Virtually any type of yoga improves strength, flexibility, and balance. The more intense styles can also help you shape up and trim down. The type of yoga that’s best for you will depend on what your health goals are.
For beginners: Hatha yoga is great for beginners. Poses are straightforward, and the pace unhurried. You do a pose, come out of it, then do another.
Great for weight loss: Ashtanga- and power yoga combine the regular benefits of yoga with a killer cardio session. Both styles focus on flowing from one pose to the next without rest—making for a terrific calorie burn (about 500 per hour).
Good for chilling out: Yin yoga is particularly good at activating the part of your nervous system that helps you bounce back from pain and stress.
Good for injury-prone people: Lyengar teachers are trained in biomechanics, so they understand which positions are most likely to cause injuries—and how to modify them by tweaking your form and showing you how to use props to make them less intense. Plus, a pause between poses (as opposed to flowing from one to the other) allows you to perfect your position, so you’re less likely to strain something. Lyengar may even help you recover from injury.