General Question

2davidc8's avatar

Why are there so many kinds of yoga?

Asked by 2davidc8 (9650points) October 18th, 2019

For example, I’ve heard of iyengar, kundalini, hatha, nidra, etc., etc.
What’s the diff?
Which one is best for a beginner, or does it depend on your objective?

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10 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why are there so many kinds of cheese?

Same answer. They’re all a little different, and some people find each of them useful or productive.

This is a market economy. The producers (the Yoga studios) offer what sells.

PaisleyFaye's avatar

My goodness. lol are those the actual Names they use? Ive never heard of those before. I think sometimes people get drawn in to things like this, they just add a fancy name to it so it seems ‘intresting’. The only Yoga I know of is just the regular old Yoga, and HOT Yoga, where the room has a few radiators that give off steam causing us to sweat out toxins more. And with all kinds of yoga there’s lots of stretching, holding poses in various positions…ect

2davidc8's avatar

@Zaku Thanks for the link. Very informative.

dabbler's avatar

Yoga is a philosophical system with the goal of peace of mind.Yoga is a sanskrit word meaning ‘union’ ... union of inner and outer, lower and higher, earth-bound and divine.
The physical activities most of us in the west associate with Yoga are the Hatha yoga practices that calm and energize the body to support meditation practice.
All those styles you mention are interpretations of the classic asanas/poses and breathing.

2davidc8's avatar

OK, @dabbler, good to know! Thanks.

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sufisamwise's avatar

Many ‘kinds’ of yoga, such as Iyengar, Vinyasa, Bikram, Anusara, Hot Yoga, Restorative Yoga, and what many people mistakenly call Ashtanga Yoga, are all simply different variants of Hatha Yoga. Yoga proper is a spiritual path, and the word comes from the Sanskrit word for “yoke,” implying a yoking or uniting of the individual soul with the infinite, eternal Spirit. Originally, this spiritual tradition comes from the ancient text called the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which defines the spiritual of Yoga as consisting of 8 stages (or limbs). Hatha is only one of the preliminary stagesamong these 8, and it’s original purpose was for one thing alone: to render the physical body strong and healthy enough that it would not be a distraction or a hindrance during prolonged periods of deep, intense meditation. Taken as a whole, these 8 limbs of yoga are called Ashtanga Yoga. Ashta literally means eight. But what is called Ashtanga yoga in the Western world these days is basically just hatha exercises with a small bit from a couple of the other limbs thrown in to make it more marketable. In this sense, hatha yoga (including all of it’s variants mentioned above) is not really yoga in the historical sense. Traditionally, Yoga referred to the complete system developed by the sage Patanjali, including all 8 stages of practice.

2davidc8's avatar

Great answer, @sufisamwise, thank you very much!!

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