Which Yoga Style Matches Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type?
Today I will be discussing the different yoga styles that suit your personality type. Maybe this article will give you the nudge you need to try a new style of yoga, or it may be an interesting piece in the puzzle of self-knowledge. If you haven’t tried the Myers-Briggs test, you can find out your type here.
Whether the Myers-Briggs personality test is the most scientifically valid measure of personality or not, it has clearly resonated with a lot of people who are able to see themselves in these types. The types are composed of 4 different scales: Introversion – Extraversion, Sensing – Intuition, Thinking – Feeling, and Judging – Perceiving. This makes up 16 personality types in total. So let’s take a deep dive at each type and see which style of yoga is their best match:
ISTJ (The Inspector) – Iyengar Yoga
ISTJ’s are methodical in their approach to life, preferring order and attention to detail. Iyengar yoga places emphasis on postural alignment and focuses on the precise details of the practice. ISTJ’s would appreciate Iyengar yoga classes for its application on the finer parts of the practice, allowing ISTJ’s to gain a deeper understanding of the asanas.
ISTP (The Crafter) – Anusara Yoga
ISTP’s are often easy-going yet action-oriented people who prefer to understand how things work. Anusara means ‘flowing with grace’ and is a dynamic style of yoga. This fits ISTP’s laidback and action driven personality perfectly. Anusara is also great for this type as teachers often take time to explain the alignment and anatomy of postures.
ISFJ (The Protector) – Yin Yoga
ISFJ’s tend to put their focus on others and, while they are good at understanding emotions, they often neglect their own. Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body, often leading to a release of emotions that are stored in areas such as the hips. In this way, Yin yoga can help ISFJ’s learn to sit with their feelings better. ISFJ’s also love to learn by doing – Yin yoga is an experiential practice so ISFJ’s will appreciate this aspect.
ISFP (The Artist) – Sivananda
ISFP’s have strong moral beliefs which they incorporate into their day-to-day environment. Sivananda yoga is based on 5 key principles: Proper exercise (asanas), Proper breathing (pranayama), Proper relaxation (savasana), Proper diet (vegetarian) and Positive thinking and meditation. This holistic approach will be attractive to ISFP’s as they will be able to take their practice off the mat more readily than some other styles of yoga. However ISFP’s may get bored and crave variety from the 12-posture series used in typical Sivananda classes, therefore ISFP’s should integrate other styles of yoga as part of their whole practice.
INFJ (The Advocate) – Kundalini
INFJ’s are highly sensitive people who enjoy contemplating the deep meanings in life. Kundalini yoga aims to release the kundalini energy at the base of our spines through the 7 chakras, and therefore kundalini works with subtle energies. These subtle energies are more likely to be felt by the highly sensitive INFJ, meaning they will resonate with the practice more easily than other types. Kundalini yoga can also help maximise creative potential and realise your life purpose – areas INFJ’s will love to explore.
INFP (The Mediator) – Yin Yoga
INFP’s have a poignant inner world, being very in tune with their emotions and the emotions of others. In this way, INFP’s would enjoy the emotional component many people experience during the practice of Yin yoga. Yin yoga is very effective at activating the parasympathetic nervous system which would allow INFP’s to gain a deep sense of calm and relaxation. In the same way that INFP’s listen more than they speak, Yin holds postures more than it changes them.
INTJ (The Architect) – Yoga Therapy
INTJ’s are natural problem solvers, often looking at situation from a rational and analytical stand point. INTJ’s may benefit most from yoga therapy as this type of yoga assesses the individual and then creates an customised course of treatment, fitting the logical path INTJ’s minds take. Yoga therapy has also had the most extensive scientific study of the different styles to yoga, namely due to its therapeutic benefits, which may give INTJ’s confidence to invest their time in this practice.
INTP (The Thinker) – Mysore style Ashtanga yoga
INTP’s like independence and to work to an individualised programme. The Mysore style of Ashtanga yoga allows students to follow a series of movement and breathing practices that are bespoke to where you are in your practice, making it the perfect match for INTP’s. INTP’s also focus more on the exploration of a subject rather than the end goal. In the Mysore style students can build on their practice at their own pace, emphasising growth will be particularly appealing to INTP’s.
ESTP (The Persuader) – Vinyasa
ESTP’s are noted for their energy and spontaneity, enjoying the rush of life. For this type a more dynamic style of yoga is required. Vinyasa is a flowing practice that links postures together through the breath. ESTP’s, who easily get bored, will enjoy the variety used in Vinyasa yoga. ESTP’s may also find that they enter a flow state whilst practicing Vinyasa, which can help increase focus.
ESTJ (The Director) – Ashtanga
ESTJ’s are noted for their commitment to tradition, standards and rules. For this reason ESTJ’s would enjoy the set postures provided in Ashtanga yoga in the primary, intermediate and advanced series, as well as the tradition of parampara (the succession of knowledge from teacher to student). ESTJ’s dedicated nature allows them to move to each Ashtanga series without boredom.
ESFP (The Performer) – Acro Yoga
ESFP are one of the most social of all the personality types, they enjoy spending time with others. Their gregariousness makes ESFP’s perfect for the kind of partner work you will find in an Acro Yoga class. Being fun-loving and not ones to shy away from the spotlight, ESFP’s would find Acro Yoga stimulating and gratifying to their inner natures, especially as a flyer.
ESFJ (The Caregiver) – Hatha Yoga
ESFJ’s are also a very sociable type – preferring to spend time with people. ESFJ’s are caring individuals but can lean toward people-pleasing therefore it is important for ESFJ’s to take some time to look after themselves. Hatha yoga is an umbrella term that incorporates most yoga styles, focusing on balancing the Ha (Sun energy) and the Tha (Moon energy). ESFJ’s would benefit from such equanimity in a group yoga class setting, helping them balance the mind and body.
ENFP (The Champion) – Aerial Yoga
ENFP’s are highly creative people who enjoy fun and spontaneous activities. ENFP’s would suit Aerial yoga as this style allows practitioners to play around with traditional asana, blending it with innovative aerial acrobatics, whilst still maintaining plenty of significance therapeutically. Aerial yoga may also help overcome ENFP’s difficulty with following rules, as silks can make it easier for students to find the correct alignment in postures.
ENFJ (The Giver) – Acro Yoga
Similar to ESFP’s, the ENFJ is a people person through and through. They enjoy time spent with others and are described as encouraging and supportive. ENFJ’s would also find the partnerships in Acro Yoga very satisfying. ENFJ’s have the natural ability to motivate and support others so ENFJ’s would make particularly great bases in Acro Yoga, if their stature allows for it.
ENTP (The Debater) – Vinyasa
ENTP’s are creatives who focus on the big picture rather than the minutiae. ENTP’s also dislike routine, and therefore they need a style of yoga that will maintain their focus and provide ever-changing ways to move. Vinyasa is a highly creative flow-based style of yoga that allows the practitioner to dynamically move in interesting and new ways. Vinyasa can also help focus a busy mind by getting the mind into a flow state. This may be an unexpected benefit to the ENTP who can be a little unfocused at times.
ENTJ (The Commander) – Power Yoga
ENTJ’s are strong outspoken leaders who are assured of their self-worth. ENTJ’s have good communication skills, however they do not like to open up to their emotions or feelings which can make them appear ruthless. ENTJ’s would suit a vigorous, fitness-based approach to yoga like that found in Power yoga. Power yoga undoubtedly challenges you, however it is important that ENTJ’s are mindful not to translate this into competition.
So there you have it! There really is something for everyone in yoga. It’s important to note, however, that sometimes what we really need is the opposite of our natural tendencies. These styles may feel “right” for your personality type but they may not provide balance in the mind and body.
Did your Myer-Briggs type match your favourite style of yoga? Let me know in the comments.
With love & light, Tasmin x
Did you like this article? Pin it!