Yoga styles

Summary of different Yoga teaching styles :

Ananda Yoga uses Hatha asana and pranayama to awaken, experience, and control the subtle chakra energies. Its object is to use those energies to harmonize body, mind, and emotions, and attune  with higher levels of awareness.  One feature of this system is the use of silent affirmations while in the asanas as a means of working more directly and consciously with the subtle energies to achieve this attunement.  Ananda Yoga is a relatively gentle, inward experience not an athletic or aerobic practice. It was developed by Swami Kriyananda, a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi.

Ansura Yoga®  founded by John Friend in 1997 is a powerful hatha yoga system that unifies a Tantric philosophy of intrinsic Goodness with Universal Principles of Alignment.  Anusara embodies an uplifting philosophy, epitomized by a "celebration of the heart," that looks for the good in all people and all things. Consequently, students of all levels of ability and yoga experience are honored for their unique differences, limitations, and talents. 

Ashtanga Yoga  developed by K. Pattabhi Jois.   Ashtanga is physically demanding. Participants move through a series of flows, jumping from one posture to another in order to build strength, flexibility and stamina. It is not for beginners or anyone who's been taking a leisurely approach to fitness.  Ashtanga  involves challenging sequence of poses with Ujjayi Breathing and vinyasas (a flow of postures).  This Yoga Style uses a system based on six series of increasing difficulty. 

Bikram Yoga is named after the founder - Bikram Choudhury.    Yoga is practiced in a room with a temperature of up to 100 degrees fahrenheit,  thus be prepared to sweat a lot.  Bikram Yoga enthusiasts  perform a series of 26 Asanas, each posture is usually performed twice and held for a certain period of time. 

Integral Yoga  puts equal emphasis on Pranayama (Breathing Control), on Meditation, and on the Asanas (Physical Poses). This Style of Yoga was developed by Swami Satchidananda.   The practice of Integral Yoga revolves around eight main goals: 1. Physical Health and strength; 2. control over all senses; 3. clear, calm and well-disciplined mind; 4. higher level of intellect; 5. strong and pliable will; 6. love and compassion; 7. purer ego, and; 8. ultimate peace and joy.

Iyengar Yoga named after B.K.S. Iyengar who is one of the best-known Yoga teachers.   Iyengar's style is noted for great attention to detail and precise alignment of postures, he also popularized the use of yoga props such as blocks and belts. This great attention to detail, posture, and alignment has also become the notable characteristics of Iyengar Yoga.

Kripalu Yoga  puts great emphasis on Proper Breath, alignment, coordination of breath and movement, and "honoring the wisdom of the body" -- you work according to the limits of your individual flexibility and strength. Students learn to focus on the physical and psychological reactions caused by various postures to develop their awareness of mind, body, emotion and spirit. There are three stages in Kripalu. Stage One focuses on learning the postures, proper breathing, and exploring your body's abilities. Stage Two involves holding the postures for an extended time, developing concentration and awareness of your thoughts and emotions. Stage Three is like meditation in motion in which the movement from one posture to another arises unconsciously and spontaneously while you are in a meditative state.

Kundalini Yoga was brought to the West by Yogi Bhajan in 1969. It focuses on the controlled release of the Kundalini (serpent power) energy which is found at the base of your spine. The practice of Kundalini Yoga involves classic poses, chanting, coordination of breath and movement and Meditation. The emphasis however, is not on the Yoga Poses but on the Chanting and Breathing.   Kundalini rewards Yogis with spiritual transformation and unity consciousness.

Sivananda Yoga was developed by Vishnu-devananda who wrote one of the contemporary Yoga classics, "The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga".   This Style of Yoga focuses on the Pranayama, classic Asanas, and relaxation.  It also centres on diet and positive thinking and Meditation. Sivananda Yoga practice consist twelve basic Yoga Poses that seeks to increase strength, flexibility, Proper Breathing, and Meditation.

Viniyoga is rooted from the principle practiced by Sri. T. Krishnamacharya - that is to develop practices for individual conditions and purposes.    Viniyoga makes use of modified Yoga Poses that are designed to meet the specific needs of an individual and to enhance healing, flexibility and strength of joints. Viniyoga poses also intend to promote the feeling of well-being and strength.