The style of yoga you do, or the brand of yoga you do, has a lot to do with your personality. It has a lot to do with your connection to the teacher of that particular style of yoga as well. If you are taking yoga for the first time in a class setting and the teacher’s words just don’t seem to make sense, it is probably the wrong teacher, possibly the wrong brand.
Below, I have outlined the major players in the yoga world today. See where you might fit in. There is a teacher and a style of yoga that fits everyone, and I do mean everyone.
Ashtanga Yoga- Brought to the west from an Indian yogi named Pattabhi Jois. There are set sequences, the most well-known is the Primary Series. This style incorporates lots of sun salutations and jumping. It is vigorous and active at the beginning and chills the mind and the senses toward the end. This system is based upon the philosophy set forth in the Yoga Sutras by the sage Patanjali.
Iyengar Yoga- Brought to the west from an Indian yogi named B.K.S. Iyengar. From his own illnesses and physical deformaties, he came up with a system which methodically uses props and aids to help heal the body and bring the mind into stillness. His method is more therapeutic in nature, but also incorporates jumping and sun salutations. The philosophy is classical.
Integral Yoga- Brought to the west from an Indian yogi named Desikachar. This method is meant to be done one on one to heal the body and ease the mind. It is gentle.
Bikram Yoga- Brought to the west by an Indian yogi named Bikram. This practice is done in a heated room of 105 degrees. There is a set sequence and all Bikram teachers have the same script.
Hot Yoga- Variations on the theme of Bikram’s classes. The room is heated.
Hatha Yoga- Any form of physical yoga which uses the body as the vehicle to change and still the mind. The Yoga Weight Loss System uses Hatha Yoga.
Dharma Mittra Yoga- Brought to the west by a yogi named Dharma Mittra. He uses the physical practice as an offering to understand compassion and reach Self-Realization.
Power Yoga- Most of the time, this yoga is done in a heated room. The emphasis is on standing poses and building internal heat to gain strength and stamina.
Anusara Yoga- Trademarked by John Friend. The focus is on heart opening. The philosophy is Tantric.
Vinyasa Yoga- Popularized by Shiva Rea. This is a free-flowing, dance-like form. There are lots of sun salutations and variations taken from the Ashtanga sequencing.
No matter what style you choose, or find yourself practicing, know that yoga is really all one. All forms lead to the same Ultimate goal. Enjoy your ride, with whatever vehicle you choose.
Designer: Yoga Weight Loss System.
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