by Kate Hanley
You want to take a yoga class, but the thought of a nearby yogi dripping sweat on your mat keeps you on the treadmill, where your personal boundaries are more protected. Or, you know doing yoga regularly would be good for you, but you love a heart-pumping workout and all the yoga classes you’ve taken seem so slow.
How can you find a yoga practice that suits your personal tastes, abilities, and quirks? Take this quiz to find the yoga style that appeals to your unique personality.Write down the letters of your answers and tally them at the end to find out!
1. You’re invited to a party tonight. You:
A – Spend so much of your time chatting or dancing that you forget to try the appetizers.
B – Call a friend on a whim and invite him or her to go with you.
C – Agonize over your outfit and take at least an hour to shower, dry your hair and apply your make-up.
D – Arrive late, despite your best intentions, and eat and drink a little more than you’d like because you didn’t have time to eat earlier in the day.
E – Hit the gym after work, run an errand on your way, and still have enough energy to be one of the last people to leave.
2. At work, your boss asks you to take on an important last-minute project. You:
A – Ask if you can collaborate on it with a co-worker— it’s always more enjoyable to work with someone else.
B – Say yes immediately — you love any diversion from your routine duties.
C – Freeze up — you hate to turn in anything sub-par, and how could you possibly do a good job in such a short time?
D – Mumble yes, but inwardly groan. The last thing you need is one more entry on your to-do list.
E – Say yes and offer to do a little more than you’re asked. You’re always up for a challenge.
3. A friend calls on Friday morning and says she’ll unexpectedly be in town for the weekend. You:
A – Get excited and insist she stay with you. You’re always up for company!
B – Cancel any plans to spend as much time as possible with her, even if that just means hanging out at home.
C – Make plans to meet up with her but don’t invite her to stay — your apartment or house is a mess and you don’t want anyone to see it.
D – Screen her call and don’t return it. You don’t have the mental or physical energy right now to entertain.
E – Schedule a full weekend of activities to make sure she sees everything there is to see in your hometown.
4. Your ideal vacation is:
A – Renting a house with a group of friends — any place is fine, so long as you’re all together.
B – Hopping in the car and seeing where the road leads.
C – A carefully researched tour of another country or foreign city. You don’t need to see everything, you just want to see the good stuff.
D – A spa retreat or a week on the beach where you don’t have to do anything but eat, sleep, and lie around.
E – A whirlwind visit to a foreign city with each day fully planned to maximize your sightseeing.
5. Your favorite weekend activity is:
A – Hanging with friends, whether it’s at a party or watching a movie on the couch.
B – Letting your intuition and chance encounters be your guide.
C – Shopping for the perfect thing to round out the display on your living room shelves or for the ideal handbag.
D – Sleeping or vegging out.
E – A little exercise, a little socializing, a little work around the house. You like to make the most of your weekends and are uncomfortable if you have too much downtime.
If you chose mostly As, you are…
A Social Butterfly
You love to be stimulated, enjoy attention, and thrive on feeling connected to others. Try an Anusara class, which often features student demonstrations and fosters a strong sense of community among its students, or Kundalini, which also emphasizes a feeling of inter-connectedness between you and the world at large. Or, get off the beaten track with face yoga or laughter yoga — two non-traditional forms of yoga that require a sense of playfulness.
If you chose mostly Bs, you are…
A Free Spirit
You love spontaneity and expressing yourself creatively, and hate to be told what to do or tied down to a set routine. Try Vinyasa (also known as power yoga or flow yoga) for its creatively choreographed classes that are generally accompanied by a rockin’ soundtrack. Or, work on your resistance to anything ordered with Ashtanga or Bikram classes, which always follow the same set sequence of poses.
If you chose mostly Cs, you are…
A Neat Freak
You like everything to be “just so” — whether that refers to the way your desk at work is arranged, how your CDs are organized, or what you’re wearing. An Iyengar class, with its focus on precision and meticulous use of props (is it any wonder Martha Stewart is a fan?), will satisfy your perfectionist nature. Ashtanga and Bikram are other good choices—because they follow the same sequence of poses in each class, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to refine your technique. If Bikram is too sweaty for you (someone might drip on your mat, after all), try a restorative class instead. With its mellow pace, restorative yoga is definitely a sweat-free affair.
If you chose mostly Ds, you are…
Whatever your primary personality traits may be, they are getting drowned out by your need to rest, relax, and de-stress. Take steps toward feeling like your true self again by attending quieter yoga classes that teach you how to consciously relax. Good options include a deeply relaxing restorative yoga class; a gentle, slow-moving Kripalu or Sivananda yoga class; or a focus-promoting Iyengar class with its careful attention to alignment.
If you chose mostly Es, you are…
You are always on the go and no to-do list is too long for you to tackle. You thrive on challenge and are always up for a new adventure. Try a vigorous style of yoga, such Bikram, Ashtanga, or Vinyasa, to capitalize on your high energy level and appeal to your heat-loving nature. Or, counter your hard-driving nature with a quieting restorative class or focus-promoting Iyengar class.