There Are 17 Main Types Of Yoga Lurking Out There Trying To Lure You In. Which Is Best For You To Teach Is The Million Dollar Question...And One To Which We Seek To Find An Answer In This Post.

17 types of yoga classes

"What The Heck Is The Difference Between A 200 Hour And 2 Year Yoga Teacher Training Course?"

That was the very first question that popped into my mind when I was researching what yoga teacher training course to take way back in 2007.

If you are contemplating becoming a yoga teacher, I can almost guarantee that the same question will make its appearance inside your head.

Amazingly, yoga teacher training courses range from 10 hours to 1000 hours! Really. I’m serious. Someone can do a 10-hour course, and call themselves a qualified yoga teacher. Scary, or what!

Some schools offer very long term 5-year courses. Though, the industry norm for a good quality course is 2-years. And that’s the length of course I did (through BWY). It seemed like the ideal middle path, not too long and not too short…just right.

The confusing thing is that my 2-year course was 200 hours spread over two years.

A 200-hour course, however, can be done by various course providers over a three-day weekend. How that equates to 200 hours is beyond me. Maybe these course trainers studied a different kind of mathematics to me?

My advice is to avoid these scam teacher training courses like the plague!

Run from them!

Hide from them!

Whatever you do, don’t be seduced by their get yoga teacher certified quick schemes. They are just as scammy and ridiculous as get rich quick schemes!

It took me a few months to pick my yoga teacher training course. Why so much dithering.

Isn’t it obvious?

Shouldn’t I have just taught the yoga that I was going to? I had mostly gone to Dru yoga classes.

Yeah, but it’s not that straightforward.

Choosing which type of yoga and which teacher training organization is a whopper of a decision. Most courses are two-year-long undertakings that require the same workload and commitment as going to University.

That brings my main bugbear, that I touched on above, but is well worth repeating.

Do not take one of those get-your-teacher-training-in-a-week-courses!

That’s worth repeating because it’s such an important point.

Do not take one of those get-your-teacher-training-in-a-week-courses!

Did you get that?

I’m on my knees begging you not to take one of those get-your-teacher-training-in-a-week-courses for your sake and the sake of your future students.

There are no short cuts to becoming a good yoga teacher!

You will need every day of those 730 days (2-year course) to become a somewhat competent teacher. It will then take a lifetime of teaching and study to become a good teacher. I’m not joking. And I’m not being glib. Undertaking a yoga teacher course should be an epic undertaking and one that you don’t get into lightly. To become a yoga teacher needs to be an urge that is felt deep into your bones, it must tingle your DNA, and be like a siren announcing your life’s calling. That may sound a wee bit melodramatic, but if you’re not certain you want to be a yoga teacher, don’t waste two years of your life. Find another calling.

Below are the 17 main types of yoga.

It’s well worth your time having a look through them. You may think that you already know the type you want to teach, but it’s worth spending the time doing some research.

Take me for an example…

My mum is a Dru yoga teacher. I had done hundreds of Dru yoga classes going to my Mum’s classes. So, you would think that the logical choice for me was to follow in her footsteps and choose the same yoga teacher training course that she did.

Did I do that?

Heck, no!

Why didn’t I follow in her footsteps?

I’m a bit of a worry-wort. I generally don’t jump into significant life-changing events without swotting up on stuff. I went to lots of different types of classes, bought a bunch of yoga books, and went to the WanderLust festival, BWY Congress, and the World Yoga Festival, where you’re able to sample lots of types of yoga in two or three days.

It turned out that the BWY Hatha course seemed to fit my personality better than the Dru course. I felt that Dru yoga was a bit too “dancie” for me. Dru, to me at least, felt like a mix between a Tai Chi class and a Dance class. The more traditional type of yoga (Hatha) was more appealing to me.

Use this guide as part of your research to find the style of yoga that is calling your name. As you skim through the page, your eyes may say: “Stop! Move back a bit. That one looked interesting.”.

Also, if you’re a student just wanting to know more about the different styles of yoga, this guide will help you too.

There are many more styles of yoga. This guide covers the most popular ones.

“If you want to learn something, read about it.
If you want to understand something, write about it.
If you want to master something, teach it.”
Yogi Bhajan

Becoming An Acroyoga Teacher

acro yoga teacher training

Suitable for: Experienced yoga students, gymnasts, youngsters (under 30), urbanites, and mavericks. 

Difficulty: 10 out of 10

AcroYoga Teacher Training Organizations:  AcroYoga.org, AcroYogaDance.com, BookRetreats.com

What Is Acroyoga: It is a form of partner yoga. It combines yoga, gymnastics techniques, and massage. The practice helps to build strength, flexibility, trust, and teamwork between partners.

Positive: Acroyoga is definitely the coolest, hippest, toughest, most maverick style of yoga. So, if being “different from the rest” rocks your boat, this could be the type of yoga for you. 

Negative: Not suitable for beginners which means you’ll struggle to have full classes unless you live in a city.  

My Thoughts: Acroyoga is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The clue is in the title! Anything with the word “acro” in the title would make me run a mile in the opposite direction, but that’s just me.  It’s not something I would want to teach, because it’s really only an option for a tiny percentage of the population – very fit young people with a sense of adventure. To my “business consultant head” (I was a business consultant/website developer before becoming a full-time yoga teacher) this would limit my class numbers, especially as I live in a rural area. This type of yoga appeals more to the hip, urban types, who are looking for something totally different from the norm, and acroyoga is about as far from the yoga norm as you can get. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has 100+ partner yoga poses that you can drag and drop to create lesson plans with partner poses. I discovered early on in my yoga teaching career that my students love doing partner yoga. It really does create a lovely atmosphere of lightness, fun, and laughter. 

Becoming An Ashtanga Yoga Teacher

Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for: Experienced yoga students. Students who like a physical challenge. Sports teams. Athletes. A-type personalities. People more interested in the physical than the spiritual aspects of yoga. 

Difficulty: 9 out of 10

Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: AshtangaYogaGlastonbury.com, AshtangaYogaMysore.net, BrettLarkin.com, SamPoornaYoga.com, StillPointYogaLondon.com.

What Is Ashtanga Yoga: Ashtanga Yoga is regarded as a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. The style is vinyasa which is energetic and focuses on synching the breath with movements.

Positive: After a 90-minute ashtanga yoga class, you’ll feel like you can climb Mount Everest. You’ll sweat buckets, but the rewards are worth it. Your strength and stamina will skyrocket. Ashtanga usually involves being in a warm room with lots of half-naked, very sweaty practitioners, which is surprisingly liberating. You will practice under the guidance of an experienced teacher, and you’ll learn the sequence off by heart so you can build strength and flexibility at your own pace during the class. 

Negative: If you don’t like being surrounded by very sweaty A-type personalities, you’ll want to avoid Ashtanga classes. 

My Thoughts: I personally have phases of loving doing Ashtanga vinyasa routines for my main practice, and then times when I revert back to my comfort zone of Yin yoga. I often like combining both (Ashtanga and Yin) in one practice session.  Most people who go to an Ashtanga class are your typical A-type personalities. 

In my family, this “stereotype” holds true. My A-type brother only practices Ashtanga yoga. He would consider Hatha or Yin yoga to be cheating, or for wimps. A-types can be a lot of fun to hang out with for an hour or two (the length of a class) but can be exhausting for any longer than that if you’re an introvert because they live for “over-achieving”, constantly competing, and looking good in front of others. 

Just like Acroyoga, Ashtanga yoga is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are an introvert, it’s good sometimes to enter the extrovert’s world. Ashtanga yoga isn’t something I personally would want to teach, because I naturally tend to do things quickly, and so benefit more from slowing down (Hatha and Yin style of yoga). 

Also, I get a much bigger thrill from getting “normal people” into a life-long love affair with Yoga, instead of A-type, high achieving, take-your-shirt-off types who have a subconscious desire to be the best at everything they do whether that’s staying in Crow pose for 12 minutes without wobbling, or making a killing in the stock market. But, that’s just me.

If you’re a natural extrovert, with a liking for hard, physical challenges, then Ashtanga is absolutely perfect for you. Don’t let “my thoughts” put you off.  Find your own thoughts by doing your own research. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has all the ashtanga poses. That means you can drag and drop the poses to create Ashtanga themed yoga lesson plans

Becoming A Bikram Teacher

bikram yoga teacher training

Suitable for: Experienced yoga students. Students who like a physical challenge. Sports teams. Athletes. A-type personalities. People more interested in the physical than the spiritual aspects of yoga. 

Difficulty: 9 out of 10

Bikram Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: BikramYogaLondon.com

What Is Bikram Yoga: Bikram is a form of hot yoga. If you like extreme physical challenges, this could be the type of yoga for you. Bikram yoga is a type of hot yoga that consists of 26 set poses and 2 breathing exercises – which is why it’s also known as ‘26 and 2’ yoga. 

During a Bikram yoga class, those 26 poses and breathing exercises are performed in the same order for every single class, and every class is always exactly 90 minutes long. 

A Bikram class is taught in a room heated to exactly 40°C with 40% humidity. Be warned! You will sweat. You will sweat a lot. And I do mean a lot. If you’ve never been to a hot yoga class before, you may come close to passing out and have to leave the room before the class ends (umm, as I did).  

Positive: After a 90-minute Bikram yoga class, you’ll feel amazing. You’ll sweat buckets, even more than an Ashtanga class, but the rewards reaped are worth it. Your strength and stamina will skyrocket. 

I like the repetition of doing the same 26 poses. It gives the student a chance to get to know each of the poses very intimately, and the teacher to become an expert at teaching each of the poses. In Hatha yoga there are probably 2,600 yoga poses to learn

Bikram involves being in a warm room with lots of half-naked, very sweaty practitioners, which is surprisingly liberating. 

Because you’ll learn the sequence of 26 poses off by heart, you can practice them in the steam room in your local fitness centre (umm, like I do).  I love practicing yoga in a steam room. And it saves on the exorbitant price of a hot yoga class. 

Negative: Bikram yoga was supposedly invented in the 1970s by Bikram Choudhury, an American Yogi who was born in India. There is a lot of controversies and scandal surrounding him, and he’s definitely a bit dodgy. 

In fact, he’s so dodgy from the articles I’ve read that I almost didn’t include Bikram in my list, but it is used to be very popular before the scandals hit the headlines. 

I recommend avoiding doing a Bikram teacher training course. From what I can tell, there is only one place in the UK still providing teacher training for Bikram yoga. That’s BikramYogaLondon.com, but even they seemed to have stopped providing training in 2020. They’re not advertising anything for 2021, so looks like they’ve stopped teaching, at least for the foreseeable future. 

My Thoughts: As I mentioned above, I tend to do my hot yoga in a steam room, which is usually empty at the time of day that I go. I think due to the controversies surrounding the founder of Bikram, I think that finding a steam room in your local area is the only viable way of doing hot yoga. The heat definitely helps the body to go further into the pose. 

When I was doing my research in 2007, one thing that put me off about taking a Bikram teacher training course was that instructors don’t give any “hands-on adjustments”, because all demonstrations and corrections are vocalized rather than physically demonstrated. For years I’ve been used to having hands-on adjustments, and enjoy knowing that the teacher has taken the time to get me into the correct alignment. I think the reason Bikram teachers don’t do the hands-on adjustments is that their classes can be very large (50+ people), and touching when you’re extremely sweaty isn’t exactly hygienic, especially if you go around adjusting 50 people in the same class (lol). 

Becoming A Chair Yoga Teacher

chair yoga teacher trainings

Suitable for: Seniors, people with disabilities, people with injuries, obese people, office workers (who spend a lot of time sitting in chairs), special needs teachers, therapists, yoga teachers (it’s a great add-on for your yoga teaching skillset), and care professionals. 

Difficulty: 2 out of 10

Chair Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: AccessibleChairYoga.com, SpecialYoga.org.uk, TheMindedInstitute.com, YogaVistaAcademy.com, YogaWithRosie.net.

What Is Chair Yoga: Chair yoga uses a chair as a prop throughout the entire class. 

Positive: Using a chair enables people of all abilities to gain the positive effects of a yoga practice. You will get a huge buzz out of making a difference in the lives of people who have difficulty taking part in traditional yoga classes due to mobility issues, old age, or injuries.

Negative: Can be a bit slow. usually, a chair yoga class has lots of seniors which means the teacher has to go slow and be careful not to cause injuries. 

My Thoughts: When I’m at home, I do a lot of chair yoga, because my job involves a lot of blogging. So, even though I’m a fit 45-year-old, I do enjoy chair yoga. If you take the training, you will learn how to use other props such as blocks, bolsters, and belts to enhance the quality of the physical practice. I love learning new ways of using props in my classes.

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has 100+ chair yoga poses that you can drag and drop to create chair yoga lesson plans quickly and easily. You might also like my chair yoga lesson plan bundle

Becoming A Dru Yoga Teacher

Dru Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for:  Everyone from beginners to advanced students, seniors, obese people. 

Difficulty: 3 out of 10

Dru Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: Druyoga.com

What Is Dru Yoga:  If you’ve ever been to a Tai Chi class, it’s similar to that. The movements are slow and purposeful, the polar opposite of Kundalini yoga. 

Positive: They have a contemporary approach to ancient yogic techniques, which will improve the relationship with your body and mind. 

Negative: The movements are slow and purposeful, almost like a moving meditation. That will be magical for some people, but boring to others. 

My Thoughts: The Dru Yoga teacher training site claims it will transform you and give you the power to discover the magic in every single moment, situation, and individual you meet. That’s a bold statement. I only know one Dru yoga teacher, and that is my Mum. I would have to say that she looks at the world differently from any other person I’ve ever met. I don’t think she sees magic in “every” moment, but much more than most, that’s for sure. From talking to her, I know that her Dru yoga practice cultivated that outlook in life. Though, I have to be honest and say that it can be a little annoying at times because pretty much everything through her eyes is lovely and wonderful. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner has dozens of Dru yoga poses. 

Becoming A Hatha Yoga Teacher

Hatha Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for:  Everyone from beginners to advanced students, seniors, people with disabilities, people with injuries, obese people, office workers (who spend a lot of time sitting in chairs), special needs teachers, therapists, and care professionals. 

Difficulty: 5 out of 10

Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: Academyforyogatraining.com, BsyGroup.co.uk, Bwy.org.uk, Isha.sadhguru.org, Triyoga.co.uk, YogaAlliance.org, YogaDharma.co.uk, YogaFederation.net.

What Is Hatha Yoga: It is the most common form of yoga in Europe and North America. The practice involves body, mind, and breath. Classes are usually 45 minutes to 90 minutes of gentle flow yoga, meditation, mantras, mudras, and relaxation. You can download six free Hatha yoga lesson plans here to see how a Hatha yoga teacher has created his plans (they were created by me). 

Positive: Hatha Yoga is the Swiss army knife of yoga because pretty much anyone of all ages, of all sizes, of all fitness levels can benefit from Hatha yoga. That’s definitely not the case with most other types of yoga.

Negative: There are thousands of poses, meditations, mantras, mudras, and relaxation exercises. And they’re all fabulous. So, how can that be a negative? Well, because it’s impossible to become an expert in it all. Utterly impossible. There’s just way too much stuff out there to learn in a lifetime.

My Thoughts: This is the course that I went with. I did a two-year BWY Hatha yoga teacher training course which lasted from 2009 to 2011. That means I am probably biased toward this type of yoga. In the “negative section above” I said there is way too much stuff out there to learn in a lifetime. But, to me, this is more of a positive than a negative because I love learning new things. There’s always something new I can teach in a Hatha yoga class. I never get bored or stale from teaching the same thing week in week out. In fact, it’s this amazing diversity that inspired me to create the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner (yoga teachers can create lesson plans by picking from 3000+ poses, meditations, mantras, mudras, and relaxation exercises). The “difficulty score” I gave this type of yoga is 5 out of 10. I realized when writing my thoughts that this was significant for me when choosing it as my type of yoga. It’s halfway, which means it’s just about right for the majority of people. I probably gravitated to Hatha because I read my Mum’s Buddhism books growing up, and the “middle way” concept must have sunk into my DNA. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner has 2000+ yoga poses, meditations, mantras, mudras, and relaxation exercises. 

Becoming A Hot Yoga Teacher

Hot Yoga Teacher Training-Courses

Suitable for: Experienced yoga students. Students who like a physical challenge. Sports teams. Athletes. A-type personalities. People more interested in the physical than the spiritual aspects of yoga. 

Difficulty: 9 out of 10

Hot Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: Triyoga.co.uk

What Is Hot Yoga: It’s not Bikram yoga. Hot yoga doesn’t have a guru who supposedly created it (by the way, Bikram Choudhury didn’t invent the 26 poses in his Bikram system like he claims to have done). If you like extreme physical challenges, this could be the type of yoga for you. Hot yoga is a type of hot yoga that consists of approximately 30 poses practiced in a heated environment of 34-36C, that facilitates safe, deep stretching and a cleansing, detoxifying sweat. Hot yoga practice incorporates breathing exercises and static (as opposed to flowing) postures, to cultivate balance, strength, and flexibility. Following specific alignment and timing principles, you will work the entire body systematically – restoring the health of every organ, bone, joint, muscle, ligament, nerve, and gland. By bringing fresh, oxygenated blood into every part of the body, a hot yoga practice rejuvenates the entire system, leaving you reenergized. Most hot yoga teacher training courses are informed by the teachings of Hatha. 

Positive: After a 90-minute hot yoga class, you’ll feel amazing. You’ll sweat buckets, even more than an Ashtanga class, but the rewards reaped are worth it. Your strength and stamina will skyrocket. 

I like the repetition of doing the same 30 poses. It gives the student a chance to get to know each of the poses very intimately, and for the teacher to become an expert at teaching each of the poses. In Hatha yoga, there aren’t 26 poses, there are 2,600 yoga poses to learn

Hot yoga involves being in a warm room with lots of half-naked, very sweaty practitioners, which is surprisingly liberating. 

Because you’ll learn the sequence of 30 poses off by heart, you can practice them in the steam room in your local fitness centre (umm, like I do).  I love practicing yoga in a steam room. And it saves on the exorbitant price of a hot yoga class. 

Negative: The hot environment can be very uncomfortable for a lot of beginner yoga students. 

My Thoughts: When I was doing my research in 2007, one thing that put me off about taking a Bikram or hot yoga teacher training course was that instructors don’t give any “hands-on adjustments”, because all demonstrations and corrections are vocalized rather than physically demonstrated. For years I’ve been used to having hands-on adjustments, and enjoy knowing that the teacher has taken the time to get me into the correct alignment. I think the reason hot yoga teachers don’t do the hands-on adjustments is that their classes can be very large (50+ people), and touching when you’re extremely sweaty isn’t exactly hygienic, especially if you go around adjusting 50 people in the same class (lol). 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has all the poses that you’ll do within a hot yoga class.

Becoming An Iyengar Yoga Teacher

Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for: Beginners to advanced students. People who love going as deep as possible into the stretch. People who love Yin style yoga. People who enjoy static poses rather than moving quickly from one pose to the next.

Difficulty: 7 out of 10

Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: Bath-Iyengar-Yoga.com, Bdiyi.org.uk, Iyengaryoga.org.uk, Iymv.org, Iynaus.org, ManchesterIyengarYoga.org.uk.

What Is Iyengar Yoga: Iyengar Yoga is big on developing concentration so that poses can be held for several minutes. Just like Ashtanga yoga, this type of yoga prides itself on precise alignment, and I do mean precise. Every part of the pose is broken down to the smallest part for the student to study and perfect. If you like attention to detail, you’ll love Iyengar yoga. Also, if you like using props to go deeper into poses, you’ll love Iyengar yoga. When you go to an Iyengar class, there will be props everywhere you look. There will be blocks, straps, harnesses, incline boards, and more.

To qualify for most Iyengar yoga teacher courses you will need to have attended Iyengar yoga classes regularly for at least three years and have a good standard of practice. The route to teaching is via mentorship by an experienced teacher who has been approved as a mentor by Iyengar Yoga (UK). If you’re interested in studying to teach, discuss with the Iyengar teacher whose classes you attend (remember, you will need to have attended Iyengar classes for three years!). He or she will either be a mentor themselves or put you in touch with a qualified mentor.

Positive: You will be amazed by how good your body feels when you go into deep stretches. 

Negative: If you’re not into precision, and aren’t detail orientated, then this style of yoga is probably not for you. You’ll need to enjoy studying because each pose pretty much becomes a PhD thesis. And during your teacher training, you will be expected to know each pose as if you had done a PhD thesis on each pose! 

My Thoughts:  I was very attracted to this type of yoga when I did my initial research back in 2007. I love Yin yoga. I love the feeling of spending time in a pose and nudging my body deeper and deeper into letting go. Even though I love learning, I was put off by each pose essentially being a PhD thesis. My memory sucks, so I have to plan my classes and practice them either physically or in my mind before class. The thought of having to be ultra detail orientated scared the bejesus out of me. I was attracted to the thought of having a “mentor” (you’d end up assisting in your mentor’s classes by giving demonstrations, adjusting students’ alignment, etc., etc.).  My mum acted as my mentor because she had been a yoga teacher since I was a young teenager.  The Iyengar mentorship is a minimum of three years but can take longer. It all depends on how your mentor feels you are progressing as a teacher. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has hundreds of Iyengar poses.

Becoming A Jivamukti Yoga Teacher

Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for: People looking for dynamic flowing classes and learning about yoga philosophy in a more in-depth way than most other types of yoga. 

Difficulty: 7 out of 10

Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: JivamuktiYoga.com, SangyeYoga.com.

What Is Jivamukti Yoga: Combines flowing vinyasa postures with breathing, meditation, Sanskrit chanting, philosophical discussion, and deep relaxation. Jivamukti was created in the 1980s by Sharon Gannon and David Life in New York City. Jivamukti translates to “liberated being.”

Positive: The teacher training incorporates asana, chanting, music, meditation, activism, and scriptural study into a challenging practice underpinned by a quest for enlightenment. Just like Iyengar yoga, most Jivamukti teacher training requires a “mentor”. Classes are usually themed. I love themed yoga classes! I’m well known in the yoga teacher world for sharing dozens of themed yoga lesson plans

Negative: If you prefer physical yoga classes, with a minimum of spiritual practice you’ll definitely want to avoid this type of yoga. 

My Thoughts: If you want to embark on a quest for enlightenment, this type of yoga is a good option for you.  Jivamukti is heavily rooted in the traditions of yogi scripture. You will be encouraged to find a state of enlightenment in and out of your practice. We are in the midst of environmental catastrophe. Each day the facts are becoming starker. If I had been more aware of this back in 2007, I very well may have opted to take this training instead of the Hatha one. Though, to be fair to Hatha yoga, it’s so flexible that you can opt to include more “spiritual stuff” in your classes. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has hundreds of Jivamukti poses.

Becoming A Kundalini Yoga Teacher

Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for: Advanced students. Students looking for a vinyasa style class, but also packed with yoga philosophy. Depending on the teacher it can be suitable for beginners (some forms of kundalini are gentle and meditative). 

Difficulty: 7 out of 10

Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: Joy.yoga, KaramKriya.co.uk, KundaliniResearchInstitute.orgKundaliniyoga.org.uk.

What Is Kundalini Yoga: It is known for unblocking stuck energy within the body. Kundalini sequences have rapid, repetitive movements. It also includes meditations, breathing exercises, mudras, and chanting. 

Positive: If you love physical challenges, this could be the type of yoga for you. But it’s not all about the physical. You’ll also develop a conscious lifestyle, more so than many of the other types of yoga. And you’ll learn about yogic foods and dietary awareness, which I wish was part of my Hatha yoga teacher training.

Negative: The physicality and rapid breathing can be overwhelming for students (though there are gentle forms of Kundalini yoga). It’s a type of yoga that experienced yogis usually gravitate towards after many years of practice in another type of yoga. 

My Thoughts: Even though my mum is a Dru Yoga teacher, she was heavily into Kundalini yoga, so when I was growing up I did quite a bit of this type of yoga. I loved it and still do. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has dozens of Kundalini yoga poses.

Becoming A Laughter Yoga Teacher

Laughter Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for: Social laughter club, corporate sessions, schools, seniors, or people with special needs. 

Difficulty: 2 out of 10

Laughter Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: LaughterYoga.org, LaughterYogaTraining.co.uk, LaughterYogaWellness.co.uk, LotteMikkelsen.com, UnitedMind.co.uk.

What Is Laughter Yoga: It’s not just about laughing, though obviously, that’s a big part of it. When you go to a laughter yoga class you’ll learn breathing techniques,  laughter meditation, stretching, and chanting. Each laughter exercise is essentially a breathing exercise in disguise. If you struggle with letting go and can be a bit too serious, this class will definitely get you out of your own head, so you can enjoy life a bit more.  You’ll reconnect with the child within, and discover that laughter is one of the most powerful natural medicines. 

Positive: What could be more fun than providing untapped laughter to students? 

Negative: I can’t think of a negative except that some of these certifications can be surprisingly expensive considering it’s a 2 (or 5) day training course. That could put a frown on your face, but at least when you start the training, you’ll start smiling again! 

My Thoughts: You can get trained up and certified to teach Laughter Yoga within 2 to 5 days. It’s the perfect add-on skill to your core teacher training.  I usually add one laughter yoga exercise in a class for every 6-week yoga course that I run, and my students definitely enjoy it.  

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has dozens of laughter yoga poses.

Becoming A Power Yoga Teacher

becoming a power yoga teacher

Suitable for: Experienced yoga students. Students who like a physical challenge. Sports teams. Athletes. A-type personalities. People more interested in the physical than the spiritual aspects of yoga.

Difficulty: 9 out of 10

Power Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: ArhantaYoga.org, EbbFlowYoga.co.uk, ElementsOfPowerYoga.com, LumiPowerYoga.com, ShantiPowerYoga.com, ThePowerYogaCo.com.

What Is Power Yoga: It’s very similar to Ashtanga yoga, and for good reason, it was developed from Ashtanga yoga as a more fitness based approach to yoga. It’s ideal for weight loss and keeping fit, and appeals to people who enjoy exercising, but not so much the spiritual side of yoga (relaxation, chanting, meditation, and philosophy readings). As it is more an “exercise class” than a yoga class, be prepared to sweat up a storm. The only other type of yoga that will make you sweat more is Bikram or Hot yoga. This type of yoga has the most names, so the studio near you might call it: vinyasa, vinyasa flow, flow yoga, or flow-style yoga.

Positive: After a 90-minute power yoga class, you’ll feel like you can climb Mount Everest. You’ll sweat buckets, but the rewards are worth it. Your strength and stamina will skyrocket. Power yoga usually involves being in a warm room with lots of half-naked, very sweaty practitioners, which is surprisingly liberating. You will practice under the guidance of an experienced teacher, and you’ll learn the sequence off by heart so you can build strength and flexibility at your own pace during the class.

Negative: If you like the spiritual aspects of yoga (relaxation, chanting, meditation, and philosophy readings) this won’t be your go-to class, but you might like to do an occasional power yoga class to spice things up a bit.

My Thoughts: I personally have phases of loving doing power vinyasa routines for my main practice, and then times when I revert back to my comfort zone of Yin yoga. I often like combining both in one practice session. Most people who go to a power yoga class are your typical A-type personalities.

Just like Ashtanga and Acroyoga, power yoga is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are an introvert, it’s good sometimes to enter the extrovert’s world. Power yoga isn’t something I personally would want to teach, because I naturally tend to do things quickly, and so benefit more from slowing down (Hatha and Yin style of yoga).

Also, I get a much bigger thrill from getting “normal people” into a life-long love affair with Yoga, instead of A-type, high achieving, take-your-shirt-off types who have a subconscious desire to be the best at everything they do whether that’s staying in Crow pose for 12 minutes without wobbling, or making a killing in the stock market. But, that’s just me.

If you’re a natural extrovert, with a liking for hard, physical challenges, then power yoga is absolutely perfect for you.

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has all the power yoga poses. That means you can drag and drop the poses to create power yoga-themed yoga lesson plans.

Becoming A Restorative Yoga Teacher

Becoming A Restorative Yoga Teacher

Suitable for: Beginners and advanced students. Seniors, people with disabilities, people with injuries, obese people, special needs teachers, therapists, yoga teachers (it’s a great add-on for your yoga teaching skillset), and care professionals. 

Difficulty: 3 out of 10

Restorative Yoga Teacher Training Organizations: BarefootBodyTraining.co.uk, CamYoga.co.uk, EmmaColeYoga.com, TriYoga.co.uk, Vedaelayoga.comWhiteSpaceStudio.co.uk, YogaInternational.com.

What Is Restorative Yoga: The word “restorative” means having the ability to restore health, strength, or well-being. Do I really need to say any more than that? Maybe, a bit. I love restorative yoga. I love giving myself permission to get into completely let go in a pose because I’m supported by props. It was the by-product of Iyengar Yoga. Iyengar cottoned on the fact that props could be used in restorative yoga sequences to allow students to go deep in the pose. It almost feels like cheating. Instead of sweating buckets, and rushing from pose to pose like in Ashtanga, Power, Hot, and Bikram yoga, you get to chill out in a pose for an extended period of time (e.g 10 minutes).  

Positive: This type of yoga restores the body to its parasympathetic nervous system function, which, in turn, helps the body rest, heal, and restore balance. By allowing time for longer poses and deeper breathing, restorative yoga helps activates the relaxation response.

Negative: It’s the slowest of all the yoga types. If you prefer fast movement, then restorative yoga is not for you. 

My Thoughts: When I’m at home, I do a lot of restorative yoga. I love using props, especially my beloved bolster. When I teach a yoga class, I always bring lots of straps with me as they are easy to transport and one of the best props to use. If you take the training, you will learn how to use props such as blocks, bolsters, and belts to enhance the quality of the physical practice. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has 100+ restorative yoga poses that you can drag and drop to create restorative yoga lesson plans quickly and easily. You might also like my yoga therapy lesson plan bundle

Becoming A Sivananda Yoga Teacher

Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training

Suitable for: Beginners and advanced students. Seniors, people with disabilities, people with injuries, obese people, special needs teachers, therapists, and care professionals. 

Difficulty: 4 out of 10

 Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training OrganizationsSivananda.org

What Is Sivananda Yoga: It’s a classical and holistic approach to Hatha Yoga (see Hatha yoga above). The teachings are from Swami Sivananda, who set up his yoga system just before the outbreak of world war II in 1936. The teaching lineage can be traced back many hundreds of years to the sage Adi Sankaracharya (788-802 CE) who unified the diverse spiritual practices prevalent at the time into a cohesive system based on the Upanishads of the Four Vedas. The teachings have been passed from guru to disciple in an unbroken chain to the present day and are the mainstay of the teachings. 

Positive: This type of yoga has its roots going back hundreds of years. It’s a close to the yoga of the ancients as any type of yoga on this list. 

Negative: The courses take place in Ashrams, which isn’t really a negative, but it will be a totally different experience to taking the course in a hired hall. I get a little spooked by people calling themselves gurus, and there’s been a fair bit of controversy with so-called yoga gurus over the past few years (Dru and Bikram Yoga), but so far the Sivananda gurus haven’t been embroiled in any controversies, at least not publicly. 

Here’s a passage from the Sivananda.org website: 

Along with twice daily attendance at satsang and the daily practice of asanas and pranayama, the day is filled by working selflessly for the running of the Ashram. 

It’s the “working selflessly for the running of the Ashram” that makes Ashrams very open to corrupt gurus. 

My Thoughts: The founder’s mission was to make the wisdom of the ancient sages easily accessible to beginner and experienced yogis. I think that is a very worthy mission. 

Karma yoga or selfless service is the foundation on which Sivananda is based.

Here’s another passage from the Sivananda.org website: 

It is a means to inner purification and spiritual growth. It is the practice of learning to work selflessly for humanity, with no attachment either to the ego or the result of the work, offering the work to a higher power as an act of worship. It generates unity and purifies the heart. It fosters humility, love, compassion, sympathy, mercy, tolerance, and forgiveness. It is the practice of service to humanity.

All that is music to my ears, but I also hear a slight warning siren. 

My mum was attracted to Dru yoga (which was embroiled in a guru scandal) because she loves giving. I mean she really loves giving. She is your archetypal giver. The problem with “relentless givers” is that they are ridiculously easy to take advantage of, and gurus know that. I’ve always lived by the premise of “trust in Allah, but tie up your camel”, even though I’m not religious. It just seemed like good common sense to me. My interpretation of that famous quote is: “Trust that things will turn out for the best but have the courage to know when the best has become the worst, and when it’s time to get out of Dodge. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has 2000+ yoga poses that you can drag and drop to create Sivananda yoga lesson plans quickly and easily. 

Becoming A Viniyoga Teacher

becoming a viniyoga teacher

Suitable for: Beginners and advanced students. Seniors, people with disabilities, people with injuries, obese people, special needs teachers, therapists, yoga teachers, and care professionals. 

Difficulty: 6 out of 10

Viniyoga Teacher Training Organizations: BlissWellnessCo.com, Khyf.net, LynnKelleyPiperryt500.com, ViniYoga.com, WhiteHorseYoga.co.uk, YogaLondon.net

What Is Viniyoga:  Viniyoga is like a gentle form of Hatha yoga, which makes it extremely accessible to lots of people. Instead of going quickly from pose to pose, like in most types of yoga, Viniyoga is more interested in putting on the breaks and giving your body long, deep, nourishing stretches that’ll make you feel all brand new inside and outside.  Viniyoga classes may include asana, pranayama, chanting, and meditation, depending on the student. Just like Ashtanga yoga, there is a very strong emphasis on body alignment. 

Positive: This type of yoga is ideal for beginners to get them feeling their bodies, perhaps for the first time in years. The deep stretching will be a revelation because they have got so used to living in a stiff, sore, and tired body. It’s also great for people recovering from injury, but if someone hasn’t had a consistent “stretching practice”, they will almost certainly be injured, without them knowing it, because like I said above, they’ve got used to their injured body. Body awareness and relaxation is a big thing with this type of yoga, and as I’m typing this, my country Wales is in full-lockdown due to Covid, along with many other countries throughout the world. Millions of people are anxious and struggling to relax, and struggling with sleep. If they practiced any form of yoga they’d feel better, but perhaps this style is one of the most effective for reducing anxiety.  The other big positive is the small class sizes. They may charge a bit more than a normal class, but having a small class size is the next best thing to having a private one-to-one session with a teacher.  

Negative: Of all the different types of yoga, Viniyoga teachers are probably the top experts in anatomy and yoga therapy. That’s a positive, but it will feel like a negative when you’re taking the teacher training course. I struggled with the anatomy in my Hatha yoga teacher training, as did almost all the students in my teacher training. It’s hard! It’s the closest I’ve come to feel like what it must be like training to be a doctor.  I now have even more respect for doctors!  

My Thoughts: This type of yoga has to be high up on your list if you’re interested in yoga therapy, and also if you had a hankering to be a doctor when you were younger because you’ll love the focus on anatomy. 

Shameless Plug: My online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner software has 100+ Viniyoga poses that you can drag and drop to create viniyoga lesson plans quickly and easily. You might also like my yoga therapy lesson plan bundle

Yoga Pose Directory

3000+ yoga poses 

Click Here

Yoga Genie Lesson Planner

Create yoga lesson plans quickly and easily. Access 10,000+ yoga lesson plans. Choose from 3000+ poses. Used by 1000+ yoga teachers worldwide.

George Watts

Hope you enjoyed my post. I'm a BWY yoga teacher, and creator of the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner. Create yoga lesson plans quickly and easily. Get started with the Yoga Genie Lesson Planner for free today.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
YOGA PLANNER