How Many Types Of Yoga Are There?

I hear you say is there more than one. Yes there are many types of  Yoga. What I love about this blog is I have learned so much in researching about Yoga. It amazes me how much information is out there. There are many types of yoga  on average around 10 styles.

I started with Gita Yoga and progressed to Hatha Yoga one type of Yoga many people are aware of. I will look in to these two types of Yoga and other well-known Yoga’s, such as Ashtanga and Iyengar as they are from different ends of the spectrum so I just found out.

 Brief History Of Yoga:

Yoga is not about being flexible

I say brief because the blog would be to long to read. You may choose to look into the history of Yoga yourself. Well I have just opened up a can of worms.

Yoga’s rich history dates back five thousand years in ancient India in the Indus Valley Civilization (3300 – 1900 BCE) give or take a century.

Yoga has many facets as its roots lay in the Hindu religion.

So as you can imagine it history is rich and steeped in many traditions.

All I will say is Yoga is more than poses, its a way of life.

Gita Yoga:The Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita

I will start with Gita Yoga because that was my introduction to Yoga for a 6-month period.

I was told by the Yoga Teacher at that time a gym environment was not really the place to teach Yoga,

I can appreciate that. So they moved on and then I was introduced to Hatha Yoga.

Before I go in to Hatha Yoga I will explain as much as I know on Gita Yoga.

The Bhagavad Gita translates to Song of the Lord uses the term Yoga in a variety of ways.

A whole chapter is dedicated to traditional yoga practice including meditation, it introduces three types of yoga, Karma, Bhakti and Jnana.

The entire basis of Gita Yoga is a sequence of ten basic postures which work on the brain and the respiratory system, the central nervous system, the autonomic nervous system and seven endocrine ( hormone – producing glands).

These postures, combined with pranayama (the yogic breathing exercises) relaxation and meditation, constitute the program which has been in practice for forty years in Australia.

So it just shows you how Yoga develops and goes off in different directions.

I dare say this a natural occurrence of human nature and how we have changed over time.  The 10 postures they teach is nothing new to yoga.

In there opinion the 10 postures help in this fast paced world to correct the imbalances which create illnesses to which we are subjected today.

The postures range from spinal twists, bridges, shoulder stands, and the king of poses headstand.

This particular topic could have its own blog.

Please leave a message if it a topic you would like me to discuss further.

I will possibly delve deeper in to later on but at this stage I will leave it at that.

Hatha Yoga:

The most known Yoga, maybe because of B.K.S Iyengar book Light on Yoga, first published in 1966.

I do have a copy and do refer to it time to time.

If you are interested in Yoga it explains many things about Yoga worth a read.

The great B.K.S. Iyengar adapted his own form of Yoga to help people from all walks of life enjoy the benefits of yoga in some capacity.

We all can’t be Yogi or Yogini to devote your life to this practice it is not always feasible.

Iyengar yoga developed many yoga props to assist a student in there Yoga practice.

OK back to Hatha Yoga breakdown of meaning, (Ha – SUN) (Tha – MOON) representing unison of the opposite forces in our body and life.

I could get real technical here and I may at times.

Hatha Yoga has been the Yoga I have done the most so I will discuss my experiences of Hatha Yoga.

My Teacher of approx 10 years in physical terms as I still evolve and learn from those experiences to this day was taught by his Mother in Sri Lanka at an early age.

I will leave names out of my blog as I am not sure if I should talk about people who I have no contact with anymore, and I have no consent to do so.

I have experienced many types of yoga.

Gentle to a fast flowing vinyasa style of yoga.

I prefer the slow gentle practice as I get older.

Hatha tends to be the slower version of yoga, much the same postures just at a slower pace.

So depending on where you are at in your physical capabilities there is a Yoga out there for you.

know I will have to come back to Hatha Yoga in another blog for more clarification on its many complexities as you can see with five thousand years of history it has too much information for one blog.

Ashtanga And Iyengar Yoga’s:

I said I would touch on this subject as it is two of the adaptions of yoga that is extremely popular in Western culture.

It has been adapted to suit the western lifestyle.

Firstly Iyengar Yoga a gentle yoga with the assistance of props, sounds like a Yoga I sure could try if it was available in my area.

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga was popularized by k. Pattabi. Jois in the early parts of the last century.

Ashtanga means 8 Limbs or Branches of yoga, which I have mentioned in previous blogs.

Yoga is all interconnected so you will find over time I will be referring back and forth.

Ashtanga Vinyasa a fast flowing yoga with strong postures this yoga may suit the more physical type person.

Conclusion:

Thoughts on this blog is Yoga has been evolving for five thousand years and will continue to do so no matter what I think.

I was one who thought yoga should be more traditional.

This idea is narrow-minded and has changed even while doing this blog.

In this life you have many options to choose from some good and bad.

I can honestly say Yoga is a good thing, and whichever Yoga choose will be a good for you.

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general.

I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any Yoga questions or comments.

I’m happy to help any way that I can.

copywrightNamaste Shane.

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 dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

6 thoughts on “How Many Types Of Yoga Are There?”

  1. Dear Shane,

    Thanks a lot for the informative and helpful post. I recently started practicing yoga and I am from India so you know very well that yoga is very famous here. We are well aware of its benefits but still I only started practicing it few weeks before.

    Indeed, the history of yoga is amazing and it started way back 1000’s of years before. Nowadays people are getting aware of its benefits and getting interest on yoga. In many schools in India, Yoga classes are common and must.

    Thanks for sharing the different types of Yoga and Being a newbie I got helpful insights from your post. You have given me plenty to think about here. This post is so thorough it opened my eyes to all sorts of information I wasn’t aware of! 

    Yet to read the book “Light on Yoga” thanks for the information and its on my list.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    Reply
    • Hello Paul, Thank You for reading my post.

      I am happy to hear you have started Yoga and continue to do so. 

      The Light on Yoga is a book i suggest anybody interested in Yoga read. 

      Kind Regards Shane.

      Reply
  2. Yoga is a great exercise regimen no matter which type of yoga you choose to practice. The yogas that I practice are probably ashtanga yogas but I am not quite sure as I usually follow a teacher at the local YMCA. I know most of the poses though and have thought of becoming a yoga teacher. Have you thought of becoming a yoga teacher and are there any other exercises that are as beneficial as yoga?

    Reply
    • Hello Jon, 

      Yoga is a great exercise regime. 

      You do not have be a Yoga teacher to teach Yoga this is more of a Western philosphy which is fine by the way. 

      My first Yoga Teacher was taught by his mother as a child and he was a excellent teacher. 

      There are many great, asanas/exercises one can do but the best one is to meditate and calm the mind.

      Kind Regards Shane.

      Reply
  3. Shane

    I have thought about trying Yoga, but have shied away due to the fact that I am not very flexible. That, and every time I look into it, there are so many options that I did not know where to even start.

    This post helped me to learn which type of Yoga I should try (Hatha for me). I would be more interested in the slower paced and relaxing. 

    I also found the graphic about “Yoga is not…about being flexible”. That was the assumption I had going into my research. After seeing that graphic, I perused your site a little more and quickly realized that Yoga is more about the experience and less about the flexibility.

    With my better understanding, I am now looking for Hatha programs near me.

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Thank you for commenting on my article I really appreciate it and hope you continue on with your Yoga journey. 

      Regards Shane.

      Reply

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