Learn about the amazing styles of yoga to try right now. You will be surprised at the different variations of other yoga’s available to be practiced today.
Ananda Yoga is a classical form of Yoga. It is a variation of Hatha Yoga. Proponents of this Ananda Yoga claim it is returning Hatha Yoga to its spiritual fundamental nature. They feel its movements focus on the true internal quintessence that defines yoga,
The process of Ananda Yoga is a gentle one. The asanas (Yoga postures) are intended to aid the body in its search for harmony. The movements help to push the flow of energy from within the physical to the brain. Here, it helps create the ideal condition for meditation. The postures also help the practitioner to realign the body. The practice demands attention is paid to breathing properly.
To reach the ultimate level of integration and harmonization of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of your being requires dedication to the following practices:
• The use of Asana or yoga postures
• The practice of Pranayama or special breathing techniques
Anusara has several meanings or interpretations. These include “Flowing with Grace, “Following your Heart” and “Flowing with Nature.” Anusara came into existence in 1997. Its founder was John Friend, an American. It, like many of the current forms of yoga, is a variation or version of Hatha Yoga.
The philosophical approach finds its source in Tantric teachings. This results in an emphasis on the positive aspects of life as well as on physical alignment.
Unlike many types of philosophy, the approach adopted by Ansuara Yoga holds tightly and reinforces the premise in the inherent goodness in all living beings. This adds a light touch to the classes. Some refer to Ansura Yoga is a playful yoga.
Yet, the open approach is contained within a very strict conformation to strict principles governing the alignment of the physical body. These are called the Universal Principles of Alignment.
Anusara is 1 of several yoga types that utilizes props during the practice. It all relies on what are the 3 As: “Attitude, Alignment and Action.” A standard class is as follows:
• Assignment of heart-oriented theme
• Attention paid to the Universal Principles of Alignment
• Postures or poses can comprise any of the 250 poses of Anusara Yoga
• Savansana or Meditation concludes the class
The practice of Anusara Yoga has a singular intent. It is to help students become open with their hearts and minds. In doing so, it is hoped they will be able to make a complete connection with the ultimate divine found in themselves and within others.
Bhakti Yoga is also known as “devotional yoga.” It predates Hatha Yoga. Bhaktri Yoga focuses on the surrender of the self to the divine. It is a devotional form of yoga. In some North American practices, Bhakti Yoga has become an exercise.
The practitioner of Bhakti Yoga may use many ways to achieve his or her goal. In fact, there is no specific way to reach the ultimate goal. Yet, no matter what the position, the use of meditation and visualization helps the practitioner to work towards the ultimate aim of love and devotion to the Divine Power or Almighty One. It is necessary to focus on the existence of this being. It is also essential to use the practice to learn how to obtain true faith and love and compassion for all beings.
Chocolate Yoga is a young newcomer. It is a child of the 21st century. This yoga is a variation on Hatha yoga. It combines Hatha Yoga techniques with vinyasa flow. Alignment receives careful attention.
Chocolate Yoga focuses on relaxation of the mind and toning of the body. It helps to strengthen and stretch the muscles of a practitioner. Yet, Chocolate Yoga also has the intent of helping the mind to unwind, relax then recharge. It a yoga gentle on its practitioners since it believes the user and teacher should modify the poses, adapting them to the individual‘s physical restrictions.
To help the practitioner move a step closer to the goal of healthiness, the teacher supplies a small piece of chocolate. This is raw cacao. Its purpose is to help the mind and body find happiness and health.
The founder of Forrest Yoga is west-coast teacher Ana Forrest. Forrest Yoga is a vinyasa-style form of yoga. It focuses on breathing and abdominal work. This is the core of each person. Its intent is to help each practitioner to strengthen the physical entity while finding a nucleus of freedom within. By connecting with the core of their being, the practitioner becomes centered and stronger.
Forrest Yoga uses a vigorous and physically demanding series of asanas to achieve this end. Each pose is part of a progression that becomes increasingly demanding.
Forrest Yoga also utilizes heat to help remove toxins from the body. The practice works with the modern body type to cleanse the body while freeing the individual from any pain, anxiety and emotional. Forrest Yoga is a healing yoga. Its mainstays are stated to be Breath, Strength, Integrity and Spirit.
Forrest Yoga helps you connect to your core – getting strong and centered. It uses heat, deep breathing and vigorous sequences to sweat out toxins. The long holds in the pose progressions help you flush, oxygenate and rejuvenate every cell.
Integral Yoga is a form of traditional yoga. It is a variation of Hatha Yoga. Integral Yoga is based on the teachings of Sri Swami Sachidananda. He arrived in the United States in the 1960s. He opened up several schools and established the basis for the system.
Integral Yoga follows 6 specific practices. These are
• Raja Yoga
• Hatha Yoga
• Bhakti Yoga
• Japa Yoga
• Karma Yoga
• Jnana Yoga
This full or complete Yoga seeks to find and reveal the spiritual unity that exists in the Universe. It is yoga attempting to produce harmony among all living beings. Integral Yoga classes tend to follow a set program this includes:
• Kirtans or chanting
• Pranyamas or breathing exercises
• Relaxation techniques
• Silent meditation
Integral Yoga uses all these techniques to reach its stated goals. The exercises are mild. Soul-searching and selfless work are encouraged as part of a lifelong approach to selflessness and harmony with all creation.
The founder of ISHTA (Integral Science of Hatha and Tantric Arts) was Kavi Yogi Swarananda Mani Finger of South Africa. He and his son, Alan Finger, created and then popularized it. Alan was responsible for introducing it into the United States. ISHTA is an eclectic combination of traditional yoga practices. It intent, however, is to present a method through which its practitioners can incorporate the “best of yoga” in a fashion that is suitable to their own specific path.
ISHTA bases its approach on:
• Hatha Yoga
• Tantra Yoga
Jivamukti Yoga is a new form of yoga. It dates to 1986. While in New York, Sharon Gannon and David Life formulated Jivamukti Yoga, with its links to Ashanta/Asanta Yoga. It has since become popular with several celebrities including Sting.
Jivamukti Yoga is a method of asana practice that comprises a physically demanding workout. Of particular importance are the elements of chanting, meditation and prayer. Jivamakuti Yoga consists of the following:
• Yoga scripture
• Animal and political activism
The Jivamukti Yoga method is a combination of intense physical practices with spiritual intent.
Jnana Yoga refers to the “path of true knowledge or wisdom.” Some consider it to be the most difficult path. The intent of Jnana Yoga is to experience unity with the Divine or God. It attempts to do so by removing the obstacles. It works to break up the various layers of ignorance that encompass the individual.
The philosophy of Jnana Yoga perceives all knowledge lies within us. Practicing Jnana Yoga will allow the practitioner to achieve this reality. In practicing Jnana Yoga, the individual obtains a tranquil state. He or she reaches a place where self-control, concentration and endurance are able to predominate over the mundane and temporary maters of life.
The description of Karma Yoga lies overtly within its name. Karma Yoga is the yoga of action. It is the dedication of an individual’s actions (or karma), and all it entails, to the Divine, Almighty or God. Karma Yoga purifies the heart by teaching its practitioners to act without thought to gain, fame, power, respect, honor or any other type of reward. This is a selfless practice. In it, the individual learns to sublimate the ego.
Standard components of Karma Yoga are:
• Yama – attitude towards the environment
• Niyama – personal attitude
• Asana – postures or positions
• Pranayama – breathing
KALI RAY TRIYOGA
Kali Ray TriYoga is a product of the 1980s. It was developed by Kali Ray in the United States. It obtains its name from the intent of the founder to emphasize the triple nature of the individual. TriYoga perceives each person to consist of the physical, the mental and the spiritual. It is the purpose of TriYoga to unify the diverse parts to create a harmony within and without.
The sequences of TriYoga reflect a Kundalini Yoga influence. They flow from 1 into the other. These are synchronized movements in which the following play key roles at all times:
• asana (positions)
• prayanayama (rhythmic or regulated breathing exercises)
• Mudra (focus)
TriYoga appeals to all levels, physical conditions and ages. Its function is to reduce stress, harmonize the individual’s parts and provide increased energy and clarity of mind.
Kripalu Yoga is the yoga of consciousness. It is also the “willful practice.” The developer of Kripalu Yoga, Amrit Desai, arrived in the United States from India in 1960. He started teaching Kripalu Yoga in 1966 in Lenox, Massachusetts. It has as its basis the postures of Hatha Yoga.
The goal of Kripalu Yoga is both physical and psychological. It is introspective in its emphasis on listening to your own body for feedback before proceeding to the next posture. This requires the retention of the postures longer than in other forms of yoga.
Each practice session begins with meditation followed by centering, breathing and warm-up exercises. The actual path of Kripalu Yoga goes accordingly:
• Learn the postures
• Explore your body’s abilities while learning the poses
• Begin to hold the poses for a longer period
• Increase your concentration
• Continue to develop your awareness of how your body feels
• Develop a calm meditative state as you flow subconsciously from 1 movement into the next
Kripalu Yoga is a means of discovering the self as well as a way to self- empower.
This form of yoga is often referred to as the Yoga of Awareness. The kundalini is literally the curl of the lock of hair. It is a serpent coiled at the base of the spine. The practice of Kundalini Yoga was kept a secret until 1969. In that year, Yogi Bhajan made it accessible to the public.
Kundalini Yoga is an invigorating practice. Its focus is about discovering the prana or life force (breath) within each individual. It concentrates on arousing the prana from the base of the spine and allowing it to move upwards. While asana practices always involve pranayama, in Kundalini Yoga this method is essential. The use of asanas in conjunction with pranayama helps the practitioner to release the life force energy found in the spine. This helps him or her heal the body and purify the mind and emotions.
To achieve this, those in Kundalini Yoga move quickly from 1 pose to the next. There is repetition of the positions but no sustained holding of the asanas. A typical class in Kundalini Yoga involves the following methods or elements:
• Chanting of mantras
• Pranayama or breathing control
• Asanas or positions
• Hand and finger motions
Mantra Yoga is the Yoga of sacred or potent sound. In Mantra Yoga, the repetition of certain sounds helps achieve peace and increase concentration in meditation. A practitioner will chant mantras in a purposeful fashion to help them reach a specified goal. This is usually liberation. Common mantras are “OM,” “hum,” or “ram.” OM is a universal mantra. There are also mantras you can select through a dream, by personal choice or with the help of a Guru. A Mantra may also be tantric of pouranic.
Repetition of a mantra is japa. As a result, Mantra Yoga may also be Japa Yoga. During the practice, the practitioner may chant the mantra aloud (baikhari), in whispers or a soft voice (upanshu) or inside the head (pouranic). All methods have their advantages and disadvantages. During the process, the individual usually
• Sits in an asana with a mala (string of 108 beads) in hand
• Recites the mantra
• Fingers the beads while doing so with middle finger and thumb only
• The beads do not need to be visible to others
• The practitioner may practice vinyasa – the fluid movements from asana to asana
Mantra Yoga intends to provide release of the negative thoughts by freeing the mind to explore these emotions. It also builds up a source of energy for channelling or re channeling for the personal and collective good.
Purna Yoga is the creation or development of Sri Aurobindo. He started the study of Purna or Integral Yoga in the 1900s. This form of Yoga relies on other schools or types, but its focus is on the seeking of the Divine. The physical is the tool through which the individual can reach this synthesis.
The word “Purna” means complete or whole. It utilizes the entire wealth of yoga knowledge to obtain a unity of the 3 parts of a human: body, mind and soul. It feels the need to reach an integration of these components – a synthesis of the various aspects to create a complete entity. Purna Yoga attempts to do so through using
• meditation – Purna-based
• Yogic philosophy
The modern schools of Purna Yoga have adapted to modern lifestyles, yet base their teachings on traditional yoga systems. At the heart of the teachings is the writings of Sri Aurobindo. In addition, practitioners and schools call on the feminine aspect of the Divine – the Mother as well as the Vedics, the masters Patanjali and BKS Iynegar and various traditional and modern systems of nutrition. Purna Yoga also owes much to the modern founders, Aadil Palkhivala and Mirra.
Raja is the word for “king.” Raja Yoga is a path often called the “Royal Road.” This system of Astanga yoga utilizes the concept of the Eight Limbs. Its intent is to utilize this concept to achieve complete mental control. The emphasis, however, is not on the physical but on the spiritual. Its goal is for the practitioner to realize liberation through the practice of meditation.
Meditation is of primary importance but in order to reach this goal, it is also essential to control the body, energy and the senses. Only through doing so can practitioners control the mind and connect with the “king” within. In finally freeing him or herself, the individual arrives at a harmony between him or herself and the environment.
The name – Restorative Yoga, aptly describes the purpose of this form of yoga. The intention of this type of yoga is to totally relax the body and provide it the means through which it can restore its energy and life force. To accomplish this, the practitioner lies upon the floor of the yoga studio space. He or she uses a variety of props to abet total muscle relaxation. These include straps, blankets, mats, blocks and bolsters.
Restorative Yoga is therapeutic in nature. The execution of all poses is helped by the use of the yoga aids.
Sivananda Yoga is a traditional form of yoga. It bears similarities to Integral Yoga. The founder was Swami Vishnu-devananda. He opened the initial Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center in 1959. The purpose of this form of yoga is to help the body retain and maintain its health.
The practice consists of 12 different poses and focuses on 5 principles. The points consist of:
• Pranayama – breathing exercises
• Asanas – yoga postures
• Savasana – relaxation techniques
• Diet – vegetarian
• Vedanta and dyhana – meditation
Svaroopa Yoga is the product of Rama Berch (Swami Nirmalananda). The name means “bliss of your own being.” This is a form of Hatha Yoga. Svaroopa Yoga is designed to help all levels of practitioners, but is particularly suited to beginners. Its intent is to help promote healing of the body by releasing spinal tension. Movements work on starting release of stress through the tail bone then work slowly up the spine.
The intent of Svaroopa Yoga is for the practitioner to listen to what the body actually needs. It helps the student to focus on the physical reality and through it to achieve the inner reality.
Props are often utilized in Svaroopa Yoga. These include chairs. The practitioner may also use blocks and blankets to facilitate the poses. This is to help the practitioner achieve svaroopa through compassionate means.
TRADITIONAL THAI YOGA
Traditional Thai Yoga comprises 1 portion of Thai medicine. Other components are Thai Massage and Thai Herbal Medicine. It has its roots in the practices of Jivaka Kumarabhacca, a friend of Buddha. Another term for Traditional Thai Yoga is Ruesri Dat Ton – Hermit’s autocure.
The basis of Thai Traditional Yoga is the Sen Energy System. These 10 energy channels are responsible for the flow of sen (energy or life force). The use of yoga postures is to ensure the energy flows freely and in balance. Thai Yoga is all about establishing, restoring and/or maintaining a balance of the flow of energy in the Sen.
This is a preventative and therapeutic approach. Each posture combines with specific breathing techniques. This evokes and channels energy. It remains in the system to ensure the proper function and balance of the life force.
Viniyoga is a therapeutic form of yoga. It owes its existence to the studies of T.K.V. Desikachar and T. Krishnamacharya. It is gentle in its approach. Its intent is to address the health issues of those who have been injured or undergone surgery. This is a very individualized type of yoga. It tailors itself to meet the needs of each practitioner. It adapts to their health issues and physical condition, altering as they improve and advance along the path towards wellness.
In addition to those with actual physical injuries, there are others who prefer this form of yoga. Viniyoga is a favorite of seniors, beginners and people suffering from chronic pain. In some practices, Viniyoga refers to the use of yoga techniques to address the individual needs, interests and condition of any practitioner.
There are various forms of Zen Yoga in existence. In 2002, Aaron Hoopes came up with his approach to what is a holistic practice. Zen Yoga combines Traditional Chinese Medicine with martial arts and certain yoga practices. Asanas and breathing techniques are all important in helping the practitioner relieve stress, maintain a healthy physical and mental character and aid the individual in moving towards a Zen concept of life.
The different types of Zen Yoga may include
• Taoist Yoga
• Hatha Yoga
• Shanti Yoga
• Tai Chi
• Zen meditation
I personally had never heard of these yoga’s until I started reading about them for this article. I hope you enjoyed this post and learned something new.
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Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.