Styles/ Types of Yoga
On this planet today there are so many types of yoga being practiced today. The styles all vary and this page gives you a brief overveiw of some of the more popular choices being practiced.
Our style of yoga is a combination of various types of yoga however it is very much along the lines with Iyengar and Ashtanga (Power Yoga).
We believe that for the beginner that all styles have something to offer, so we are open to all aspects of the different practises, that way we are open to all and there is always something to learn.
Yoga Styles Overview
Iyengar – A softer on the body classical style of yoga, Iyengar is perfect for beginners and those who haven’t exercised in a while. It uses props such as chairs, straps, blocks and pillows, and even sandbags, to compensate for a lack of flexibility, which is helpful for anyone with back or joint problems.
Iyengar is the most widely recognized approach to Hatha Yoga, it was created by B. K. S. Iyengar. Iyengar yoga is characterized by attention to detail within poses and the aid of the props.
The props assist all sorts of people to be able to do the poses comfortably.
The key to all styles of yoga is to get the fundamentals and form correct, this is where the props aid the student. There is more focus on symmetry and alignment and also meditation. Each pose is held for a longer amount of time than in most other yoga styles, developing a state of focused calm. Iyengar Yoga is meditation in action.
Benefits include toning muscles, eliminating tension and easing chronic pain. When we strengthen weak areas of ourselves and open and stretch tight ones, our bodies return to their correct alignment.
Practicing Iyengar yoga will give you a good knowledge of classic yoga poses so that whatever other style you practice, you will have the basic fundamentals of how to do each posture. The teacher focuses on alignment and inner awareness. Awareness starts with the body and expands to other parts of the self as one continues with the regularity of practice.
Ashtanga (Power Yoga) the preferred choice for athletes, Ashtanga yoga is light on meditation but heavy on developing strength and stamina. The poses are more difficult than those performed in other styles, students move quickly from one pose to another in an effort to build strength and flexibility.
This style is suitable for anyone in reasonable physical condition but should be avoided by those who are new to exercise. Even the “beginners” routines are a physically demanding workout. Ashtanga yoga takes students through a warming up of the body to “activate” the muscles.
Students move from one pose to another in a continual flow and combine the inhale and exhale of the breath with movements. This physically demanding yoga was developed to build strength, flexibility, and stamina.
Ashtanga yoga is becoming very popular. Expect the teacher to move the students through a sequence of poses, which is practiced, until it is mastered to some degree and the fundamentals completely understood. Then the student moves on to practice another series of poses that are more difficult, but the foundations are the same.
The series of poses involves weaving in a combination of standing, seated, backbends, inversions, balancing, and twisting poses into sun salutation poses which include a standing forward bend, upward dog, downward dog, and other poses.
There is a focus on breath control and focal point of the eyes as the students do a specific prescribed series of poses, moving gracefully from one to another. It is very beneficial for the body to be warm and/or the room to be heated as one does ashtanga, this will help the muscles to be very flexible, and help the body avoid strains due to the physically demanding style of ashtanga. Click here to listen and learn the
Ashtanga Yoga Invocation
Bikram done in a hot room that is 38C or higher (to replicate the temperature of yoga’s birthplace in India); this style of yoga focuses on 26 postures that are performed in a certain order. The exercises are very physical and the intensity is high.
When combined with the heat, makes for a tough workout. This style is recommended for yoga veterans and extremely fit individuals only. Bikram Yoga originates from Bikram Choudhury.
The Bikram series is warms and stretches muscles, ligaments and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched. This yoga has been helpful in removing symptoms of disease and chronic pain in the body, which works if the student maintains regular practice.
Hatha: This mellow form of yoga focuses on simple poses that flow from one to the other at a very comfortable pace. Participants are encouraged to go at their own pace, taking time to focus on the breathing and meditation in their practice. This yoga is ideal for winding down at the end of a tough day.
Kundalini, which incorporates mantras (chanting), meditations, visualizations, and guided relaxation. It focuses on healing and “purifying” the mind, body, and emotions. Kundalini yoga is designed to activate the kundalini energy in the spine.
This is achieved with poses, breath control, chanting, and meditation. Kundalini yoga is beneficial in dealing with addictions, and many people find it a natural way of releasing endorphins just by breathing and doing the poses.
Kundalini yoga consists of poses combined with breath control, hand and finger gestures, body locks, chanting and meditation. You will practice precise postures; sounds and breathing that activate different parts of the body and the brain to produce specific results
Kripalu, which is more spontaneous, flowing, and meditation orientated. Kripalu yoga starts with the first stage, postural alignment and intertwining of breath and movement, and the poses are held a short time.
The student progresses to the second stage with meditation included and poses held for longer. Finally, the practice of poses becomes a spontaneous dynamic movement. The essence of Kripalu yoga is experienced through a continuous flow of postures whilst meditating, for gentle yet dynamic yoga.
Practice would start with meditation and centering, breathing, warm up movements to heat up and prepare for poses, yoga postures, guided posture flows and relaxation.
Sivananda Yoga has a series of 12 poses, with the Sun Salutation, breathing exercises, relaxation, and mantra chanting as the basis. These are the elements in a typical class:
Balancing posture (which is usually the peacock pose)
Standing forward bend
and Universal Prayer
Viniyoga, a slower more individualized form of yoga. This form develops strength, balance and healing, make it ideal for beginners, seniors, people with chronic pain or who are in rehabilitation from injury or disease.
Raja-yoga, which aims for “liberation through meditation.” People who are capable of intense concentration mainly practice this form of yoga.
Bhakti-yoga, or “devotional yoga,” which focuses on self-surrender in the face of the Divine.
Mantra-yoga, or “yoga of potent sound,” which aims at liberation through the verbal or mental repetition of empowered sounds, such as “om,” “hum,” or “ram.”