This is not an all inclusive list, mearly the most popular forms
Bhakti yoga is the path of love and devotion. Traditionally, this has involved
the use of external props and external relationships. Rites, rituals
and ceremonies comprise the props, and adoration of gurus and an external
Supreme Being are the focus of the relationships. The beauty of bhakti
yoga is that it is so accessible to anyone, regardless of spiritual
development, because the aspirant is free to establish a relationship
with God in any form that he finds attractive. In addition, it satisfies
the primal craving inherent in the soul of all beings the desire
for love. Bhakti yoga satisfies this urge within a spiritual context,
permitting love and devotion to be cultivated and directed in a healthy
Hatha yoga is a forceful path. This branch of yoga requires the aspirant to
devote time to physical processes, such as pranayama (breath and energy
exercises), and asanas (physical exercises). Hatha yoga attempts to
purify the nervous system and strengthen the body to such a degree
that the hatha yogi attains a state of freedom from heat or cold,
pain and pleasure, even hunger and thirst.
Jnana yoga is the way of discriminating wisdom, a path oriented towards realizing
the eternal in its transcendent aspect. The emphasis of jnana yoga
is on the discernment of pure awareness from nature and all temporal
phenomenon. The jnana yogi seeks to uncover his true Self, the atman,
in its state separate from body or mind
Karma yoga is the yoga of service to others and to God. It is a suitable orientation for those of an active nature, those who wish to work for the manifestation of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. The main thrust of the practice is the renunciation of fruits of action. That is, activities are undertaken for their own sake, the results being left to God. Activities are assumed for the benefit of the greater good, without concern for personal benefit.
The path of Potent Sound, aiming at liberation through the recitation
(aloud or mental) of empowered sounds (such as om, hum, ram, hare
Raja yoga, literally "kingly yoga," is that branch of yoga which focuses
primarily on meditation. The goal of raja yoga is the attainment of
samadhi, a state of God awareness accessible to the still, contemplating
practitioner. The raja yogi seeks to quiet all aspects of his body
and mind, and enter into a transcendent state beyond nature.
Tantra Yoga is the Continuity Yoga aiming at liberation through ritual,
visualization, subtle energy work ,and the perception of the identity
(or continuity) of the ordinary world and the transcendental Reality
Types of Hatha Yoga
which is the most widely recognized approach to Hatha Yoga, was
created by B. K. S. Iyengar, the son-in-law of Shri Krishnamacharya.
This style is characterized by precision performance and the aid of
various props, such as cushions, benches, wood blocks, straps, and
even sand bags. Poses are typically held for some time.
Ashtanga Yoga (also sometimes known as Power Yoga) originated with K. Pattabhi
Jois. He was a principal disciple of Shri Krishnamacharya who, apparently,
instructed him to teach the sequences known as Ashtanga or Power Yoga.
This is by far the most athletic style of Hatha Yoga. By the way,
this Ashtanga Yoga differs from Patanjali's eightfold path, though
it is theoretically grounded in it. Ashtanga Yoga is characterized
by a set routine of postures, begining with sun salutations, usually
done with the heat turned up. It is a flowing sequence which has led
to several types of yogas such as Power and Vinyasa Yoga
is the approach developed by Shri Krishnamacharya and continued
by his son T. K. V. . As the teacher of well-known Yoga masters B.
K. S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, and Indra Devi, Shri Krishnamacharya
has done much to introduce the west to Hatha Yoga., Viniyoga works
with what is called "sequential process," or vinyasa-krama.
The emphasis ist on practicing a posture according to one's individual
needs and capacity. Regulated breathing is an important aspect of
Viniyoga, and the breath is carefully coordinated with the postural
Kripalu Yoga Iinspired by Kripalvananda and developed by his disciple Yogi Amrit
Desai, is a three-stage Yoga tailored for the needs of Western students.
In the first stage, postural alignment and coordination of breath
and movement are emphasized, and the postures are held for a short
duration only. In the second stage, meditation is included into the
practice and postures are held for prolonged periods. In the final
stage, the practice of postures becomes a spontaneous "meditation
Integral Yoga was developed by Swami Satchidananda, a student of the famous Swami
Sivananda of Rishikesh, India. This style aims to integrate the various
aspects of the body-mind through a combination of postures, breathing
techniques, deep relaxation, and meditation. Function is given preeminence
is the creation of the late Swami Vishnudevananda, also a disciple
of Swami Sivananda. This style includes a series of twelve postures,
the Sun Salutation sequence, breathing exercises, relaxation, and
is anchored in the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda and was developed
by Swami Kriyananda, one of his disciples. This is a gentle style
designed to prepare the student for meditation, and its distinguishing
feature are the affirmations associated with postures. It includes
Yogananda's unique energization exercises, which involve consciously
directing the body's energy (life force) to different organs and limbs.
Bikram Yoga is the style taught by Bikram Choudhury. This is a system of 26 postures,
which are performed in a standard sequence in a room heated to 100-110
degrees Fahrenheit. This approach is fairly vigorous and requires
a certain fitness on the part of students.
originated by the Sikh master Yogi Bhajan. Its purpose is to awaken
the serpent power (kundalinî) by means of postures, breath control,
chanting, and meditation.
developed by John Friend, emphasizing
gentleness and compassion along with Iyengar-like
Other styles include
Tri Yoga (developed by Kali Ray)
White Lotus Yoga (developed by Ganga
White and Tracey Rich)
Jivamukti (developed by Sharon Gannon
and David Life)
Ishta Yoga (developed by Mani Finger
and made popular in the United states by
his son Alan, creator of YogaZone).
Yoga (linking the breath with the pose
in a smooth, easy manner...practiced by
Stephanie Keach, Erich Schiffman, Shiva
Rae and others.)
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