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How to Decipher Yoga Class Descriptions

Deciphering which yoga class to take at a studio can be very confusing. If you’re new to the practice of yoga you want to be certain that you’re taking the right class for your experience level or preference.

If you book your class ahead of coming in to the studio, you might have to wing it, picking a random class. What you don’t want, is to be in an advanced level class when what you really wanted was stretch for athletes.

Here’s a quick guide to figuring out what to expect from certain class names on a yoga schedule. Keep in mind that some studios have their own branded classes. This is just a general guide.


If you see a class with the title “flow” listed on the schedule, it means breath to movement. What that means is, your instructor will link inhales and exhales with postures.

You inhale and exhale while moving from one yoga posture to the next, and they flow together. If it’s a slow flow class expect to move slowly. A traditional flow style class can move at a fast pace. Which brings me to another description.

Mixed Levels

A mixed levels yoga class contains participants from beginner to advanced levels. Ideally, instructors provide modifications for everyone in this class.

Mixed levels is a good option if you’re not beginner, but not quite advanced. You can attempt a posture beyond your normal level. But not feel as out of place as you would if the class were advanced.


In this type of class, the room is heated. The temperature depends on the studio, but can range from 85 to 90 degrees. Heaters are used or the thermostat is raised to reach the desired temperature.

Expect to get hot and sweaty in this moderate to advanced practice. If you’re not accustomed to exercising in heat, this is the class to avoid.


As this class type suggests, it’s for the person with minimal yoga experience. Expect the instructor to explain postures in detail and break things down on terms that are understandable.

If there are flows, they are usually slow and easy to follow along. Use of props is encouraged in all level of class, but things like blocks and straps are more common in beginner classes.

It’s a Wrap

Pick the class type that’s best for you. Never be afraid to ask questions, or for suggestions from the front desk team or instructors. If you find yourself in a class more advanced than your comfort level, rest when you need to, and move at your own pace.

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