What is Your Yoga Style?

How “Yoga Lineages” Impact the Way You Practice

Do you ever get confused about all of the various styles of yoga? With so many of them… Vinyasa, AcroYoga, Kundalini, Bikram and Ashtanga….It’s no wonder so many students tell me they’ll never understand all of them!

And the truth be known, I can barely pronounce them!

If someone asked you what style of yoga you practice, how would you answer? Have you maintained one particular yoga tradition, or have you found a blend of traditions more to your liking?

Whatever style you have adopted can likely be traced back to one or more traditions of yoga called “yoga lineages”. A yoga lineage is the tracing of their roots and traditions from teacher to teacher to teacher.

While it can feel intimidating at first, it’s comforting to know that most yoga lineages can be traced back to a core group of four or five prominent eastern yoga teachers.

By far and away, the yoga lineage which has had the greatest impact on the state of Yoga in the world today stems from the great yogi T. Krishnamacharya. His students included BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi, Srivatsa Ramaswami, and TKV Desikachar, all of whom were instrumental in bringing Hatha Yoga out of India.

Yoga became popular in the west in the early 20th century, thanks in large part to Theos Bernard- a Columbia University scholar who went to India and Tibet in the 1930s. It was Bernard who wrote about Hatha Yoga in his book Heaven Lies within Us which was also featured in Family Circle. Hatha Yoga refers to the physical poses, and is the predominate yoga “lineage” in the US.

Yoga in the US has grown in popularity, namely due to emphasis on the physical benefits. However, the physical nature of the practice is just one aspect of Yoga. In eastern cultures, students would practice Yoga as a means of opening up their bodies to prepare their minds for meditation. And that makes sense to many of us. If you open up your body then you can calm you mind!

At Bikram Yoga Lake Norman, we believe that our students should have a variety of class options to choose from, and that no one practice or lineage is better than another. We believe that a successful practice has much more to do with the instructor’s ability to give every student what they need each time they go to the mat.

Are you looking for a calming, stretching practice? Then, Yin yoga is for you. Are you wanting an active, invigorating practice then Bikram Yoga or Vinyasa Yoga is for you.

Cool new class coming for Summer:

Do you want to work on strengthening your core using a mix of styles? Then stay tuned for an upcoming announcement of our new summer Core program. It will be an amazing way to get stronger, leaner, and more balanced… all in one class.

Choose the style that appeals to you. And get exactly what you need!

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“At Bikram Yoga Lake Norman,  we believe that our students should have a variety of class options to choose from, and that no one practice or lineage is better than another. We believe that a successful practice has much more to do with the instructor’s ability to give every student what they need each time they go to the mat.”

2016-11-21T13:25:31+00:00 By |Blog, Front-page-posts|

About the Author:

Amy Clement is a real estate and business professional, executive coach, speaker and writer, and owns Bikram Yoga Lake Norman. She has practiced Yoga for over 15 years and became a certified Bikram Yoga Instructor in 2012.