Many of us, me included, can get very confused about the many different styles of Yoga that we come across today. I’ve definitely wondered about some styles and was quite flustered when looking for classes and courses.
So I thought, why not discuss some of the styles I know about or that I’ve heard of in the past few years. Shall we?
These are a few styles of Yoga that I will try to explain. It’s in no particular order and I haven’t practised them all myself, but this my understanding of each of these. This is also not an exhaustive list or explan, just a few that I have come across during my practice.
Classical Ashtānga Yoga
Unlike the common perception today, Hatha Yoga is not just about a slow āsana practice. It is an entire lifestyle that is followed with dedication by serious practitioners.
Traditionally, every technique is practised for years until mastery is gained before starting a new practice. Cleansing techniques, diet, routine are all followed in a particular way for each technique. There is a deep philosophy to the practice.
This style of Yoga is focused on unlocking latent energy or Kundalini in the body and mind to experience the soul and connect to the world and to the divine through this universal energy. There are a lot of techniques geared at helping open the chakras or energy centres in the body to unlock the Kundalini and then to channelise and manage it for healing and spiritual growth.
I will say that I know almost nothing about this style, but I will say that, unlike popular perception, it not just about sexual practices. They may form a small part of the practice in some instances but there is a beautiful philosophy that works to connect with inner energy and the soul through various techniques and concepts.
This style focuses on sound to focus and channelise the mind. Sound is used to heal the body and mind, help with concentration, and create a sense of calm wellbeing. Sounds and vibrations in the form of chanting, humming, and silence may be used in practices. Musical instruments of different kinds are also used to create vibrations and work on quieting and focusing the mind.
Ashtānga Vinyāsa Yoga
A relatively younger style compared to the others, this style is focused mainly on the physical body. There is a lot of emphasis on strength, flexibility, and concentration. There is continuous movement that flows from one posture to the next seamlessly. It requires immense physical and mental strength to learn, practise, and master this style of āsana practice.
Another relatively young style of Yoga, Iyengar yoga brought in and popularised the use of props in āsana practice. Blocks, chairs, belts, ropes, and much more at used to build strength, flexibility, and accessibility. They’re also used to go deeper into a physical posture and get over fears, especially with inversions. It is a beautiful style to condition the body and mind for higher practices.
Do you practise one of these styles and would like to tell me more about it? Is the style you practis not listed here and you’d want to talk to me about it? Leave a comment or message me through the contact page and let’s engage!