Yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years, but that doesn’t mean it’s stagnant. In fact, the practice is constantly evolving and adapting to suit the needs of its practitioners. There are dozens of different styles of yoga out there today, with each one taking a slightly different approach to how exactly you should move your body in order to achieve optimal results. So if you’re new to yoga or just curious about all the different types available out there—I’ve got some recommendations for what might work best for your body type and lifestyle!
Iyengar is the most popular yoga style in the world, and it’s no wonder why. It’s based on asanas (poses) that are meant to be held for long periods of time, which can be challenging but also extremely beneficial for your body and mind. Iyengar was born in 1918 and began practicing yoga at age 12 after becoming ill with rheumatic fever. His father was a strict disciplinarian who wanted his son to pursue medical school; however, Iyengar preferred to practice hatha yoga instead of studying medicine at university–to his father’s dismay! Eventually he did go on to study medicine anyway but continued practicing hatha yoga as well because he felt so strongly about its benefits for mind and body health (and still does). Iyengar’s mother was very kindhearted and loving; she encouraged him throughout his struggles with his father’s disapproval of his chosen career path. She also taught him about compassion when she took care of sick animals around their farmhouse outside Pune city where they lived together until her death when BKS Iyengar was 19 years old
Ashtanga is a form of yoga that was created by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (or “Ashtanga”) is often associated with the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga method, which was developed by K. Pattabhi Jois in 1948 and taught to his students at the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Institute in Mysore, India.
Viniyoga is a style of yoga that focuses on individual needs and abilities. It was created by T.K.V Desikachar, son of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who was one of the most famous teachers in India at the time. Viniyoga means “to make your own way,” which is what this practice encourages you to do as you explore your body’s limitations and capabilities through its poses (asanas). The Viniyoga system teaches practitioners how to adjust their postures according to their own bodies’ limitations so they can work toward achieving their personal goals for health or spirituality–whatever those may be!
Jivamukti Yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on the union of body, mind and spirit through the practice of asana (posture), pranayama (breath control) and meditation. Jivamukti means “liberation while alive.” The practice was founded by Sharon Gannon and David Life in 1984 in New York City’s Lower East Side neighborhood. The founders learned Hatha yoga from their teacher, Swami Nirmalananda; they then studied with BKS Iyengar for six years before founding Jivamukti Yoga Center with Aaron Star and Sharon’s brother Matthew Ferrara in 1986.
Hatha yoga is a gentle practice that focuses on breathing and poses. It’s usually done in a relaxed environment, which makes it great for beginners and people who are looking to relax and recharge. Hatha yoga uses postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), meditation or relaxation, and self-study of spiritual texts as part of its practice. Hatha yoga was developed by Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century CE. The name comes from “ha” meaning sun and “tha” meaning moon; these combined represent balance between masculine energy (sun) and feminine energy (moon).
Vinyasa is a form of yoga that focuses on synchronizing breath and movement. It is considered a flowing style of yoga that uses poses in a continuous manner. Vinyasa is usually done in a room heated to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Bikram yoga is a form of hot yoga. It’s also called “Bikram’s sequence,” because it consists of a series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. The poses are done in a room that’s heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius), which increases the body temperature, allowing you to better stretch your muscles and joints. Bikram Choudhury created this form of yoga in the 1970s after studying under T Krishnamacharya, who taught yoga to BKS Iyengar (the founder of Iyengar Yoga). However, there are some differences between their styles: Bikram emphasizes stretching while Krishnamacharya emphasized alignment; Bikrama classes include pranayama breathing techniques while Krishnamacharya didn’t teach them; and finally, Krishnamacharya believed that meditation should be done separately from asanas because they were too intense for beginners
Kundalini yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on breathing, chanting and meditation. It is a form of Hatha yoga. The word kundalini comes from the Sanskrit root “kund,” meaning “coiled.” Kundalini refers to an energy that lies dormant at the base of your spine and can be awakened through various practices such as meditation or pranayama (breathing exercises). When this energy is awakened it rises through each chakra (energy center) until it reaches sahasrara chakra in your head where it becomes one with God or Brahman–or whatever you want to call it!
Yin yoga is a more passive form of yoga, focusing on flexibility and relaxation. It is slow, gentle and deep. Yin yoga focuses on the connective tissues of the body; these include ligaments, tendons and fascia (the web like tissue surrounding muscle). Yin Yoga can be seen as a great way to end a yoga session because it helps you relax after working out those hard-to-reach areas of your body!
Restorative yoga is a type of yoga that focuses on relaxation, healing, and stress relief. The practice involves lying on the floor with gentle stretches that take you into a deep state of rest. Restorative poses are held for 5-10 minutes at a time and can be used as an introduction to meditation or to end your day with a peaceful meditation session. It’s important not to confuse this restorative practice with what many people call “yoga nidra,” which is actually something different: it’s a guided visualization technique used in both regular and specialized classes that helps us relax mentally and physically through visualization exercises (you might also hear it called “guided sleep”).
We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning about the different yoga lineages and their unique features. Whether you’re looking to learn more about your own practice or are just curious about what distinguishes one type of yoga from another, we hope this information will help guide you on your journey toward wellness!