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Which Yoga Is Right for You?

From ashtanga to vinyasa, there is a style for every body

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The style: restorative

What it is: Some would say that all yoga is restorative—meaning that it can help relax, soothe and reenergize you. But as American yoga has evolved, the need for a class specifically devoted to “restoration” was recognized. So even though it may not be a style recognized in New Delhi, you are very likely to see restorative classes on the schedule of most yoga studios here. It’s usually a very slow-paced class, in which the asanas are held for a long period of time, often for two to five minutes. Props are used as well; and people are known to fall asleep during class!

For older adults? “Restorative classes are great for older people,” says Birch. “Especially if you’re coming back from injury or illness.”

More information on restorative yoga

The style: vinyasa

What it is: Although an extremely common term in the yoga lexicon, vinyasa is not a specific style but rather an approach to any yoga practice. Any instructor who decides to link together a series of asanas, flowing from one to the next, is practicing vinyasa. Ashtanga, power and many others are all vinyasa-type styles of yoga, often called “flow.” Keep in mind, however, that the speed of that flow can vary.

For older adults? “Older adults should look for mild to moderately paced vinyasa,” Logan says. “And they will be described that way in the class description.”

Health and fitness writer John Hanc teaches journalism at the New York Institute of Technology in Old Westbury.

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Video Extra

Developed in 1995 by Madan Kataria, M.D., a family practitioner from India, laughter yoga “is based on the scientific concept that your body can’t tell the difference between simulated and spontaneous laughter,” Kataria says.

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