Professional Yoga types explained by Karma Athletics Experts

Yoga is essentially a thousand plus year old indian practice of healing the mind and body through mindful postures and meditations. We practice every kind of yoga from then and few newbies added in our culture today. Below is a little education on what is available, why to try it and what it means. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for weight management, cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, heart disease and other illness.

Ananda Yoga

Best for Energy

The Energization Exercises were Yogananda's contribution to the science of yoga in 1916 which he expanded into 39 exercises in the 1930s.

Ananda Yoga classes focus on gentle postures 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.

Anusara Yoga

Open your heart and connect with the divine in yourself and others.

Anusara Yoga only started in 1997, founded by yogi, John Friend. Young but its message is very traditional, to open your heart and strive for connection. The principal of alignment in your posture and a playful heart and soul. Best for all stages of your practice from beginner to advanced postures. 

Based on the philosophy of tantra, John Friend explains "Tantra is both a philosophy and a set of practices to directly experience more interconnection with each other, with life, with the planet. Tantra is a path of expanding love, beauty, and delight within everyday life."

Ashtanga (or Astanga) Yoga

An athletes yoga for performance, stamina, flexibility and endurance.

Ashtanga is the physically demanding synchronizing breathing with progressive and continuous movement and breath yoga system taught by Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois. The series is meant to create immense inner heat and a profuse purifying sweat to detoxify your organs and muscles. This style of yoga is physically demanding as it involves synchronizing breathing with progressive and continuous series of postures producing intense internal heat and a 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 yoga practice and is not for beginner.

Bikram Yoga

Best for Men and Women looking to heal and strengthen their body, build muscle and endurance.

Bikram Choudhury, was a gold medal Olympic weight lifter and a disciple of Bishnu Ghosh, brother of Paramhansa Yogananda. 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. 

Bikram Yoga provides a series of 26 yoga postures and two breathing exercises for all ages and levels of ability.

Hatha Yoga

Excellent for stress and anxiety management. Great for beginners.

Hatha Yoga is excellent for beginners and 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. Approach asanas with a calm mind and an ease of movement with grace and agility. This practice is as much for the mind as it is for the body possible more so, you with practice can flow through Hatha Yoga in a near meditative state and gain inner peace as a result.

Integral Yoga

This traditional type of yoga combines postures, breathing exercises, selfless service, meditation, chanting, prayer, and self-inquiry. ISHTA: Developed by South African teacher Mani Finger and popularized in the States by his son Alan, ISHTA (Integral Science of Hatha and Tantric Arts) focuses on opening energy channels throughout the body with postures, visualizations, and meditations.

Iyengar Yoga

Iyengar Yoga was developed by master B.K.S. Iyengar more than six decades 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.

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 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. Kali Ray runs the TriYoga Center in Santa Cruz, California. 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.


Kundalini 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. Power Yoga 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 next pose, making it an intense aerobic workout.

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.

Sivananda Yoga

Like Integral Yoga, this traditional type of yoga combines postures, breathing, dietary restrictions, chanting, scriptural study, and meditation. The popular TV yoga teacher Lilias got her start practicing Sivananda Yoga.


New students find this a very approachable style, often beginning in chair poses that are comfortable. Promotes healing and transformation. Viniyoga: 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.


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.

White Lotus Yoga

Ganga White developed White Lotus Yoga, which is a modified Ashtanga practice. Combines breath and meditation.

Yin Yoga

Best for Relaxation and Stretching

Yin Yoga is at times referred to as yoga for the joints, not the muscles, it directs the stimulation normally created by the asana into areas deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues. Yin Yoga works the connective tissues of the ligaments, fascia, joints and bones. A significant characteristic is the long held, passive nature of the postures. While initially this style of yoga may seem boring, passive, or "soft", it can be quite challenging due to the long duration of the postures, which can last from five to twenty minutes.



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