoga, Sivananda, and Iygenar. Those may often follow traditional routines and patterns, with distinct physical challenges. Ashtanga, for example, is quite physically demanding and follows a set of poses that never changes. Hatha is also challenging, but offers a good gateway to those new to yoga.
Related to but distinct from traditional yoga, there are other yoga practices such as Bikram; this is performed in a very high heated room and it follows a fixed set of poses. Restorative yoga, on the other hand, asks students to hold poses for a very long time in order to soothe and rejuvenate.
This graphic helps lead you through the various types of yoga and their advantages; use it to pick one that works best for you.