Yoga

Ananda Yoga:

Ananda Yoga classes focus on gentle posturing designed to move the energy up to the brain and prepare the body for meditation. Classes also focus on proper body alignment and controlled breathing. Ananda, or Ananda Yoga for higher purpose is    a system established by Swami Kriyananda, a disciple of Paramhansa Yogananada, and is based on his Kriya Yoga teachings. Ananda yoga emphasises inner awareness, energy control, and the experiences of each asana as a natural expression of a higher state of consciousness, which is enhanced by the use of affirmations.

Ananda Yoga uses asana and pranayama to awaken, experience, and control the subtle energies (prana) within oneself, especially the energies of the chakras. Its object is to use those energies to harmonize the body, uplift the mind, and above all to attune oneself with higher levels of awareness. One unique feature of this system is the use of silent affirmations while in the asanas, as a means of working more consciously with the subtle energies to achieve this attunement. Ananda Yoga is a relatively inward experience, not an athletic practice. A main goal is to prepare for sep meditation, as Hatha Yoga is considered the physical branch of Raja Yoga.

Ananda Yoga also includes Paramhansa Yogananda’s Energization Exercises, which direct cosmic life force (prana) through the medulla oblongata to all parts of the body.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.anandayoga.org/

Anusara Yoga:

This is a relatively new form of yoga (1997) which pairs strict principles of alignment with a playful spirit. Postures can be challenging but the real message of Anusara os to open your heart and strive to connect with the divine  in yourself and others.

This is a modern school of Hatha Yoga started by American-born yoga teacher John Friend in 1997. Friend derived his style from the Iyengar style of yoga and reintroduced elements of Hindu spirituality into a more health orientated Western approach to yoga.

The Anusara style emphasizes a set of  universal principles of alignment which underlie all of the physical asanas and are connected to philosophical aspects of the practice. According to the official Anusara Yoga website, the school’s ideology is “grounded in a Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness”. Friend states that the term “Anusara (a-nu-sar-a), means ‘flowing with Grace,’ ‘flowing with Nature’ and ‘following your heart,'” as interpreted from the Sanskrit anusāra, meaning “custom, usage, natural state or condition”.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.anusara.com/

Ashtanga (or Astanga) Yoga:

Ashtanga is the name given to a system of yoga taught by Sir K. Pattabhi Jois. This is style of yoga is physically demanding as it involves synchronising breathing with progressive and continuous series of postures, a process producing intense internal heat and profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, flexibility, stamina, a light and strong body, and a calm mind. Ashtanga is an athletic practice of yoga and not recommended for beginners.

The practice of Anusara Yoga is broadly categorized into three parts, known as the Three A’s:

  1. Attitude
  2. Alignment
  3. Action

The Energy Loop: The seven energy loops are…

  1. Ankle Loop, starting from the center of the ankle bone, running down to the heel, under the sole of the foot and back up to the ankle.
  2. Shin Loop, starting from the center of the ankle bone, moving up the calf to just below the knee, then returning down the front of the shin.
  3. Thigh Loop, starting at the pelvic focal poin, running down the back of the thigh to just below the knee and back up the front of the thigh.
  4. Pelvic Loop, originating in the core of the lumbar spine, looping down the back to the pelvic focal point and back up the belly.
  5. Kidney Loop, beginning at the lumbar, running up the back ribs to the heart focal point and back down the front to draw floating ribs in.
  6. Shoulder Loop, originates at the upper palette, runs down the back of neck and shoulder blades, through the heart focal point and back up across front upper ribs and throat.
  7. Skull Loop, starts from the upper palette and drows over the back of the skull and down the face.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.ashtangayoga.info/

Bikram Yoga:

My favourite so far! This is the method of yoga that is a comprehensive workout that includes all the components of fitness; muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular flexibility and weight loss. The founder, Bikram Choudhury, was a gold Olympic weight lifter in 1963 and is a disciple of Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, (Autobiography of a Yogi). Bikram synthesised from traditional Hatha yoga techniques and popularized beginning in the early 1970’s, All Bikram yoga classes run for 90 minutes and consist of the same series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises.One of the unusual but most beneficial aspects of Bikram’s yoga practice is the 95-105 degree temperature which promotes more flexibility, detoxification, and prevention of injuries. This is the only yoga style that specialises in using the heated environment.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.bikramyoga.co.uk/

Hatha Yoga:

Hatha Yoga, Sanskrit; हठयोग  also called Hatha Vidya  (हठविद्या), a system of yoga described by Yogi Swatmarama, a Hindu sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.

The Sanskrit term haṭha refers to the use of persistence or force, and haṭhayoga is translated by the Monier-Williams dictionary as “a kind of forced Yoga or abstract meditation (forcing the mind to withdraw from external objects; treated of in the Haṭha‐pradīpikā by Svātmārāma and performed with much self‐torture, such as standing on one leg, holding up the arms, inhaling smoke with the head inverted.

Hatha is an easy-to-learn basic form of yoga that has become very popular in the United States. Hatha Yoga is the foundation of all Yoga styles. It incorporates Asanas (postures), Pranayama (regulated breathing), Meditation (Dharana & Dhyana) and Kundalini (Laya Yoga) into a complete system that can be used to achieve enlightenment or self-realization. It has become very popular in America as source of exercise and stress management. The ideal way to practice the Hatha Yoga poses (asanas) is to approach the practice session in a calm, meditative mood. Sit quietly for a few moments, then begin the series, slowly, with control and grace, being inwardly aware as the body performs the various poses selected for the practice session. Do not overdo the asanas or try to compete with others. Take it easy and enjoy.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.bnhc.co.uk/classes/yoga/hatha-yoga

Integral Yoga: 

This traditional type of yoga combines postures, breathing exercises, selfless service, meditation, chanting, prayer, and self-inquiry.

In the teachings of Sri Aurobindo, Integral yoga (or Purna yoga , Sanskrit for full or complete yoga, sometimes also called Supramental yoga) refers to the process of the union of all the parts of one’s being with the Divine, and the transmutation of all of their jarring elements into a harmonious state of higher divine consciousness and existance.

Sri Aurobindo’s integral yoga should not be confused with a trademark “Integral Yoga” of Swami Satchidananda.

Sri Aurobindo defined integral yoga in the early 1900s as “a path of integral seeking of the Divine by which all that we are is in the end liberated out of the Ignorance and its undivine formations into a truth beyond the Mind, a truth not only of highest spiritual status but of a dynamic spiritual self-manifestation in the universe.”

Sri Aurobindo considered man’s present mental consciousness to be a transitional stage in terrestrial evolution, and that our civilization is at the brink of an evolutionary leap or shift towards a greater or ‘Supra-mental’ experience and capacity.

Components of Integral Yoga;

Physical

Like all the faculties of the being, and in contrast to the ascetic yogas, the Physical in all its aspects is not rejected, but has to be transformed and spiritualised through the practice of integral yoga. This means it is necessary not only to change Physical habits and consciousness, but also to descend into the Subconscient or Lower Unconscious, where the root of many problems lie.

Vital

The Vital refers not only to the life force but even more so to the various desires, emotions, compulsions, and likes and dislikes that strongly determine human motivation and action. In Integral yoga it is necessary to change the vital’s striving away from self-centered desires and revolts, to make it an instrument for the yoga.

Mental

The Mental faculty or part of the being, is the conceptual and cognitive mind. Through right attitude, understanding, and aspiration, the mind can be turned to the Divine

Types of being (“concentric” divisions)

The Outer Being

The Outer Being refers to the superficial and limited physical, vital and mental surface existence which characterises our everyday consciousness and experience. Integral Yoga involves going beyond this surface consciousness to the larger life of the Inner Being, which is more open to spiritual realisation.

The Inner Being

The Inner Being includes the inner realms or aspects of the physical, vital and mental being, which here have a larger, subtler, freer consciousness than that of the everyday consciousness, and its realisation is essential for any higher spiritual realisation.

Psychic Being

In Integral Yoga the goal is to move inward and discover the Psychic Being, which then can bring about a transformation of the outer nature. This transformation of the outer being or ego by the Psychic is called Psychicisation; it is one of the three necessary stages, called the Triple transformation, in the realisation of the Supramental consciousness. This Psychic transformation is the decisive movement that enables a never-ending progress in life through the power of connecting to one’s inner spirit or Divine Essence.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.integral-yoga-centre.co.uk/

 Ishta Yoga: 

Developed by South African teacher Mani Finger and popularized in the States by his son Alan, ISHTA (Integral Science of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda Arts) focuses on opening energy channels throughout the body with postures, visualizations, and meditation. Whether you are looking for improved strength and flexibility, clarity of mind, or a deeper spiritual practice, we provide you with the tools needed to bring inspiration into every moment of your being.

Hatha 

Relates to the physical body. In practising a sequence of asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques), we start to open the body’s channels so that energy can flow freely and we can begin to enjoy the feeling of bringing the body back into balance.

Tantra 

Comes from the root words tanoti (”expansion”) and trayati (”liberation”). In Ishta, tantra refers to the oneness between the individual and the universe (often likened to a drop of water in the ocean), and the ability to expand and liberate the individual consciousness in order to connect to our inherent divinity. We practice tantra by using breathing and meditative techniques that expand our awareness of the more subtle aspects of being.

Ayurveda 

The science of life; specifically, what keeps us alive. Prana is the body’s life force and it is uniquely manifested in every individual. If we can understand how prana interacts with five key elements (air, space, fire, water, and earth), then we can begin to understand our body’s constitution. Knowing what makes us tick and, importantly, what doesn’t, is how ayurveda restores balance and ultimately brings us back to optimal health and well-being.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.ishtayogaeurope.com/

Iyengar Yoga:

Developed by yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar more than 60 years ago, promotes strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance through coordinated breathing and poses that require precise body alignment. The poses are generally held longer than in other styles of yoga. In Iyengar, you slowly move into a pose, hold it for a minute or so, and then rest for a few breaths before stretching into another. Equipment like cushions, blankets, straps, and blocks to help the less flexible also distinguishes Iyengar from other types of yoga. Although Iyengar incorporates the traditional postures, or asanas, that make up the broader category of hatha yoga, the cushions and other props revolutionized yoga by enabling everyone — even the elderly, sick, and disabled — to practice. Because of its slow pace, attention to detail, and use of props, Iyengar yoga can be especially good if you’re recovering from an injury. Iyengar is still one of the most popular types of yoga taught today.

Iyengar also targeted various ailments, diseases, and disorders with his pratice. Chronic back pain, immunodeficiency,  high blood pressure,  insomnia, depression, and menopause have specific programs of yoga associated with them. Iyengar worked with those who had myocardial infarctions. The asanas are designed to be adjusted based on a person’s stage of recovery. These programs are formulated in their most advanced form at the centre of Iyengar Yoga: the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute located in Pune, India.

There have been many studies performed on the effects of Iyengar yoga on patients with physical problems. In general, Iyengar yoga is useful in physical therapy because it assists in the manipulation of inflexible or injured areas.

Iyengar yoga was shown to be promising as a complementary treatment for depression. Shapiro et al. performed this study in which 17 participants with major unipolar depression attended at least six sessions of Iyengar yoga. At the end, they reported a reduction in depression, anxiety, and anger. This was a pilot study with a single-group outcome design and no placebo or other control group. The study concluded that yoga is cost-effective and easy to implement and that it produces many beneficial emotional, psychological, behavioral, and biological effects.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.iyi.org.uk/iyengar-yoga-london/why/

 

Jivamukti Yoga:

Developed in 1986 by Sharon Gannon and David Life, the Jivamukti Yoga method expresses the spiritual and ethical aspects of the practice of yoga that have been disregarded or devalued in contemporary times. It is a vigorous and challenging asana form with an emphasis on scriptural study, Sanskrit chanting, vegetarianism, non-violence, meditation, devotion to God and the role that music and listening play in the practice of yoga. Life and Gannon currently operate a popular yoga studio in New York City. 

Kali Ray TriYoga: A series of flowing, dancelike movements was developed by Kali Ray in 1980. The practice also incorporates pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.jivamuktiyogalondon.co.uk/

Kripalu Yoga:

Kripalu Yoga is a form of Hatha yoga using inner focus, meditation, standard yoga poses, breathwork, “development of a quiet mind”, and relaxation. Kripalu emphasizes “following the flow” of prana, or “life-force energy, compassionate self-acceptance, observing the activity of the mind without judgment, and taking what is learned into daily life.”

Kripalu is called the yoga of consciousness. This gentle, introspective practice urges practitioners to hold poses to explore and release emotional and spiritual blockages. Goal-oriented striving is discouraged and precise alignment is not as important as in some other traditions. There are three stages in Kripalu yoga. Stage One focuses on learning the postures and exploring your bodies abilities. Stage Two involves holding the postures for an extended time, developing concentration and inner awareness. Stage Three is like a meditation in motion in which the movement from one posture to another arises unconsciously and spontaneously.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.kripalu.co.uk/yoga/

Kundalini Yoga:

Kundalini yoga(Sanskrit: कुण्डलिनी, kuṇḍalinī = ‘”coiled” + योग, yoga = “to yoke”) is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness. Practitioners call Kundalini Yoga the yoga of awareness because it focuses on the expansion of sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual consciousness and merge it with the Infinite consciousness of God. As a form of yoga and meditation, Kundalini’s purpose is to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others.

This practice concentrates on awakening the energy at the base of the spine and drawing it upward. In addition to postures, a typical class will also include chanting, meditation and breathing exercises.

Explore more on the link below:

http://kundaliniyoga.org.uk/

Power Yoga:

This is essentially yoga with brawn. It’s the American interpretation of Ashtanga yoga, a discipline that combines stretching, strength training, and meditative breathing. But Power yoga takes ashtanga one step further. Many of the poses (also called postures or their Sanskrit name, asanas) resemble basic calisthenics — push-ups and handstands, toe touches and side bends — but the key to power yoga’s sweat-producing, muscle-building power is the pace. Instead of pausing between poses as you would in traditional yoga, each move flows into the next, making it an intense aerobic workout.

Power yoga, taking from its Hatha yoga roots, consists of both a standing and sitting sequences of movements linking the usage of physical movement, breath-work or pranayama (Sanskrit: प्राणायाम) and meditation. Power yoga strikes a balance between the originating values of yoga (Sanskrit: योग) found in India and the North American societally driven demands for physical exercise.

Power Yoga is often practiced in a hot room held at a temperature approximate to 105°F or 40.6°C (László & Smith, 2009).

Power Yoga has been argued to be the fundamental style of Hatha yoga that allowed for cultural acceptance of yoga in North America. According to the North American Studio Alliance, 30 million people are practicing yoga in the United States of America. This includes practitioners not just of Power Yoga, but the entire practice of Hatha Yoga. Its popularity has led the sharing of sequences and movement across all of the following forms of Hatha Yoga.

Explore more on the link below:

http://thepoweryogaco.com/

Restorative Yoga: 

In a restorative yoga class you’ll spend long periods of time lying on blocks, blankets and yoga bolsters – passively allowing muscles to relax. Restorative Yoga focuses on relaxing the body in restful postures. Note that ‘rest’ is different than sleep. Rest provides the body an oppotunity to renew and heal. Countless studies have proven the physical and emotional benefits of this.

Restorative yoga, as well as other forms of yoga, help to trigger the Parasympathetic nervous system also known as the PNS. The PNS is responsible for balancing the body and bringing its response system back into equalibrium. Stimulating the PNS helps to lower heart rate, blood pressure; it helps to healthily stimulate the immune system and keep the endocrine system operating healthily. When this system gets out of whack, or when the Sympathetic nervous system, SNS gets over-stimulated, the PNS helps to bring all back in balance. It is believed that is the PNS is tapped out or under-active, illness pervades. Thus, forms of relaxation, such as yoga and meditation, that help to stimulate the PNS are generally beneficial for overall body health.

David Spiegel, M.D., author of Living Beyond Limits, reports, “In medicine, we are learning that physical problems, such as high blood pressure and heart disease, can be influenced by psychological interventions, such as relaxation training. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration issued a report recommending these non-drug approaches as the treatment of choice for milder forms of hypertention. Mind and body are connected and must work together, and this should be a powerful asset in treating medical illness.”

Restorative yoga postures can be practiced at any time of the day. Ideally, one would start their day with yin poses and breath work. It is a great way to wake up the body and clear the mind before launching into the day. It is also beneficial to practice restorative postures at the end of the day, before bed. This can slow the body and mind down, and prepare the body for sleep. Many who practice restorative postures (at any time of the day), find that they sleep better and their energy levels are higher.

Explore more on the link below:

http://indabayoga.com/classes/restorative-yoga/

Sivananda Yoga: 

Like Integral Yoga, this traditional type of yoga combines postures, breathing, dietary restrictions, chanting, scriptural study, and meditation. After teachings of Swami Sivananda, is a non-proprietary form of Hatha yoga in which the training focuses on preserving the health and wellness of the practitioner. Sivananda yoga teachers are all graduates of the Sivananda Teacher Training Course, and students widely range in age and degrees of ability. Unlike Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga’s more athletic program involving Bandhas, Sivananda training revolves around frequent relaxation, and emphasizes full, yogic breathing.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.sivananda.org/london/

Svaroopa Yoga:

The word svaroopa comes from the ancient yoga text,Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras which states, “Tadaa Drashtuh Svarupa Vasthaanum”, which translates to mean at the moment your mind becomes quiet you will abide in the bliss of your own being. From the first shavasana (total body awareness) pose at the beginning of class throughout every pose an emphasis is put upon awareness of the state of your body and mind. Quieting your mind toward bliss.

 New students find this a very approachable style, often beginning in chair poses that are comfortable. Promotes healing and transformation. Svaroopa (pronounced “svah-roo-pah”) is a healing style of yoga that uses a variety of unique poses to create a deep release of tension throughout the body. The experience of a significant reduction of tension, leaves the body feeling flexible, supple and rejuvenated. Using props to support the body in a well aligned pose allows for optimal release. From the first pose of every class, shavasana, or total body awareness, the tightest areas of the body begin to release, these soothing effects can be felt everywhere. This release of tension encourages healing, stress reduction and profoundly deep changes creating an inner experience of bliss.

The individualized attention to each students alignment makes Svaroopa yoga adaptable to any body, all ages and physical levels. While other styles of yoga use spinal tightening to be in poses this yoga uses spinal release while leaning into the skeletal system to support the body in all of the traditional yoga asanas or poses. This results in blissful poses while developing a strong and flexible body.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.naturaltherapypages.co.uk/article/Svaroopa_Yoga

Viniyoga Yoga:

Viniyoga is a Sanskrit word that has multiple meanings. Literal meanings include “separation”, “detachment”, and “leaving”, but the common meanings include “employment”, “use”, and “application”. The root viniyuj means “to use”, “to employ”, “to do”, among other senses. This is commonly used as a therapeutic practice for people who have suffered injuries or are recovering from surgery. It is a gentle, healing practice that is tailored to each person’s body type and needs as they grow and change.

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.naturaltherapypages.co.uk/article/Viniyoga

Vinyasa Yoga:

This yoga focuses on coordination of breath and movement and it is a very physically active form of yoga. It began with Krishnamacharya who later passed it on to Pattabhi Jois.

Derived from Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga differs in some important ways from its predecessor. Vinyassa yoga is often faster paced, and the assanas (postures) are linked together in a series of movements that are synchronized with the breath. Much emphasis is placed on the breath and the transition in and out of the assanas. Generally speaking, upward movements correlate with inhalations of the breath, and downward movements with exhalations.

The continual movements, from one pose to another, gives you an added cardiovascular benefit, which more traditional forms of yoga do not have. The routine practice of Vinyasa yoga can increase muscle strength, endurance and flexibility, and reduce levels of stress.

Vinyasa yoga offers much diversity. The pace can vary and there is no one particular sequence that instructors must follow. In fact, the name Vinyasa is a Sanskrit word that translates as “variations within parameters.” This flexibility allows the teacher to tailor the sequences to their own philosophy. So, if one class doesn’t work for you, try another, until you find one that you are comfortable with!

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.vinyasakramayoga.co.uk/

White Lotus Yoga: 

A modified Ashtanga practice developed by Ganga White which is combined with breathwork and meditation.

Very little is written freely about this type of yoga except on the site set up by the founder, so here it is the link to all you need to know about White Lotus Yoga…

Explore more on the link below:

http://www.whitelotusyoga.co.uk/

I hope you find on this page something that inspires you or helps you find the path to recovery from injury or sickness. Yoga is a fabulous practice and I highly recommend it to everyone. I know, of all the yoga documented here, there is a discipline to suit everyone in various states of health and at any age.

Adonai

 

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