Hatha is a general term that can encompass many of the yoga styles but if a class is described as Hatha-style it will probably be relatively untaxing and, as such, a good introduction to the basic yoga poses. Focusing on breathing and meditation, Hatha is an ideal way of winding down at the end of the day.
Based on the teachings of BKS Iyengar, this type of yoga concentrates on bodily alignment. Unlike the flowing Ashtanga style, the emphasis in Iyengar is on holding each pose for a long time and props, such as blocks and straps, may be used to help achieve the correct alignment of the body. The props can help with lack of flexibility initially and with its attention to detail in achieving the poses, Iyengar will provide a good basic knowledge of yoga for beginners.
This style of yoga is designed to activate the kundalini energy in the spine through poses, breath control, chanting and meditation. Movements are likely to be small, repetitive and precise and carried out in conjunction with sounds and breathing that activate different parts of the body and mind. Kundalini focuses on healing and purifying the mind, body and emotions; it may be less physically less strenuous than some other types but no less challenging.
A slower form of yoga that develops balance, strength and healing and is ideal for beginners, people with chronic pain or who are recovering from injury or illness.