Ananda: Developed by Swami Kriyananda to be a gentle, inward experience with each pose practiced with its own silent affirmation. This yoga style is not an athletic or aerobic practice. Poses are practiced with safety and correct alignment in mind. Energization Exercises made up of 39 special energy-control techniques are a unique aspect of this practice. Pranayama and classical meditation techniques are also taught.
Anusara: Developed by John Friend. The “Universal Principles of Alignment™" is used to bring what is referred to as attitude, alignment, and action to each pose. Over 265 poses are taught as part of the study.
Ashtanga: Developed by K. Pattabhi Jois. This demanding series of postures is designed to build strength, flexibility and stamina. Poses are synchronized with the breath to improve circulation and calm the mind.
Bikram™: Developed by Bikram Choudhury. A series of 26 asanas and 2 breathing exercises are performed at a temperature of 105°F. The belief is that practicing in the heat will prevent injury, deepen stretches, and relieve tension.
Bhakti Yoga: Referred to as the religion of love, bhakti is a spiritual path to experiencing the divine. Through faith and constant remembrance of God, one ultimately forms a union with the divine. In practice, the individual seeks the presence of God in every living being through acts of worship, devotion, and service. The doctrine “Love is God and God is Love” is fundamental to bhakti yoga.
Forrest Yoga™: Developed by Ana Forrest, this vinyasa-style of yoga integrates Native American healing principles to mend psychic wounds. By engaging in a series of dynamic poses with an attention on abdominal work and breathing, Forrest asserts that the created heat will release toxins and free emotions held in the body.
Hasya Yoga (Laughter Yoga): Developed by Jiten Kohi and popularized by Dr. Madan Kataria and Madhuri Kataria. The combination of laughing and yogic breathing oxygenates the body, improves circulation and digestion, enhances the immune system, and strengthens cardiovascular functions.
Hatha: Introduced by Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century, many of the yoga styles listed here fall under the heading of hatha yoga. It is a physical practice to prepare the body to sit for long periods of meditation. The focus is placed on poses, yogic breathing, and meditation.
Integral Yoga®: Developed by Swami Satchidananda. The method integrates hatha, bhakti, japa, jnana, karma, and raja yoga elements for a complete development of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the practitioner. Heavy emphasis is placed on pranayama and meditation.
ISHTA (Integrated Science of Hatha, Tantra, and Ayurveda): Developed by Kavi Yogi Swarananda Mani Finger and Yogiraj Alan Finger. The practice blends postures, breathing, and visualization meditation tailored to each individual’s needs. This yoga style intends to instill greater self-awareness and self-transformation.
Iyengar: Developed by B.K.S. Iyengar. Careful attention to detail and the precise alignment of postures, as well as the use of props such as blocks and belts are hallmarks of this yoga style. Postures are generally held for significant period of time to bring awareness to the pose and deepen it. Over 200 classical asanas and 14 different types of pranayamas are within the Iyengar method of yoga.
Japa Yoga: The silent or spoken repetition of a mantra or name of God. Japa mala, a string of 108 beads (akin to a rosary) may be used to count each repeated mantra. The act is a single-minded devotion and develops concentration.
Jivamukti Yoga: David Life and Sharon Gannon are the founders of Jivamukti Yoga. This practice is physically challenging with each class centered on a theme that is explored through yogic scripture, chanting, meditation, asana, pranayama, and music.
Jnana Yoga: Also known as the yoga of knowledge, the practitioner seeks to know the truth about life by transcending the individual thoughts and sense organs in order to achieve enlightenment. Students of this style of yoga read scriptures, meditate, and practice selfless devotion to God.
Kali Ray TriYoga®: Developed by Kali Ray. TriYoga works to connect the body, mind, and spirit. Each pose is designed to flow into the other and is practiced in unison with the breath and awareness. The poses focus on developing strength and flexibility.
Karma Yoga: The path of action and selfless service or more simply put as the yoga of doing the right thing for its own sake.
Kripalu Yoga: It believes that prana (the subtle flow of energy or life force) can be blocked or disturbed by thought. The physical practice of asanas assists in letting go of emotional and mental blocks. As a result prana is able to flow unobstructed through the body to bring about healing.
Kundalini: In the tradition of Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini is untapped energy, often represented by a coiled snake residing at the base of the spine. This energy can be moved up in to each of the seven chakras. Once the energy reaches the crown chakra, enlightenment occurs. Chanting, kriyas (a sequence of poses and breathing to cleanse blocked energy channels in the body) focused on a specific area of the body, meditation, and a closing song are usually part of a Kundalini class.
Oki-Do Yoga: Created by Masahiro Oki. The use of laughter is a key element in the practice. Any fear or frustration initiated by moving into or holding the pose can be diffused with laughter. Difficult poses may also be assisted by a partner for support, balance, or stretching.
ParaYoga®: Founded by Yogarupa Rod Stryker. Vinyasa krama or sequencing of poses is supposed to help students move deeper into familiar postures. This style of yoga also strives to seamlessly incorporate asana, pranayama, bandha, mudra, visualization, meditation, chanting, kriya, mantra, and kundalini.
Prana Flow Yoga: Developed by Shiva Rea. Asanas are fused with chanting, visualization, chakras, marmas (pressure points in the body), and pranayama. Poses are sequenced to flow from one to the other with the breath and can include standing poses, arm balances, twists, backbends, hip openers, forwards bends and inversions.
Power Yoga: Adapted from Ashtanga by Beryl Bender Birch and Bryan Krest. This type of yoga is similar to Ashtanga or a vinyasa-style yoga. However, power yoga does not follow a set series of poses as Ashtanga does. The focus is on strength and flexibility.
Raja Yoga: Mind and emotions are brought into balance through ethical practices, concentration, and meditation. Asanas are used to ready the body for prolonged meditation. Meditative poses such as lotus pose (padmasana), accomplished pose (siddhasana), easy pose (sukhasana), and thunderbolt pose (vajrasana) are commonly applied in this practice.
Restorative Yoga: Poses to quiet the mind, relax the body, relieve fatigue and stress are emphasized in this type of yoga. Props may be used to support the poses for greater ease while holding the posture.
Sivananda: Created by Swami Vishnu-devananda. This form of hatha yoga gives prominence to relaxation and yogic breathing. The class is generally structured around savasana, skull-shining breath, alternate nostril breathing, sun salutations, and 12 basic asanas.
Somatic Yoga: Created by Eleanor Criswell Hanna. This gentle style of yoga includes visualization, slow transitions into postures, conscious breathing, and mindfulness joined with recurrent relaxation between postures. The practice loosens constricted muscles.
Somayog: Developed by Danielle Munuz. This gentle practice is both therapeutic and restorative with a focus on the spine, pelvis, and hips to improve spinal flexibility and relieve back pain. Movements are slow & repetitive. Meditation, relaxation, and breathing are also components of the class.
Svaroopa® Yoga: Developed by Rama Birch. Svaroopa is not an athletic type of yoga. This gentle style of yoga is intended to loosen and relax muscles. The emphasis is on the opening of the spine by beginning at the tailbone and progressing through each spinal area. The majority of the poses use props for support. Correct alignment of the body is given priority in each asana.
Tantra Yoga: This branch of yoga uses ritual for the realization of our own divine nature. Physical and ritual cleaning, breathing exercises, contemplation, visualization, and mantra are part of the path. The individual is encouraged to slow down and stay present in all aspects of behavior. Instead of renouncing all desires for asceticism, employing each desire with a sense of awareness can allow the practitioner to experience the divine in every act whether it is simply eating a piece of fruit or the experience of sexual union. All facets of life are woven together as an expression of the divine. For example, the female and male or spiritual and corporeal are blended and neither is a barrier to spiritual enlightenment, just another source of energy.
Viniyoga: Developed by Sri. T. Krishnamacharya. This gentle practice adapts yoga to suit each individual’s need, and function is stressed over form. The flow of the breath is connected with movement of the spine. Practices may also include pranayama, meditation, reflection, study and other classic elements.
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