Last updated on September 23rd, 2023.
With roots dating several thousand years ago, on the banks of the lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas,
Yoga has been widely considered as an ‘immortal cultural outcome’ of Indus Saraswati Valley civilization and
has proved itself catering to both material and spiritual upliftment of humanity.
Presence of Yoga is available in folk traditions, Indus valley civilization, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhist and Jain traditions, Darshanas, epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana, theistic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas, and Tantric traditions. In addition, there was a primordial or pure Yoga which has been manifested in mystical traditions of South Asia.
Yoga is being devided in several periods. Historical evidences of the existence of Yoga were seen in the pre-Vedic period (2700 B.C.), and thereafter untill Patanjali’s period.
Classical period is following which is also considered the most fertile and prominent period in the history and development of Yoga. During this period, commentaries of Vyasa on Yoga Sutras and Bhagawadgita etc. came into existence. This period can be mainly dedicated to two great religious teachers of India –Mahavir and Buddha. This helps to explain some of yoga’s religious influences although Yoga itself is not necessarily a religion.
The modern period was also important as in 19th century yoga began to gain popularity in Europe and America. Modern generation used physical alignment and breathing control to achieve an equilibrium between the active body and its universe. The resulting harmony manifests itself as physical strength, physiological health and emotional well-being.
The History of Yoga
|Creation period / Living years of the style creator||Yoga style clasification||Information|
|˜2700 B.C.||Beginning of Yoga||"Yoga, being widely considered as an ‘immortal cultural outcome’ of Indus Saraswati Valley civilization – dating back to 2700 B.C., has proved itself catering to both material and spiritual upliftment of humanity.Basic humane values are the very identity of Yoga Sadhana.
Several Thousand years ago, on the banks of the lake Kantisarovar in the Himalayas, Adiyogi poured his profound knowledge into the legendary Saptarishis or ""seven sages”. The sages carried this powerful yogic science to different parts of the world, including Asia, the Middle East, Northern Africa and South America. Interestingly, modern scholars have noted and marvelled at the close parallels found between ancient cultures across the globe. However, it was in India that the yogic system found its fullest expression. Agastya, the Saptarishi who travelled across the Indian subcontinent, crafted this culture around a core yogic way of life."
|˜2700 B.C.||Beginning of Yoga||"Presence of Yoga is available in folk traditions, Indus valley civilization, Vedic and Upanishadic heritage, Buddhist and Jain traditions, Darshanas, epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana, theistic traditions of Shaivas, Vaishnavas, and Tantric traditions. In addition, there was a primordial or pure Yoga which has been manifested in mystical traditions of South Asia. This was the time when Yoga was being practised under the direct guidance of Guru and its spritual value was given special importance. It was a part of Upasana and yoga sadhana was inbuilt in their rituals.
Historical evidences of the existence of Yoga were seen in the pre-Vedic period (2700 B.C.), and thereafter till Patanjali’s period. The main sources, from which we get the information about Yoga practices and the related literature during this period, are available in Vedas (4), Upanishads(108), Smritis, teachings of Buddhism, Jainism, Panini, Epics (2), Puranas (18) etc."
|500 B.C. - 800 A.D.||Yoga Classical period||"Tentatively, the period between 500 BC - 800 A.D. is considered as the Classical period which is also considered as the most fertile and prominent period in the history and development of Yoga.During this period, commentaries of Vyasa on Yoga Sutras and Bhagawadgita etc. came into existence.This period can be mainly dedicated to two great religious teachers of India –Mahavir and Buddha. The concept of Five great vows – Pancha mahavrata- by Mahavir and Ashta Magga or eightfold path by Buddha - can be well considered as early nature of Yoga sadhana.
We find its more explicit explanation in Bhagawadgita which has elaborately presented the concept of Gyan yoga, Bhakti yoga and Karma Yoga. These three types of yoga are still the highest example of human wisdom and and even to day people find peace by following the methods as shown in Gita. Patanjali’s yoga sutra besides containing various aspects of yoga, is mainly identified with eight fold path of Yoga. The very important commentary on Yoga sutra by Vyasa was also written. During this very period the aspect of mind was given importance and it was clearly brought out through Yoga sadhana, Mind and body both can be brought under control to experience equanimity."
|800 A.D - 1900 A.D||Yoga Modern period||The period between 1700 - 1900 A.D. is considered as Modern period in which the great Yogacharyas- Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Paramhansa Yogananda, Vivekananda etc. have contributed for the development of Raja Yoga.This was the period when Vedanta, Bhakti yoga, Nathayoga or Hatha-yoga flourished. The Shadanga-yoga of Gorakshashatakam, Chaturanga-yoga of Hathayogapradipika, Saptanga-yoga of Gheranda Samhita, were the main tenents of Hatha-yoga.|
|1800 - 1900||Yoga in Americas||Yoga began to gain popularity in the West at the end of the 19th century. But it was a yoga deeply influenced by Western spiritual and religious ideas, representing in many respects a radical break from the grass-roots yoga lineages of India. The first wave of "export yogis," headed by Swami Vivekananda, largely ignored asana and tended to focus instead on pranayama, meditation, and positive thinking. The English-educated Vivekananda arrived on American shores in 1893 and was an instant success with the high society of the East Coast. While he may have taught some postures, Vivekananda publicly rejected hatha yoga in general and asana in particular. Those who came from India to the United States in his wake were inclined to echo Vivekananda's judgments on asana. This was due partly to long-standing prejudices held by high-caste Indians like Vivekananda against yogins, "fakirs," and low-caste mendicants who performed severe and rigorous postures for money, and partly to the centuries of hostility and ridicule directed toward these groups by Western colonialists, journalists, and scholars.|
|1888 - 2000||Yoga in America and Europe||"A highly influential figure in the development of modern asana practice in 20th-century India was, of course, T. Krishnamacharya (1888-1989), who studied at Kuvalayananda's institute in the early 1930s and went on to teach some of the most influential global yoga teachers of the 20th century, like B.K.S. Iyengar, K. Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi, and T.K.V. Desikachar. Krishnamacharya was steeped in the traditional teachings of Hinduism, holding degrees in all six darshanas (the philosophical systems of orthodox Hinduism) and Ayurveda. But he was also receptive to the needs of his day, and he was not afraid to innovate, as evidenced by the new forms of asana practice he developed during the 1930s. During his tenure as a yoga teacher under the great modernizer and physical culture enthusiast Krishnarajendra Wodeyar, the maharajah of Mysore, Krishnamacharya formulated a dynamic asana practice, intended mainly for India's youth, that was very much in line with the physical culture zeitgeist. It was, like Kuvalayananda's system, a marriage of hatha yoga, wrestling exercises, and modern Western gymnastic movement, and unlike anything seen before in the yoga tradition.
These experiments eventually grew into several contemporary styles of asana practice, most notably what is known today as Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. Although this style of practice represents only a short period of Krishnamacharya's extensive teaching career (and doesn't do justice to his enormous contribution to yoga therapy), it has been highly influential in the creation of American vinyasa, flow, and Power Yoga-based systems."
|1945 - present||Yoga in US||"In the late '60s and early '70s, there were no props, just bodies. The practice was less about asana and more about meditation, community, and spirituality. Over the past four decades, yoga has evolved exponentially, and the equipment, apparel, and culture surrounding the tradition have kept pace. We asked a handful of longtime YJ contributors and events presenters for their thoughts on the metamorphosis of yoga gear and its impact on the practice as a whole.
Towels might seem like a new addition to the prop arsenal, but they can actually be considered one of yoga's first accessories. In the '60s and '70s, many ashrams had carpeted rooms, and legendary yoga teacher and founder of Dharma Yoga Dharma Mittra recalls fresh sheets being laid down before each practice for cleanliness. Students brought their own towels to class to lay over them for the sake of hygiene and comfort, before blankets and mats were the norm.
After the blanket and the belt came the block. In the '70s and until quite recently, blocks were almost always made of wood. People would make their own blocks, often leaving sharp edges, and the size was never uniform, Cole recalls. They weren’t easy to transport, especially for B.K.S. Iyengar, who traveled to and from Bombay to teach for years, before opening his first institute in 1975. Mittra’s first version of a block was a large telephone book covered with foam and cloth."
|1967 - 2013||Yoga Therapeutic benefits||"Major electronic databases were searched for articles in all languages published between 1967 and 2013. Databases included PubMed, PsychInfo, MEDLINE, IndMed, Indian Citation Index, Index Medicus for South-East Asia Region, Web of Knowledge, Embase, EBSCO, and Google Scholar. Nonindexed journals were searched manually. Key search words included yoga, yoga therapy, pranayama, asana. All studies met the definition of a clinical trial. All styles of yoga were included. The authors extracted the data.
A total of 486 articles met the inclusion criteria and were published in 217 different peer-reviewed journals from 29 different countries on 28,080 study participants. The primary result observed is the three-fold increase in number of publications seen in the last 10 years, inclusive of all study designs. Overall, 45% of the studies published were randomized controlled trials, 18% were controlled studies, and 37% were uncontrolled studies. Most publications originated from India (n=258), followed by the United States (n=122) and Canada (n=13). The top three disorders addressed by yoga interventions were mental health, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease.
A surge in publications on yoga to mitigate disease-related symptoms in clinical populations has occurred despite challenges facing the field of yoga research, which include standardization and limitations in funding, time, and resources. The population at large has observed a parallel surge in the use of yoga outside of clinical practice. The use of yoga as a complementary therapy in clinical practice may lead to health benefits beyond traditional treatment alone; however, to effect changes in health care policy, more high-quality, evidence-based research is needed."
|1975||Yoga in US||Legendary yogi Sri Dharma Mittra, founded one of the early independent, and longest-running schools of yoga in New York City in 1975. Known as "The Teacher's Teacher," and "The Rock of Yoga," he has taught hundreds of thousands of students over a half century and created more than 300 popular yoga postures and variations. Sri Dharma Mittra is the author of The Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures, ASANAS: 608 Yoga Poses, and the Maha Sadhana DVD series. He continues to disseminate the complete traditional science of yoga through daily classes, workshops worldwide, and his Life of a Yogi Teacher Certification programs at the Dharma Yoga Center.|
|1883 - 1966||Hatha Yoga||"Famous Indian pioneer of the scientific study of hatha yoga. He was born Jagannath Ganesh Gune on August 30, 1883, at Dabhoi, Baroda. His first language was Marathi, but all of his publications on yoga in English.
Paramahamsa Madhavadasji trained Gune and Shri Yogendra in yoga, which had died out in most of India.
Yogendra founded a yoga center in Bombay, and Gune worked at it until 1932. He then left to found the Yogic Health Center at Santa Cruz, Bombay; new premises were secured in 1935 and the center was renamed Ishwardas Chunilal Yoga Health Centre, Kaivalyadhama. Later a spiritual center was added at Kanakesvara Hill in the Kolaba district of Bombay. An additional center, the Kaivalyadhama Saurashtra Mandal, was established in Rajkot in 1943."
|1883 - 1966||Hatha Yoga||"Eighteen studies were found, fourteen in acute patients and four in chronic patients. Most studies were of low quality. For depression outcomes, hatha yoga did not show a significant effect when compared to treatment as usual.
The ability to draw firm conclusions is limited by the notable heterogeneity and low quality of most of the included studies. With this caveat in mind, the results of the current meta-analysis suggest that hatha yoga does not have effects on acute, chronic and/or treatment-resistant mood and anxiety disorders compared to treatment as usual or active control groups. However, when compared to psychoeducation, hatha yoga showed more reductions in depression. It is clear that more high-quality studies are needed to advance the field."
|1897 - 1981||Hatha Yoga||"Shri Yogendra (1897-1981) was the name given to an India yoga guru, author and researcher widely regarded as a key figure in the renaissance and popularization of Hatha yoga in both his native India and the West.
In 1918, he founded The Yoga Institute in Mumbai, reportedly the oldest dedicated yoga center in the world. After traveling to the United States in 1919 with the aim of spreading the messages of yoga, he set up a branch of his institute: The Yoga Institute of America at Harriman in New York.
Later, Shri Yogendra developed his own teachings and modern methods to share the wisdom of yoga with “householders,” or everyday people living in towns and cities. He saw the value that yoga could have for all people living ordinary lives and facing day-to-day challenges. He also carried out scientific research into yogic techniques, and wrote several books on yoga. Some of these are considered to be the world’s most authentic sources of yogic wisdom."
|N/A||Hatha Yoga||"Hatha yoga is the yoga tradition most familiar to Western culture. The term is derived from the Sanskrit ha, meaning ""sun,"" and tha, meaning ""moon."" The practice aims to unite the active and receptive qualities represented by each celestial being.
Practitioners of Hatha yoga use physical alignment and breathing control to achieve an equilibrium between the active body and its universe. The resulting harmony manifests itself as physical strength, physiological health and emotional well-being.
Hatha yoga is a popular tradition that reinforces equilibrium, flexibility and strength. The primary elements of the Western practice are yoga poses (asanas) and breath control; however, there are six other elements, or ""limbs,"" involved in the full enjoyment of the discipline.
The ""eight limbs"" of Hatha yoga are:
Yama - Ethical behavior
Niyama - Spiritual practice
Asana - Physical poses
Pranayama - Breath control
Pratyahara - Turning our senses away from outside influence
Dharana - Concentration
Dhyana - Meditation
Samadhi - The ultimate state of consciousness and the goal of Hatha yoga"
|N/A||Hatha Yoga||The world of modern day yoga has grown by leaps and bounds from its ancient origins. Whereas the physical postures that we call Hatha yoga today used to be just a small part of the entire yoga tradition, now there are a myriad of physical styles of yoga — all of which fall under the umbrella we call Hatha.Beginning with the foundational yogic tradition, Hatha yoga consists of asanas ideal for the beginner student. Poses are typically gentle with a moderate amount of flow. The pace is slower than most forms of yoga and the practice accessible to people of all ages and levels of fitness. Hatha yoga is all about balancing the solar and lunar energies within each and every one of us.|
|1900 - 2009||Ashtanga||"The Ashtanga yoga system was made popular by the beloved teacher, Pattabhi Jois. Although Pattabhi passed away in 2009, his legend lives on in the Ashtanga yoga system, which is one of the most physically challenging of them all. This is the type of yoga to go to if you want an intense workout, as well as a very regulated set of asanas.
Despite the fact that the Ashtanga yoga sequences are always the same, they get harder and harder as you move through the levels, keeping the practice forever new and challenging. This style of yoga takes discipline, but the rewards are many."
|1900 - 2009||Ashtanga||This dynamic, physically demanding practice synchronizes breath and movement to produce an internal heat designed to purify the body. Ashtanga yoga, with its many vinyasas, is great for building core strength and toning the body. Prepare to sweat as you briskly move through a set sequence.|
|1900 - 2009||Ashtanga||"Ashtanga yoga, sometimes referred to as Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, is a style of yoga that was developed by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and T. Krishnamacharya in the 20th century. They claimed it originated from a system of Hatha yoga described in the ancient text, the ""Yoga Korunta."" Used in this context, the term, Ashtanga yoga, refers to this particular style of yoga.
Ashtanga yoga is a dynamic, flowing style that connects the movement of the body with the breath. The method stresses the importance of daily practice of a set series of movements. There are six series of Ashtanga yoga sequences, which the student progresses through at their own pace."
|1984||Jivamukti||Jivamukti yoga finds its origin in the Ashtanga style, but with other elements mixed in. This style —invented by partners, David Life and Sharon Gannon — is rigorous like Ashtanga, but with the added practices of chanting, meditation and spiritual teachings. It’s physically challenging and spiritually rich —perfect for the modern-day yogi seeking a great workout paired with soulful inspiration.|
|1984||Jivamukti||"Jivamukti yoga is a modern hybrid style of yoga that was created and branded by artist David Life and musician/dancer Sharon Gannon.
The name comes from the Sanskrit jiva (individual living soul) and mukti (the freeing from the eternal cycle of death and rebirth). Therefore, the full name implies liberation while still living on Earth.
The five basic principles of Jivamukti yoga are:
It is a highly physical and vigorous style of yoga that takes its basic moves from traditional Hatha yoga."
|1938 - 2016||Viniyoga||Viniyoga is a style of yoga that finds its origins in the teachings of T. Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikachar (his son). A Viniyoga class is often taught privately, with a sequence tailored to fit the needs of the student based on age, physical condition and current overall level of well-being. It focuses upon the movement of the spine as well as the movement of the breath.|
|1938 - 2016||Viniyoga||Viniyoga is a style of Hatha yoga that promotes the personalization of yoga practices to suit each individual yogi. From Sanskrit, the prefixes, vi and ni, denote “adaptation” or “appropriate application.” It involves adapting the methods of yoga to ensure they are exactly what the yogi needs in mind, body and spirit.|
|1938 - 2016||Viniyoga||"Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya is known as one of the most influential yoga masters of the 20th century, and is often referred to as the ""Father of Modern Yoga.” In his long life — 100 years(!), which is another testament to the wonders of yoga for health — Krishnamacharya spread the wisdom of yoga to the West. He believed that the practice could be used to prevent and treat disease; and that yoga postures, breathing exercises and meditation practices should be taught based on “what is appropriate for an individual.” This approach emphasizes the therapeutic nature of yoga as a healing modality to cultivate more balance in mind, body and soul. Krishnamacharya was also the first to consciously weave together breath with movement during the yoga practice and, therefore, can be seen as an early creator of the vinyasa style.
Krishnamacharya’s teachings are revolutionary in that he was one of the first to teach yoga as simultaneously a spiritual practice and modality of physical healing. From a young age, Krishnamacharya studied ""The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali"" as well as the ""Yoga Yajnavalkya,"" and much of his teachings are based on the wisdom of these texts.
The Viniyoga approach is thought to originate within the teachings of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya and T.K.V. Desikacher; and was, in part, popularized in the West by Gary Kraftsow and the American Viniyoga Institute. It is considered to be an authentic transmission of yogic teachings and integrates asana, pranayama, use of bandhas, chanting and meditation."
|1970||Iyengar||Iyengar yoga was made popular by B.K.S. Iyengar, a guru from Pune, India. This style is largely alignment-based, and makes use of various yoga props such as blocks, straps and blankets. Great attention is given to the details of each asana as the poses are held for longer periods of time than in an Ashtanga or Vinyasa yoga class. It’s considered to be the ballet of yoga and is the perfect yoga for those who need therapeutic asanas for various health conditions.|
|1970||Iyengar||"Iyengar Yoga, named after and developed by B. K. S. Iyengar, and described in his bestselling 1966 book Light on Yoga, is a form of yoga as exercise that has an emphasis on detail, precision and alignment in the performance of yoga postures (asanas).
The style often makes use of props, such as belts, blocks, and blankets, as aids in performing the asanas. The props enable beginning students, the elderly, or those with physical limitations to perform the asanas correctly, minimising the risk of injury or strain."
|1970||Iyengar||By paying close attention to anatomical details and the alignment of each posture, Iyengar Yoga is the practice of precision. Poses are held for long periods and often modified with props. This method is designed to systematically cultivate strength, flexibility, stability, and awareness, and can be therapeutic for specific conditions. B.K.S. Iyengar founded Iyengar Yoga.|
|1997||Anusara||Anusara yoga is a style popularized by modern day yoga teacher, John Friend. It revolves around the philosophy of Tantra, as well as the opening of the heart. Similar in ways to Iyengar yoga, Anusara is an alignment-based system, with an emphasis on therapeutic yoga asanas. It is characterized by uplifting philosophy interwoven in the teachings, and is a perfect style for any level of yogi.|
|1997||Anusara||Anusara yoga means “flowing with Grace” and as such promotes deep personal growth and transformative experiences on all levels. The power of Anusara yoga, as a method, comes from it’s comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approach to the physical, mental, spiritual and mystical aspects of yoga. Through community, movement, meditation, breath-work and Tantric philosophy, Anusara yoga aligns your mind, body and heart, thus giving you the opportunity to connect to your deeper self. It is a unique form of Hatha yoga that gives people of all backgrounds and abilities the opportunity to improve strength, flexibility and balance. Anusara goes beyond fitness by supporting practitioners creativity and joyful self-discovery.|
|1900||Kundalini||Kundalini yoga is a spiritually rigorous yoga practice with a focus on breath work, chanting and kriyas, which are repetitive and often fast-paced movements. The aim of Kundalini yoga is to unleash the kundalini energy which lies dormant at the base of the spine. Attention to breath control as well as the bandhas are a huge aspect of this style of yoga. Kundalini yoga is a powerful practice and should be done with the guidance of an experienced teacher.|
|1900||Kundalini||An uplifting blend of spiritual and physical practices, Kundalini Yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning "truth is my identity." The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness.|
|1900||Kundalini||Kundalini Yoga is an ancient art and science dealing with the transformation and expansion of consciousness, the awakening and raising of Kundalini Energy up the spine through energy centers called Chakras. The activation and balancing of the chakras is accomplished by the mixing and uniting of Prana (cosmic energy) with Apana (eliminating energy) which generates pressure to force Kundalini to rise, by means of Pranayama (breathing exercises), Bhandas (body locks), in Kriyas (exercise sets), using Asanas (postures), Mudras (gestures), and Mantras (sacred sounds).|
|1948||Vinyasa||Vinyasa yoga is currently one of the most popular forms of yoga. It consists of linking the breath with the asana in a fluid and dance-like sequence, which is especially helpful for beginners. It is also suitable for all levels, depending upon the particular class. Most classes begin with the flowing movements of Sun Salutations and then move on to integrate other asanas.|
|1948||Vinyasa||The word “vinyasa” can be translated as “arranging something in a special way,” like yoga poses for example. In vinyasa yoga classes, students coordinate movement with breath to flow from one pose to the next. Ashtanga, Baptiste Yoga, Jivamukti, Power Yoga, and Prana Flow could all be considered vinyasa yoga. Vinyasa is also the term used to describe a specific sequence of poses (Chaturanga to Upward-Facing Dog to Downward-Facing Dog) commonly used throughout a vinyasa class.|
|1800 - 1900||Sivananda||Sivananda yoga is a more traditional form of yoga that focuses on the following principles: a sequence of 12 asanas, pranayama, relaxation, yogic philosophy, meditation and a vegetarian diet. Although it is a disciplined style, it is still accessible to most levels.|
|1800 - 1900||Sivananda||"The Sivananda practice is deeply rooted in classical yoga and a dharmic relationship that guides and motivates teachers and students to grow in their quest for awareness and knowledge of the universal, spiritual nature of Self. Ultimately, Self-realization comes through self-mastery based in practice.
In Sivananda Yoga, asana is always balanced with pranayama and relaxation, offering indirect control of the mind. A healthy vegetarian diet supports the practice. Finally, meditation coupled with positive thinking work directly to master the mind. Through these five principles, the practitioner comes to know and feel firsthand what is healthy, gives energy, reduces stress, focuses the mind, cultivates integrity, and connects to the flow of universal life."
|1970||Bikram||Bikram yoga is that style of yoga also known as Hot yoga. It’s done in a room heated between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, which gets the muscles, ligaments and tendons to loosen up. This is one of the most vigorous forms of yoga and not for the faint of heart.|
|1970||Bikram||"Bikram Yoga is a proprietary system of hot yoga as exercise devised by Bikram Choudhury; it became popular in the early 1970s. Classes consist of a fixed sequence of 26 postures, practised in a room heated to 105 °F (41 °C) with a humidity of 40%, intended to replicate the climate of India. The room is fitted with carpets and the walls are covered in mirrors; the instructor does not adjust the students, who are expected to adjust themselves. Choudhury's teaching style was abrasive.
Bikram Yoga spread rapidly across America and the Western world, reaching a peak of some 1,650 studios in at least 40 countries in 2006. Choudhury attempted to copyright the Bikram Yoga sequence from 2011, but was ultimately unsuccessful. In 2016, facing lawsuits and accusations of sexual assault, Choudhury fled to India, leaving Bikram Yoga, Inc. to be run by others."
|1970||Yin||"Yin yoga is a type of restorative yoga practice based on the traditional Daoist philosophy of yin and yang energies. The aim of the practice it to evoke the calming effects of yin energy, allowing the body to fall into a natural state of equilibrium and relaxation.
Yin yoga is accessible to yogis of all levels of physical fitness. During a Yin yoga class, each asana is held for a long period of time, typically three to five minutes or longer. The goal is to reduce muscular engagement and target connective tissues instead. This leads to an overall deeper stretch and increased relaxation."
|1970||Yin||"Yang yoga provides enormous benefits for physical and emotional health, especially for those living a sedentary modern lifestyle. Taoists would say yang practice removes qi stagnation as it cleanses and strengthens our bodies and our minds. But the practice of yang yoga, by itself, may not adequately prepare the body for a yin activity such as seated meditation. Seated meditation is a yin activity, not just because it is still but because it depends on the flexibility of the connective tissue.
So why would Yin Yoga advocate stretching connective tissue? Because the principle of all exercise is to stress tissue so the body will respond by strengthening it. Moderately stressing the joints does not injure them any more than lifting a barbell injures muscles."
|1970||Yin||"Yin Yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga as exercise, incorporating principles of traditional Chinese medicine, with asanas (postures) that are held for longer periods of time than in other styles. For beginners, asanas may be held from 45 seconds to two minutes; more advanced practitioners may stay in one asana for five minutes or more. The sequences of postures are meant to stimulate the channels of the subtle body known as meridians in Chinese medicine and as nadis in Hatha yoga.
Yin Yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fasciae, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. A more meditative approach to yoga, its goals are awareness of inner silence, and bringing to light a universal, interconnecting quality.
Yin Yoga was founded in the late 1970s by martial arts expert and yoga teacher Paulie Zink Taoist yoga (Tao Yin). Yin Yoga is taught across North America and Europe, encouraged by its teachers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers. As taught by Grilley and Powers, it is not intended as a complete practice in itself, but as a complement to more active forms of yoga and exercise. However, Zink's approach includes the full range of Taoist yoga, both yin and conventional."
|1989||Forrest||Forrest yoga — created by yogini, Ana Forrest — is another highly physical practice. Its primary aim is to promote deep physical and emotional healing, with an emphasis on deep abdominal breath work to help stoke the fires within while cleansing and purifying the entire mind-body connection.|
|1989||Forrest||In turn, Forrest Yoga emerged in 1989 as a blend of efficient asana and First Peoples’ wise spirit medicine. It addresses modern physical ailments such as back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. Through helpful coaching, Forrest Yoga strives to unite us with our spirits, which may have been slowly starved by life or shocked out of our bodies through trauma. Forrest Yoga is a path that calls the spirit home. It’s an evolving system, with a living founder and 14 senior teachers, called the Guardians, whom Ana has chosen to carry on Forrest Yoga’s tradition long after she’s gone. It also now includes Ana’s husband, musician Jose Calarco.|
In Concluding the History of Yoga
Yoga is an evolving practice that is changing and growing to suit people of all ages and abilities. With a variety of styles (to include even clothings styles influencing everything from the racerback to yoga dress pants) yoga is known as a wonderful practice for the body and mind and lifestyle in general.
While some of the styles like Yin yoga had focused on creativity, meditation and brain relaxation other were used as yoga therapy. For example, Kundalini Yoga’s physical postures are designed to activate the navel, spine, and focal points of pressurization on meridians (energy points). There are also styles like Bikram Yoga which spread rapidly across America and the Western world due to unique factors. Know as the hot yoga style, Bikram Yoga is practiced in a room heated to 105 °F (41 °C) with a humidity of 40%, intended to replicate the climate of India where it was created.
Whatever style would fit your personality, physically challenging or spiritually rich or a hybrid of the two, for sure there is a perfect perfect style for you. There are so many! From Goat Yoga to Iyengar Yoga or from Baby Yoga to Hatha Yoga. So much exists for the modern-day yogi seeking a great workout paired with soulful inspiration. You might fall in love with yoga and learn every style or even attend an online yoga school. The possibilities are endless.