Ashtanga yoga is a system of yoga transmitted to the modern world by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009). This method of yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures—a process producing intense internal heat and a profuse, purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. The result is improved circulation, a light and strong body, and a calm mind.
Also known as yoga vidya, Hath Yoga is a system of yoga described by Yogi Swatmarama, a Hindu sage of 15th century India. The word “hatha” comes from the Sanskrit terms “ha” (sun) and “tha” (moon). Hatha yoga helps to balance the body, mind and spirit, through poses (asana), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation.
Iyengar is a hatha yoga practice named after its founder, Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, although he himself would not call it Iyengar Yoga. He is considered one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world and has been practicing and teaching yoga for more than 75 years. He has written many books on yoga practice and philosophy, and is best known for his books Light on Yoga, Light on Pranayama , and Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. He has also written several definitive yoga texts. Iyengar yoga classes are offered throughout the world, and it is believed that millions of students practice Iyengar Yoga.
The Jivamukti Yoga method is a proprietary style of yoga created by David Life and Sharon Gannon in 1984. Integrating physical, ethical, and spiritual components, the method combines a vigorous, vinyasa form of hatha yoga with adherence to five central tenets: shastra (scripture), bhakti (devotion), ahimsa (non-harming), nāda (music), and dhyana (meditation). Animal rights, veganism, environmentalism, and social activism are also emphasized.
Kundalini 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 primarily on practices that expand sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual consciousness and merge it with the Infinite consciousness of God. Considered an advanced form of yoga and meditation, its 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.
Power Yoga is a general term used in the West to describe a vigorous, fitness-based approach to vinyasa-style yoga. Power yoga was originally closely modeled on the Ashtanga style of practice. The term came into common usage in the mid 1990s, in an attempt to make Ashtanga yoga more accessible to western students. Unlike Ashtanga, power yoga does not follow a set series of poses, so classes can vary widely, though strength and flexibility are emphasized. Instead of pausing between poses as you would in traditional yoga, each move flows into the next, making it an intense aerobic workout.
In a restorative yoga class you’ll spend long periods of time lying on blocks, blankets and yoga bolsters – passively allowing muscles to relax.
Vinyasa is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes. The word Vinyasa means “breath-synchronized movement.” In other words, the teacher will instruct you to move from one pose to the next on an inhale or an exhale. This technique is sometimes also called Vinyasa Flow, or just Flow because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a dance.