I have many friends, and encountered numerous acquaintances, who have told me various times yoga is not for them. I have begged and pleaded with them to come try different classes, but none of them budged. As a person who will try almost anything, (my steamers at The Clam Bar had tongues, so anything goes really) I've been to Bikram, Vinyasa, Power Vinyasa and Jivamukti. What in the world do any of those words mean? Here is an explanation for what you might think is a foreign language:
Bikram: In other words, hot yoga. You are in a room that's heated to about 105 degrees and flow through a series of 26 poses. Most classes last around 115 minutes, some shorter or longer. Bikram can be used to enhance flexibility, recover from an injury and release toxins. Just be sure to bring LOTS of water! (http://www.lululemon.com/education/yoga/bikram-yoga)
Vinyasa: This is one of the basic yoga classes and the first one that I ever took in college. Vinyasa focuses on breathing and flowing through each movement, but at the same time making sure they're controlled. This style is very relaxing and you will leave the studio feeling amazing. (http://yoga.about.com/od/typesofyoga/a/vinyasa.htm)
Power Yoga: Also can be called Ashtanga, Power Yoga is fast and you will sweat. It's a change from your typical Vinyasa, perfect when you need a change of pace. Perfect for increasing flexibility. Power Yoga does not have a set group of poses so be sure to listen to your instructor.
Jivamukti: I've only taken one of these classes and it was quite interesting. It involved a warm-up of chanting, which wasn't my thing, but the fast paced movements we great. While not as vigorous as Power Vinyasa, I still worked up a sweat and the class was totally worth it.
Restorative: Another popular class is Restorative Yoga. I have not taken this yet but it seems like it would be great after my half marathon. In Restorative classes poses are held for a significant amount of time to increase flexibility and stretching. Props such as blocks and straps are used. Expect to feel relaxed afterwards. (http://yoga.about.com/od/typesofyoga/a/Restorative-Yoga.htm)
There are many more styles besides the ones I mentioned. What is your favorite style? Best studio? Let me know!