I have been asked to define my yoga in a couple of class bios recently, which is hard because I don't consider myself a Hatha, Vinyasa or Ashtanga yoga teacher. Why? Because I believe it's really important to practise a number of different styles and so that I can adapt how I am teaching in order to suit my students.
Every person is different, not just in how their bodies operate but also in how they learn. So when I get a class full of Type A, high octane yogis and yoginis, I don't teach them in the same way I would a class who may be slightly more introverted. Even if their physical needs are identical, it's also really important to take into account people's mental and emotional needs too.
This is why some yogis gravitate towards one form of yoga over another. If you like the safety of repetition, whether it's because you find routine soothing or because you like a high energy class, then Ashtanga is a practise you may enjoy. If you are more drawn to exploration of the breath then maybe Hatha may be more appealing. But I encourage everyone to try out different styles of yoga so that you can learn yourself what your body needs without having to conform to one specific style. And this is why I avoid classifying my yoga class into a 'Hatha/Ashtanga/Vinyasa' box, because I believe the best 'school of thought' when it comes to yoga is the one that works for you.
Next time you're starting a class, pause, take a moment to check in and ask yourself the following questions:
How do I feel mentally? (alert, slow, scattered, calm)
How do I feel physically (hungry, achey, energetic, heavy)
How do I feel emotionally? (happy, sad, overwhelmed)
All these feelings cross into each other. For example if you feel anxious that can often mean you feel anxious physically and emotionally. But all this information helps you ground into your body now and what it might need today. And whilst yoga doesn't need to be without goals, there is more than one way to get there, which is why I teach different styles!
If you haven't tried a class then feel free to pop by to a class, or DM me is you would prefer a private session. I hope this gives a bit of insight and do let me know if you would like to do a deep dive into any of the particular schools of yoga!