Choosing the right yoga class to meet your needs can be tricky as a complete beginner. I spent years chopping and changing between teachers, studios and countless youtube videos to find the style that really resonated with me!
So to make your yoga decisions easier I've condensed a brief description of what to expect from different yoga classes. They do of course still vary greatly between teachers and if you have any concerns or questions you should raise them with your teacher before attending.
Vinyasa Flow Yoga
Vinyasa Yoga is all about connecting your breath to your movement. The teacher will likely guide you through a flowing sequence with some creative transitions. Whilst there are some Vinyasa classes for beginners, it could be a good idea to familiarise yourself with Sun Salutations and some key postures before attending. No two Vinyasa classes are the same, so it's a great option if you like to change things up and explore moving your body in new ways!
Hatha Yoga is a great style to begin your yoga journey with. In a Hatha yoga class you can expect to be taken through a number of different asana's (postures) at a gentle pace with plenty of guidance to make you feel confident in your movement. There are no set postures in Hatha Yoga which gives the teacher freedom to make it their own, so make sure you try a few classes before deciding if it's for you.
Yin Yoga is based on the Taoist concept of Yin and Yang. In a Yin class you will be guided into a series of floor based postures that will be held for around 3-5 minutes. Yin Yoga targets and stretches both the deep connective tissue between the joints and the fascia throughout the body. Some classes are advertised as beginner friendly, however if you are new to the practice or suffer from any injuries you should be comfortable modifying to ensure you are happy holding a position for a long period.
Ashtanga Yoga is a similar style to Vinyasa yoga as it is one breath per movement. In an Ashtanga class there is an active and challenging set sequence which is repeated in the same order each time. This repetition allows the practitioners to tap into a flow state, which can be very rewarding. Ashtanga is not suitable for beginners unless the introduction is very intentional (e.g. 1-2-1) as it is a fast pace and some postures can be intense for the body.
There are of course a few other styles such as Iyengar, Restorative, Kundalini, Mysore, Jivamukti and Bikram. Consider doing a little research into any other styles that peak your interest :)