Before entering a yoga instructor course, many people ask, “What kind of yoga should I teach?” There is a soul searching process based on passion and the popularity of classes. One might want to teach an obscure style because of a deep passion and calling, but not every prospective student is deeply curious about styles they have never heard of. Today, there are several styles of yoga to both practice and teach. While this is ultimately a good thing, how do you know where to begin when choosing which one to instruct?
Every yoga style has its own specific focus. Some focus on slow, deliberate stretching intended on improving flexibility and mobility. Others are more aerobically intense with movements designed to build strength and make you sweat. Whether you’re interested in transitioning from a yoga student to a yoga teacher or a current teacher looking to explore new disciplines and certifications, you are still wondering, “What kind of yoga should I teach?” So, let’s look at the popular styles of today.
Consider These 7 Popular Yoga Styles
Below, you’ll find key information regarding seven of today’s most popular yoga styles. Each is ranked in order according to their popularity and number of internet searches. That’s right; since you’ll be using your passion for yoga to actually earn a living, it’s important to think about the process from a business perspective. You need to give your clients what they want, which takes some research.
My research revealed the following:
• Hot yoga – 48,392 monthly searches
• Bikram yoga – 33,950 monthly searches
• Kundalini yoga – 32,833 monthly searches
• Hatha yoga – 28,808 monthly searches
• Yin yoga – 22,833 monthly searches
• Ashtanga yoga – 22,150 monthly searches
• Vinyasa yoga – 21,125 monthly searches
One point to mention about research in general: This is only an indication of the styles that prospective teachers and students research on the Internet. We have all seen crowds of students in Vinyasa, Hatha, and Kundalini classes. Therefore, the information above is not a clear indication of how many students are going into classes of each style. It does give us a ball park figure of what students search for and recognize as popular styles today.
The numbers don’t lie – hot yoga is the most popular yoga style for searches. That said, not everyone gravitates to it. Why? Well, as a hot yoga instructor, you’ll help your students discover how their bodies react to practicing yoga in uncomfortable heat. In fact, most hot yoga sessions take place in heated rooms up to 108 degrees.
While there isn’t much research supporting the benefits of practicing hot yoga, many practitioners praise its ability to help deepen their stretches. It has also become increasingly popular in recent years, making it an obvious choice when selecting a yoga style to teach. Just make sure you can handle the heat. What kind of yoga should I teach? It gets complicated and it’s much deeper than passion.
Like Hot Power Yoga, Moksha, and Baptiste, there are many forms of hot yoga. However, Bikram is by far the most recognized and popular style within the family. As is the case with every type of hot yoga, with Bikram, you must be ready to sweat. As a Bikram instructor, you’ll guide your students through a 90-minute sequence consisting of two breathing exercises and 26 specific poses in a room kept at 40 percent humidity and 105 degrees.
On the downside, other than the heat, there is some controversy surrounding Bikram’s founder Bikram Choudhury. So, this is certainly something to consider. Additionally, high heat does present some risks to students with high blood pressure and heart problems. Therefore, you want to research contraindications and liability a bit deeper before making a commitment.
Thanks to Russel Brand, Gabrielle Bernstein, and several other celebrity devotees, Kundalini has garnered an almost cult-like following. Ideal for those seeking greater spirituality in their yoga practice, it’s quite different from your traditional yoga class. As a Kundalini instructor, you’ll help your students focus just as much on their internal well-being as their external. By coupling repetitive physical exercises with meditation, chanting, singing, and intense breath work, Kundalini allows its practitioners to tap into internal energies and attain greater self-awareness.