Varying Yoga styles
Clarifying each yoga type/style/discipline
Finding your yoga discipline can be challenging and intimidating so here I try to clarify in language that supports all and honours the truth of each discipline. I will be brief and try to stick to what you may expect in a studio and not get too deep so you don't get lost.
I of course won't be able to offer clarification on them all. There are new and varied discipline arriving all the time, as we evolve in knowledge as humans there might be teachers that bring a certain knowledge to the discipline and feel it no longer honors it's true roots so it may be "re-branded'.
I feel the first 4 are more of the classical styles the ones we know to have been around for a longer period of time but even with in each of theses there is variation depending on the rots of the teacher. Also each teacher bring much life exerpience to their teaching which is how it becomes what it is.
Astanga - A path of yoga derived from the 8 limbs path a root of yoga dedicated within some of the ancient texts. This practice was brought together by Pattabi Jois. In full it is a 6 part series where you only progress as you are ready. Many staying firmly within the 1st 2 series for a lifetime of practice. The practice is physically demanding and goes very deep into many asana. The series or sequences that are practiced in a flow, meaning the movement link together and the practice becomes fluid. Often consider a more challenging practice, traditionally practiced in the morning and without music is a definite for Astangi's.
Iyengar - Brought to us by B.K.S Iyengar, a practice that in mnay ways is much different to the above. There are many variations for each pose inviting the individual to find the pose serves them dnwhere there physical body is at. With this in mind the practice makes use of many props to help guide the structure of each practitioner to find the quality & purpose of the pose. Each pose is practiced step by step and is taught in a very structured manor. Again usually offered without music as it doesn't really serve such a practice.
Hatha - Traditionally hatha is more or the core original version of the momevmnt of yoga. Posture practiced pose by pose clear and calm and with breath. Less restrictive like the above two and usually taught a little softer and freer, often offered as a more beginner/introduction style to bring steadier awareness into what yoga is and could be.
Vinyasa - My discipline ;-) mostly. Vinyasa is in many ways a loose version of Astanga the whole idea of the postures being linked together is "vinyasa" but "vinyasa flow" as you often see it written remain an open practice brought together by each teacher of it. This means the varying ways it arrives in the studio is many, but think creative yet structured and intelligent postures brought tother by a specific focus of movement and philosophical theme to try and invite a more full path of practice in. Some teacher may offer the practice more dynamically than others, some with long meditations, some with long breath work and also it might change teacher to teacher, so it really is about trying a few classes to find your one.
Remember I'm keeping it simple there is more and more I could say like where does the philopshy come in and breath. All of the above will be offered with guidance of the breath and many may also bring in some mediation and hopefully some philopshy but this can be very teacher dependent.
Then we have some newer styles;
Jiva Mukti - Vinyasa style of movement, with chanting, mediation and strong philosophical themes. A great practice.
Slow Flow - Like a softer calmer vinyasa class.
Rocket - Similar to Astanga in intensity but with music, still set series yet less strict than traditional astanga. Fun and fiery. Often no mediation or theme.
Restorative - Think of word restore...to support to rest you to allow your body to heal rejuvenate. A two and grounding calm practice offering lots of support and rest as you open and release your body.
Yin - Often confuse with the above, Yin actually does restore but so do all styles of movement. Whilst restorative supports yin asks you to go deeper to move through the ayer of the being mentally and of course physically to open yourself and heal yourself. So with this in mind it can be more demanding, yet its still with props and pose the earth.