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Yoga Style Quiz

Wondering which style of yoga is right for your personality and body type? Let our quiz enlighten you.

As yoga's popularity swells, so does the number of hatha yoga styles. The range of styles can be overwhelming, especially if you're a new student. And even old yoga hands that have been rolling out their mats in the same studio since the 1970s can use some guidance when they want to check out an alternative approach to practice. With so many choices, how do you know which yoga style is right for you?

If you don't have the time—or patience—to try a series of new styles until you find your dream class, an assessment of your personal tastes could point you in the right direction. The following quiz will give even the most confused yoga neophyte some insight into the style that best suits his or her personality, lifestyle, and physical traits.

Directions: In each of the following questions, select the answer that best describes you. If none of the answers seem to fit, choose your closest match.

1. How much of a workout do you expect from a yoga class?

If there isn't a puddle on my mat, I feel like I've been cheated.

I'm more interested in learning how to use my body in purposeful and increasingly subtle ways than in cardiovascular challenge.

Too much exertion disturbs my meditative focus. If I wanted a workout, I'd go to the gym.

2. Do you have any injuries or physical limitations?

Nope. My yoga practice (or other regular activity) keeps me strong and healthy.

I need to be careful because of my injured back (or a different medical issue: strained knee, arthritis, rotator-cuff injury, heart condition, etc.).

I wouldn't let my physical limitations get in the way of my search for enlightenment.

3. What sort of atmosphere are you looking for in a yoga class?

I like a comfortably crowded class that feels energetic, warm, and motivating, especially on those days when I just don't feel like showing up to my mat.

I appreciate a small, personalized class with a peaceful, calm, and nurturing environment.

I look for a quiet, simply adorned space that is conducive to meditation and spiritual exploration.

4. You're visiting a friend who lives a thousand miles away. When you get there, you duck into the first yoga studio you see in an attempt to counter the effects of jet lag. But the class isn't what you're expecting. What do you do?

Try to make the best of the beginner-level class by substituting more advanced versions of poses.

Leave. I can't risk worsening my injury by trusting an unqualified teacher.

Refine my meditative focus while embracing the unexpected.

5. When you were a kid, what were your favorite play activities?

I loved sports, climbing the highest tree in the neighborhood, riding my bike motocross-style through the woods—anything active and challenging.

I toted around a plastic first-aid kit, rescued wounded birds, was fascinated when I broke my arm, and started the occasional random coin collection.

I read poetry, sat alone in the backyard, and held regular seminars with my stuffed animals.

6. Your heroes include:

Serena Williams, Sasha Cohen, Rocky, Lance Armstrong, David Beckham

Andrew Weil, Florence Nightingale, Oprah, Albert Schweitzer

Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus Christ, Mother Teresa, Buddha

7. You've just taken the best yoga class of your life. What is it about the class that impresses you so much that it causes you to convince all your friends that they MUST join you for the next session?

My mat turned into a veritable slip-n-slide. The class made me so sore that I couldn't walk for two days!

The teacher knew exactly what to do for my aching lower back. It was almost like a visit to the chiropractor.

The energy of the class put me into a state of nirvana for the rest of the night.



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