The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit word “yur” which means linking, or joining. It could also mean unity. The purpose of yoga is the unity of the body, soul and mind. This could be achieved through meditation and the preparation of the body through physical exercises.
There are different types of yoga. Some of them would be explained.
- Anusara Yoga: This type of yoga was developed in 1997 by John Friend. It is a purist form of yoga with a sense of humour. It seeks to use physical postures to bring out the intrinsic goodness in participants.
- Ashtanga Yoga: This type of yoga originated in Mysore India and was popularised in America by Pattabi Jois in the 1970s. This is a form of yoga in which different postures are made in synchronisation to breath. Thus, as each new move is made, participants would either breathe in or out.
- Bikram Yoga: In this type of yoga, participants go through a series of 26 poses. It was founded by Choudhury Bikram who was an Olympic Gold weight lifter in 1963. In this type of yoga, activities are carried out in an artificially heated room with temperatures reaching 90 to 105 degrees. The heat helps to improve flexibility, it prevents injuries and it aids detoxification.
- Iyengar Yoga: This type of yoga was developed and popularised over 60 years ago by B.K.S. Iyengar. In this type of yoga, careful attention is paid to finding the right body alignment. This kind of yoga is usually slower than other types of yoga. In Iyengar yoga poses are usually held for a longer time compared to other forms of yoga. Iyengar is unique in the fact that it makes use of props and other equipments in order to make it easier. It is ideal for people who have an injury, are old or somewhat disabled.
- Jivamukti Yoga: It was developed in 1986 by Sharon Ganon and David life. It emphasises on the spiritual and ethical aspects of yoga which have been ignored in the practice of yoga. It teaches vegetarianism and non violence. It also involves scriptural study, meditation and devotion to God.
- Kripalu Yoga: It is also known as the yoga of consciousness. It is composed of three stages. The first stage deals with learning postures and figuring out what your body can achieve. The second stage deals with staying in a pose for extended period of time in order increase self awareness. The third stage is a sort of meditation while undergoing poses. In this stage, the poses are done subconsciously, making the subconscious mind the teacher.
Apart from the above mentioned types of yoga, there are numerous others. It depends on the type that fits a particular individual.