Founded in New York City in 1984 by David Life and Shannon Gannon, Jivamukti is one of the nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha Yoga and one of the most well-known Yoga studios in the world today. David and Sharon are credited with the exponential rise...
Hatha yoga is a term that is used to describe specific yoga postures.— It also refers to a broad philosophical branch of yoga. Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, and hot yoga are just a few of the many styles that are based on hatha yoga. Let’s take a deeper look at practice. Hatha means “force” in Sanskrit — alluding to the effort...
The concept of Kundalini Yoga comes from tantra but the ‘serpent power’ it awakens is recognised and reflected across many ancient traditions and cultures. The word ‘Kundalini’ comes from the sanskrit root ‘kund’ meaning that which is coiled, or pit. Which aptly describes two aspects of this ‘serpent power’: Kundalini is the...
Don’t let its slow pace fool you—practicing Yin yoga is a rich and meaningful experience. Developed in the late 70s by American yoga teacher and martial arts champion Paulie Zink, Yin yoga is the balance to a full, active lifestyle. To fully understand Zink’s intention in creating this style of yoga, you must first understand its roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM, life force called qi (pronounced CHEE) flows through the body via energetic (non-physical) meridians in the body. In yoga speak, this is similar to the movement of prana (life force) through the body via pathways called nadis.
Chair Yoga: 11 Essential Poses
Chair yoga offers many of the same benefits as a standard yoga practice. If you have not exercised in a long time, are recovering from an illness, or simply have trouble getting up and down from the mat, chair yoga gives you the opportunity to practice yoga. Before embarking on any exercise program, you should check with your doctor. Always keep in mind that yoga should never hurt. If a pose does not feel right, do not force your body into the pose. If you feel dizzy or have trouble breathing, stop immediately. Always do chair yoga in a sturdy, armless chair on a non-slip surface. Make certain there is enough space between the front and back legs so it will not tip over. Your feet should be flat on the floor, but you could place a book under your feet if they do not reach. The chair should measure at least 30 inches at the back and 17 inches at the seat. For those over 5’8”, there are chairs that measure 35 inches at the back and 21 inches at the seat. Breathe smoothly, in and out through your nose. Here are eleven poses suitable for all ages.
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga
K. Pattabhi Jois (1915–2009), just like Iyengar, was a disciple of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who is often referred to as the Father of Modern Yoga. It was at the age of 12 that Jois first attended a demonstration by Krishnamacharya, whose disciple he asked to be shortly after. The discipleship lasted for 30 years. These 30 years of daily multi-hour yoga practice made him one of the world’s top teachers, with yogis from across the globe turning to him for practice and then spreading his teachings around it. K. Pattabhi Jois taught yoga for a long period of time at the Sanskrit College in Mysore. In 1949 right at his own home he established the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, where he started making use of yoga’s therapeutic aspects.
The father of this style, B. K. S. Iyengar (1918-2014) was a great teacher who dedicated his whole life to yoga right to the end. He was among the main people to popularise yoga in the world. Thanks to him, millions of people have learned about this ancient Indian practice. When he was 14 years old, Iyengar was a disciple of the Indian yoga scholar, philosopher, scientist, and healer Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989). He was already teaching at the age of 18 and, since the 1950s, after developing his own school based on classical Hatha-yoga, he began to actively teach yoga in Europe and the United States. In 1966, Iyengar wrote the book ‘Light on Yoga’, which became a worldwide bestseller, selling more than three million copies in 17 languages. Based on the ancient ‘yoga sutras’ by Patanjali, Iyengar elaborated more than 200 asanas and some pranayamas. The book contains over 600 photographs of asanas performed by the author. Written almost a half-century later, ‘Light on Life’ is a book about yoga as a philosophical system, where physical practice comprises only one-eighth, but this is intended to form the basis. Here Iyengar speaks about his own journey into the world of yoga. He gives us a flower revealed by his own hands thanks to his incredible perseverance and endless dedication to his work.
This yoga style originated from the Astanga Vinyasa school, adopting the concept of asanas’ smooth dynamic connection in a sequences. The best example of such a sequence is Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation), which often occurs at the beginning of the lesson. However, Vinyasa Flow is far from the severity of Astanga, where certain asanas are performed in the same order during each session. Vinyasa Flow classes are different, depending on the yoga studio, class, and instructor. Students are also given much more creative freedom.
Anusara Yoga focuses on postural alignment in the body and positive alignment in the mind. Together, they create a style of yoga focused on a connection with spirituality from the inside-out and a belief that people are inherently good. Founded in the mid-90’s by John Friend, Anusara quickly became one of the most popular styles of yoga in the West. This is thanks in part to its focus on fostering community, inclusiveness and a belief that everyone can connect with the divine. Friend’s journey with yoga began at the age of 8 when he became captivated by stories about yogis who had developed supernatural powers. That curiosity about the esoteric potential of yoga was bridged with the physical asana when he started a regular practice of Ashtanga yoga and later Iyengar. Though he was passionate about yoga, he was became frustrated by what he saw as isolation between mind and body he found in these two styles. He eventually developed his own brand of yoga based on Tantric philosophy and dynamic biomechanics, which became Anusara, meaning “to step into the current of divine will”.
According to adherents of this style, a high temperature (85-105°F) with special humidity control creates conditions in the classroom that are as close as possible to the climate in India, the birthplace of yoga. It softens tissue and muscle and, consequently, increases flexibility and tensile strength. This allows for a deeper and safer merging into asana form. Hot Yoga practitioners have noticed an increase in concentration and awareness, improved internal and external balance, strengthening resistance to stress, and overall emotional enthusiasm.