Types of Yoga

Hatha Yoga places great importance on the purification processes, regulation of the breath (pranayama), and the adoption of bodily postures called asanas. 

Hatha Yoga in the US has grown in popularity as a source of exercise and relaxation. Yoga has stimulated much attention by medical professionals due to its marvelous health benefits such as the control of bodily processes, lower stress levels, and increased flexibility. Yoga practitioners have shown remarkable abilities to lower their own blood pressure and to regulate body temperature and respiration rate.

Hatha Yoga has gained recognition in the USA as the premiere yoga. 

Below is a list of Hatha Yoga styles:

Anusara Yoga
Kundalini Yoga
      Paramahansa Yogananda
Power Yoga
Svaroopa Yoga
Swami Sivananda Saraswati
Tibetan Yoga
Transcendental Meditation

Yoga:Anusara Yoga
Founder:John Friend
Anusara(a-nu-sar-a), means “flowing with Grace”, “going with the flow”, “following your heart”.

Anusara is saying “Yes” to the whole spectrum of life. It is a willingness to be aware of all parts of ourselves—the light and the dark, the full rainbow of sensation, perception, emotion and thought. To be in the flow is to look at whatever arises with freshness and freedom. It is to simply open our hearts with love to the present moment without clinging or pushing. Anusara is accepting the world and ourselves as we are, and then responding with love.

Anusara Yoga is a uniquely integrated approach to hatha yoga in which the art of the human spirit powerfully blends with the science of biomechanics.

Founded by John Friend in 1997, Anusara Yoga is an exceptional yoga system in that it integrates the celebration of the heart, Universal Principles of Alignment, and balanced energetic action in the performance of asana.

The highest intention of practicing Anusara Yoga is to align and harmonize with the flow of Grace, to awaken to the truth that our essential nature is part of this divine flow, and to lovingly and playfully serve this flow. In each pose, we lovingly and artistically offer our individual light and unique music to the flow of Life. The art of yoga is viewed as a co-participation or co-creation with the Supreme—not a practice of domination, subjugation or control of Nature.

Anusara Yoga is a synergy between 3 key areas of practice known as the 3 A’s:

  • Attitude– The practitioner balances an opening to Grace with an ardent aspiration to reawaken to her divine nature. This is the power of the heart that is the force behind every action or expression in an asana.
  • Alignment– Each pose is performed with an integrated awareness between all different parts of the body. This dynamic symmetry is optimized by using Universal Principles of Alignment, which include specific energy Loops and Spirals within the body.
  • Action– Each pose is performed as an artistic expression of the heart in which muscular stability is balanced with a joyful and expansive inner freedom.

The Anusara Yoga teaching style blends the teacher’s heart-oriented attitude and postural instructions with specialized technical knowledge that includes Universal Principles of Alignment. Anusara Yoga instructors teach from their hearts using distinctive postural instructions, which help students connect to their hearts and to the spiritual purposes behind the practice of hatha yoga.

Information provided by:


Founder:Sri K. Pattabhi
TheAshtanga Yogaplaces equal emphasis on strength, flexibility, and stamina. As a result it increases circulation, develops a calm mind and delivers both a strong and light body.

Ashtanga Yogais a series of postures that involves a continuous flow both in the physical body and the movement of breath.  It produces an intense internal heat which releases a  purifying sweat that detoxifies muscles and organs. 

More deeply, ashtanga yoga is "eight-limbed yoga."  Patanjali originally outlined the eight-limbed path inThe Yoga Sutras(written between 400 and 200 B.C.). No one is sure of when yoga was first developed butThe Yoga Sutras are held as one of the earliest recorded "manuals" toRaja Yoga.The Yoga Sutrasoutlined the path all yogis should implement as a guideline to their daily life.

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois named this system "Ashtanga Yoga" believing it to be the original asana practice as intended by Patanjali.
The vinyasa, or "breath-synchronized movement," of ashtanga is integrates the eight limbs of yoga by movement through postures (asana) which detoxifies and purifies the physical body, and mastering the breath through the postures (pranayama) which evokes a concentration (dharana) that quiets the senses (pratyahara), preparing the practitioner for meditation (dhyana) and then achieves, samadhi, the union of the soul with the divine. 

Information provided by:


Founder:Bikram Choudhury
Bikram's yogaseries is 26 asana designed to stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons.  It also moves fresh, oxygenated blood to each limb of your body and discharges most toxin in the body to maintain good health.  Dedicated practitioners maintain a proper weight while developing muscle tone.  Each posture in the Bikram series was included to work the body from the inside out.

The practice is to do the 90 minute series in a hot room (room temperature is on average 90-110 degrees Fahrenheit).  The purpose of the hot room is to give the body more freedom to release into the postures.  This is important because each pose is dependant on the ones that come before it.  Each pose prepares the body for the following posture.  It is scientifically designed to warm and stretch muscles, ligaments and tendons in the order in which they should be stretched. To start in the middle would be a shock to your body.

Bikram's philosophy is based on doing the posture correctly, not how quickly you can force yourself into the posture or how you can jimmy your body to get into it.  Your progress is dependant upon your honesty with with yourself.  In Yoga there is no standard of comparison except yourself. In Bikram Yoga, you can receive all the benefit without perfect extension of the posture.  The benefit of each posture is automatically there, even if you are far away from the ending form of the pose.

Information provided by:


Yoga: Integral
In 1966, the Reverend Sri Swami Satchidananda introduced an entire generation of young people to his yogic philosophy: "an easeful body, a peaceful mind, and a useful life." His goal was to help people integrate yoga's teachings into their everyday work and relationships, which he hoped would promote greater peace and tolerance worldwide. "Integral Yoga uses classical hatha postures, which are meant to be performed as a meditation, balancing physical effort and relaxation," says Swami Ramananda, president of the New York Integral Yoga Institute in Manhattan. In addition to a gentle asana practice, classes also incorporate guided relaxation, breathing practices, sound vibration (repetition of mantra or chant), and silent meditation.

Information provided by:


B.K.S. Iyengar 
B.K.S. Iyengar's
style is based on theeight limbs of yoga as explained by Patanjali in his teachings calledThe Yoga Sutras   Iyengar yoga emphasizes the development of strength, stamina, flexibility and balance, as well as concentration (Dharana) and meditation (Dhyana).  The yogic asana (or postures) focuses tremendous attention to an individual bodies and its alignment. Through this practice, the student searches for deeper levels of awareness and self-penetration through each moment of the pose.  

B.K.S. Iyengar has been at the forefront to bring the practice of Yoga and an awareness of its benefits to western society.  One important contribution that he has made to modern yoga, is the introduction of simple, but well designed props. By making the postures more accessible through props, students are able to reach poses their bodies where having difficult with.  They feel less strain, more awareness while maintaining proper alignment.  As a result, they are able to free the mind and not be distracted by any kinks or pulls that the muscles might pin-point.  By releasing the mind, students are able to maximize opening and awareness.  They are then able to focus on the action and feeling of the pose as it naturally becomes more quiet and drawn into the moment. Gradually, stability and concentration are developed while the physical body is revitalized and the process of looking inward is begun.

Information provided by:


Looking for a highly meditative but physically challenging form of yoga? Try Jivamukti. You won't be alone.

Each week, more than 2,000 people visit the Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York City. Its popularity lies in the teaching approach of cofounders David Life and Sharon Gannon, who opened their first studio in 1986, combining an Ashtanga background with a variety of ancient and modern spiritual teachings. In addition to vinyasa-style asanas, classes include chanting, meditation, readings, music, and affirmations. This spiritual resource center also offers specialized courses in Sanskrit and the sacred yoga texts.

"Over the course of time, students will get a broad yoga education," Life promises. "One week, a class may focus on a particular asana, while the next week's theme may discuss more metaphysical issues."

Beginner classes start by emphasizing standing poses, followed by instruction on forward bends, backbends, and inversions. These classes also introduce chants.

Information provided by:


Founder:Swami Kripalvananda/Amrit Desai
At the age of 15, Amrit Desai met his guru, Swami Kripalvananda, in the town of Halol in India.  Desai's destiny was to bring this yoga to the west.  

Kripalu utilizes deep, rhythmic breathing (ujjayi) and specific postures to create an inner consciousness. The results are a sense of peace and deep relaxation, which continues to energize the body throughout the day.  Physically, it increases flexibility while toning muscles.  It also releases chronic tension, improves circulation, energizes, and refreshes. Mentally, it calms restless thoughts, cultivates concentration, gains insight and confidence, and opens itself to self-awareness. Spiritually, it connects the mind and body, honors inner wisdom, and invites deep stillness.

It encourages you to access your own body's wisdom by how your body moves through the postures. Classes can range from gentle to vigorous.  It is important to keep in mind that Kripalu Yoga is not how you can transform your body into amorphous shapes but capturing the calmness and energy that you stir through the poses.  At all times, respect your body and notice changes. 

Kripalu Yoga focuses on the mind-body. The goal of traditional yoga is to bring a practitioner to the highest spiritual state called self-realization. The goal of Kripalu Yoga is to develop a healthy and strong body, an open and caring heart, and a peaceful and clear mind. All along the way, Kripalu Yoga recognizes that we are born divine and are inherently capable of accessing our spiritual
nature. In Kripalu Yoga, the journey is just as important as the goal.  Instead it relies on the guidance of the postures and breath-work to guide each one on its journey.  It also depends on the intuitiveness of the student to pass beyond all limitation both held by the body and mind.
Information provided by:



Born in 1888, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya was a direct descent of Nathamuni, a ninth century yogi. Krishnamacharya began his formal education at the age of six, at the Parakala Math, His thirst for knowledge gave him the opportunity to travel widely and seek all aspects of the vedic tradition from the best teachers across India. He in turn mastered of these systems and was bestowed with titles such as Sankhya Yoga Sikhamani, Mimamsa Tirtha, Nyayacarya, Vedanta Vagisa and Veda Kesari. He was also a master of Ayurveda (the ancient Indian system of healing) and Sanskrit. At the age of twenty-eight, he trekked 211 miles to lake Manosarovar at the foot of Mt. Kailash, in the Himalayas to learn Yoga from Ram Mohana Brahmacari who became his teacher. He left Manosarovar seven and a half years later at the command of his guru to share his wisdom with society.

Being a master in disciplines, Krishnamacharya was offered high scholastic positions in great institutes of learning and in courts of Kings. But he chose to be a teacher, the promise he made to his yoga teacher.

On many occasions he demonstrated the world the great potentials of yoga, in different areas of health and control over oneself. The most prominent among them was being able to stop the heart beat for more than two minutes, using yogic practices. With his vast learnings in yoga as well as other systems of Indian philosophy, he emphasized that the practice of yoga must be adapted to the individuals, and not the individual to yoga. This was probably one of his most significant contributions in the field of health and healing, through yoga.

Krishnamacharya lived over a hundred years and continued to teach till the last few days before his death. 

Information provided by:


Yoga:Kundalini Yoga  
Kundalini Yogaemphasizes on the breath (Pranayama) and Mantra (sound or chanting).  This raises consciousness and energy up from the base of the spine through the central energy channel (Susumna). Through the Susumna, allseven Chakrasare aligned. Kundalini is very effective for balancing glands and organs and healing the physical/emotional body.

It is believed that there is a cosmic energy that lies with in each of us.  Kundalini combines breathing exercises, mantras, and a series of postures that travel up through the practioner's spine passing through six of the seven chakra.  Once all six have been achieve, it then arrives at the seventh chakra where the practitioner experiences an overwhelming feeling of bliss that symbolizes the reintergration of the eternal essence of the self, or atman.

Kundalini is associated with a serpent, all coiled up.  With in this coil lies dormant energy that begins at the base of the spine in the Sacrum.  According to Greek myth, the sacrum holds supernatural powers and the Egyptians considered it to be the seat of special powers and the west, the Sacrum is believed to be the container of water of life.  Guru Vashistha described Kundalini as the seat of absolute knowledge.  It is there to nourish, heal and look after and to give an individual a higher and deeper personality.

The absolute power of Kundalini is purity, auspiciousness, chastity, self respect, pure love, detachment, concern for others and enlightened attention, to give infinite joy and peace to an individual.

Information provided by:


It was in 1910, at the age of 17, that he met and became a disciple of the revered Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri. In the hermitage of this great master of Yoga he spent the better part of the next ten years, receiving Sri Yukteswar's strict but loving spiritual discipline. After he graduated from Calcutta University in 1915, he took formal vows as a monk of India's venerable monastic Swami Order, at which time he received the name Yogananda (signifying bliss,ananda, through divine union,yoga). His ardent desire to consecrate his life to the love and service of God thus found fulfillment.

Yogananda began his life's work with the founding, in 1917, of a "how-to-live" school for boys, where modern educational methods were combined with yoga training and instruction in spiritual ideals. Visiting the school a few years later, Mahatma Gandhi wrote: "This institution has deeply impressed my mind."

In 1920, Yogananda was invited to serve as India's delegate to an international congress of religious leaders convening in Boston. His address to the congress, on "The Science of Religion," was enthusiastically received. That same year he founded Self-Realization Fellowship to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India's ancient science and philosophy of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation.

Yogananda traveled and lectured widely, speaking to capacity audiences in many of the largest auditoriums in the country -- from New York's Carnegie Hall to the Los Angeles Philharmonic. TheLos Angeles Timesreported: "The Philharmonic Auditorium presents the extraordinary spectacle of thousands....being turned away an hour before the advertised opening of a lecture with the 3000-seat hall filled to its utmost capacity."

Yogananda emphasized the underlying unity of the world's great religions, and taught universally applicable methods for attaining direct personal experience of God. To serious students of his teachings he introduced the soul-awakening techniques ofKriya Yoga, a sacred spiritual science originating millenniums ago in India, which had been lost in the Dark Ages and revived in modern times by his lineage of enlightened masters.

In 1935, Yogananda began an 18-month tour of Europe and India. During his yearlong sojourn in his native land, he spoke in cities throughout the subcontinent and enjoyed meetings with Mahatma Gandhi (who requested initiation inKriya Yoga), Nobel-prize-winning physicist Sir C. V. Raman, and some of India's renowned spiritual figures, including Sri Ramana Maharshi and Anandamoyi Ma. It was during this year also that his guru, Swami Sri Yukteswar, bestowed on him India's highest spiritual title,paramahansa. Literally supreme swan (a symbol of spiritual discrimination), the title signifies one who manifests the supreme state of unbroken communion with God.

On March 7, 1952, Paramahansa Yogananda enteredmahasamadhi, a God-illumined master's conscious exit from the body at the time of physical death. His passing was marked by an extraordinary phenomenon. A notarized statement signed by the Director of Forest Lawn Memorial-Park testified: "No physical disintegration was visible in his body even twenty days after death....This state of perfect preservation of a body is, so far as we know from mortuary annals, an unparalleled one....Yogananda's body was apparently in a phenomenal state of immutability."

Information provided by:


Yoga:Power Yoga
In 1995, Bender Birch set out to challenge Americans' understanding of what it really means to be fit with her bookPower Yoga(Fireside, 1995). Bender Birch's intention was to give a Western spin to the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, a challenging and disciplined series of poses designed to create heat and energy flow.

"Most people wouldn't take a class called Ashtanga Yoga, because they had no idea what it meant. Power Yoga, on the other hand, was something Americans could relate to and know that they'd get a good workout," says Bender Birch.

Power Yoga's popularity has spread to health clubs across the country and has taken on a broad range of applications. The common thread is a rigorous workout that develops strength and flexibility while keeping students on the move. For specifics, consult individual instructors before signing up for a class. For more information visit Thom Birch and Beryl Bender Birch's

Web site:
Information provided by:


Sri Ramakrishna had little formal schooling.  He was later offered an opportunity from his brother, Ramkumar, a noted Sanskrit scholar, to tutor him.  Ramakrishna declined because he did not want a "high-priced" education; rather he wanted to learn and interpret books on his own.  He became intoxicated with God by the age of seven where he would supposedly fell into mystical trance.  

Most of Ramakrishna's past is bit obscure, but his teachings and philosophies stay true to today. He viewed Kali, the Hindu goddess of creation and destruction, as the supreme manifestation of God. He called her the Divine Mother and worshipped her upon becoming a priest. He wept for hours at a time and felt a burning sensation all over his body while imploring Kali to reveal herself to him. He would claim to have visions of religious figures like Muhammad and Jesus.  Some attributed his condition to possession, madness, or a nervous disorder, but exorcism and available medical treatments had no effect. 

From these visions, he came to the conclusion that all religions are in essence the same and all are true. His revelations became known throughout the world. Thousands crowded near his Calcutta home to hear him speak. Though famous, he remained a basically simple man. He never wrote, but several volumes of his sayings were later published by disciples.  Ramakrishna saw God in everything and everyone. All paths, he believed, led to the same goal. 

The order bearing his name has its headquarters in Calcutta and sends missionaries throughout the world. His most noteworthy disciple, Vivekananda, represented Hinduism at the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Ramakrishna did not found any cult, nor did he show a new path to salvation.  His message was his God-consciousness. Through times of religious doubt, he reassured faith in many by continuing to speak about time-honored teachings of prophets and saviors of the past.   Ramakrishna saw God painted with different personalities depicted by different religions.  He felt that they did not confuse the message or beauty of God, but highlighted his powers.  Each religions has the same common goal: Communion with God.

When God-consciousness falls short, traditions become dogmatic and oppressive and religious teachings lose their transforming power. At a time when the very foundation of religion, faith in God, was crumbling under the relentless blows of materialism and skepticism, Sri Ramakrishna, through his burning spiritual realizations, demonstrated beyond doubt the reality of God and the validity of the time-honored teachings of all the prophets and saviors of the past, and thus restored the falling edifice of religion on a secure foundation. 

Information provided by:


Yoga:Svaroopa Yoga
Rama Berch
Rama Birch has been teaching since 1976.  She experienced all areas of her training, including meditation, healing, massage and Eastern Traditions.  This prepared her for her next step in fully understanding of the body and expanding her awareness.  After visiting a meditation center, she received a powerful initiation from a living Master.  ThisMahaKundaliniinitiation moved her body into spontaneous yoga poses, enlivening her knowledge and understanding of the body. Her unique and powerful way of teaching comes from these experiences.

From her experience, Rama went on a three week retreat to India with her Master.  From this trip, she moved into theashramwith her three children to study, practice, and live yoga with her Guru in the US and in India for seven years.

Rama Berch, developed Svaroopa Yoga which teaches modified ways of doing familiar poses.  Svaroopa Yoga emphasizes on the opening of the spine by beginning at the tailbone and progressing through each spinal area in turn. Every pose integrates the foundational principles of asana, anatomy and yoga philosophy, and emphasizes the development of transcendent inner experience, which is called svaroopa by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. This is a consciousness-oriented yoga that also promotes healing and transformation. Svaroopa is not an athletic endeavor, but a development of consciousness using the body as a tool.

In addition, Rama communicates clearly, with great insight and compassion, incorporating the ancient wisdom of the sages into working with the body, breath, & mind. 

Information provided by:


Kuppuswami (later changed name to Swami Sivananda Saraswati)
After graduating from medical school, Dr. Kuppuswami ventured to Malaysia where he felt there was a great need for his talent.  Often, he would waive fees for patients that could not afford it.  One patient that could not afford the fee was a Monk who in return gave him instruction in Yoga and Vedana.  This was the catalysis to his life changing purpose.

With his new discovered wealth of knowledge, Kuppuswami went in search of his Guru.  He traveled to the Himalayas in the holy town of Rishikesh.  Here, he discovered his Guru who gave him Sannyas (vows a monk takes of renunciation).  Once these vows were taken, he would now be known as Swami Sivananda Sarawati and began his intense training for about 10 years.  Within that time many co-Sadhus looked to Swami Sivananda for his inspiration and guidance.

Even though, Swami Sivananda rarely left Rishikesh, his teachings spanned the globe through his 200 books on topics connected to Yoga and Philosophy.  His style of writing was very direct and bursting with dynamic, spiritual energy. As a result many who read his books felt their lives deeply touched and transformed.  Many ventured to Rishikesh to learn from him directly, and to bask in his holy presence. The teachings of Master Sivananda are summarized in these 6 words: 

"Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize".

In 1957, Swami Sivananda sent his devoted and industrious disciple, Swami Vishnu-Devananda to the West where he then established the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. 

One of his brilliant touches was to summarize these ancient and vast teachings into five principles of Yoga: 

1. Proper Exercise (Asanas)

Our physical body is meant to move and exercise. If our lifestyle does not provide natural motion of muscles and joints, then disease and great discomfort will ensue with time. Proper exercise should be pleasant to the practitioner while beneficial to the body, mind and spiritual life.

2. Proper Breathing (Pranayama)

Yoga teaches us how to use the lungs to their maximum capacity and how to control the breath. Proper breathing should be deep, slow and rhythmical. This increases vitality and mental clarity

3. Proper Relaxation (Savasana)

Long before the invention of cars, planes, telephones, computers, freeways and other modern triggers of stress, the Rishis (sages or seers) and Yogis of yore devised very powerful techniques of deep relaxation. As a matter of fact, many modern stress-management and relaxation methods borrow heavily from this tradition. By relaxing deeply all the muscles the Yogi can thoroughly rejuvenate his nervous system and attain a deep sense of inner peace.

4. Proper Diet (Vegetarian)

Besides being responsible for building our physical body, the foods we eat profoundly affect our mind. For maximum body-mind efficiency and complete spiritual awareness, Yoga advocates a lacto-vegetarian diet. This is an integral part of the Yogic lifestyle.

5. Positive Thinking (Vedanta) & Meditation (Dhyana)

Here is the most important point of all, we become what we think. Thus we should exert to entertain positive and creative thoughts as these will contribute to vibrant health and a peaceful, joyful mind. A positive outlook on life can be developed by learning and practicing the teachings of the philosophy of Vedanta. The mind will be brought under perfect control by regular practice of meditation.
Information provided by:


Tibetan Buddhism derives from the confluence of Buddhism and yoga which started to arrive in Tibet from India briefly around the late eighth century and then more steadily from the thirteenth century onwards. Indian Buddhism around that time had incorporated both Hindu yogic and tantric practices along with the classical teachings of the historical Buddha who lived around 500 BC. It acknowledged that there were two paths to enlightenment (complete transcendence of identification with the personal ego). One path was that taught in the sutras according to the historical teachings. The heart of sutra practice was based on morality, concentration, and wisdom (not identifying with the personal ego). The other path, which has become the cornerstone of Tibetan variations, was tantric. This practice blended the sutra teachings with techniques adapted from Hindu systems of yoga and tantra.

Tantric systems transform the basic human passions of desire and aversion for the purpose of spiritual development. Rather than denying such primal urges, tantra purifies them into wholesome and helpful forces. It is very much like trying to deal with a wild horse charging towards you. One way is denial: put up your hands and shout out, "stop, stop!" Probably you will be bowled over by the animal. Another, more clever, approach is to step aside and then jump on its back as it charges past you. In such a case, you have a chance to start coaxing it to move in certain directions, and over time you may be able to direct it into a stable. Truthfully, one needs some skill in both self-control and acceptance if one is to be successful with tantric work.

The most dedicated Tibetan Buddhists seek nirvana, but for the common people the religion retains shamanistic elements. The worship also includes reciting prayers and intoning hymns, often to the sound of great horns and drums. A protective formula of esoteric significance,Om mani padme hum[Om, the jewel in the lotus], is repeated endlessly; it is inscribed on rocks and walls, tallied on prayer wheels, and displayed on banners and streamers. In addition to a large pantheon of spirits, ghouls, and genii, many Buddhas andbodhisattvas(future Buddhas) are worshiped along with their ferocious consorts, or Taras. The monastic orders include abbots, ordained religious mendicants, novices (candidates), and neophytes (children on probation). The standing of nuns is inferior.
Information provided by:


The Transcendental Meditation (TM ® ) technique is a simple, natural, effortless procedure practiced for 15-20 minutes in the morning and evening, while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. During this technique, the individual's awareness settles down and experiences a unique state of restful alertness. As the body becomes deeply relaxed, the mind transcends all mental activity to experience the simplest form of awareness, Transcendental Consciousness, where consciousness is open to itself. This is the self-referral state of consciousness.

The experience of Transcendental Consciousness develops the individual's latent creative potential while dissolving accumulated stress and fatigue through the deep rest gained during the practice. This experience enlivens the individual's creativity, dynamism, orderliness, and organizing power, which result in increasing effectiveness and success in daily life.

The Transcendental Meditation technique is scientific, requiring neither specific beliefs nor adoption of a particular lifestyle. The practice does not involve any effort or concentration. It is easy to learn and does not require any special ability. People of all ages, educational backgrounds, cultures, and religions in countries throughout the world practice the technique and enjoy its wide range of benefits.

Over 500 scientific research studies conducted during the past 25 years at more than 200 independent universities and research institutes in 30 countries have shown that the TM program benefits all areas of an individual's life: mind, body, behavior, and environment.

The research findings include:


  • Increased happiness
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased intelligence
  • Increased creativity
  • Improved memory
  • Improved health
  • Reduced high blood pressure
  • Improved relationships
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced insomnia
  • Reversal of biological aging
  • Reduced crime and improved quality of life in society

The research has been published in such major scientific journals asScience, theAmerican Journal of Physiology,Scientific American, Lancet, theJournal of Counseling Psychology, theInternational Journal of Neuroscience, theJournal of the Canadian Medical Association, theBritish Journal of Educational Psychology, and theJournal of Conflict Resolution.

Research indicates that TM technique Meditators on average have the biological age of a person 5 to 12 years younger, as well as significantly reduced incidence of illness and risk of heart disease. Studies also show that TM technique Meditators have warmer interpersonal relationships, less anxiety, increased self-esteem and self-confidence, increased problem-solving ability and greater creativity. The individual spontaneously radiates a purifying and nourishing influence of positivity and harmony in society as a whole.

Information provided by:


Founder:. T. Krishnamacharya and his son, T.K.V. Desikachar
Viniyoga is an ancient Sanskrit term that implies differentiation, adaptation, and appropriate application. As a style of practice, viniyoga refers to an approach to Yoga that adapts the various means and methods of practice to the unique condition, needs and interests of the individual - giving each practitioner the tools to individualize and actualize the process of self-discovery and personal transformation.

The emphasis is not on achieving an external ideal form, but on practicing a posture according to one's individual needs and capacity. The emphasis on precise breathing and the introduction of sound into asana practice are also unique features of viniyoga. Krishnamacharya's development of yoga therapy, a major component of viniyoga, came from his knowledge of India's ancient school of medicine, Ayurveda, which he integrated with yoga practice.

Viniyogais a methodology of teaching that respects the student's capabilities, needs and aspirations. The student is always changing-physically, mentally and emotionally, and therefore, the practice must be adapted in order to continuously increase the student's therapeutic benefits. Some important features of this practice are:

Integrity of the spine. There are hundreds of asanas (postures) in yoga. In viniyoga they use the classic asana as a model and adapt it to attain a specific function, keeping in mind the integrity of the spine. The approach works dynamically in the asana, exploring the range of movement for the greatest opportunity to stretch and strengthen. This dynamic preparation helps the student to enjoy the deeper benefits of the static asana. Every movement is integrated with the breath. On the inhalation, enjoy energy, motivation and inspiration. On the exhalation, experience calmness, relaxation and stability. When the movement flows with the complete breath, their is a feeling of balance, present and alive.

Sequencing the asanas. When the letters of the alphabet are placed in a particular order they form words, sentences and stories. Similarly, when the postures are put together in certain ways they become more effective, efficient and elegant. A well-sequenced practice is a treasure in the yoga world.

Experience.Viniyoga is suitable for beginning and advanced students. People with common aches and pains, injuries, chronic conditions, pregnant women, athletes and performers, old or young can enjoy the viniyoga experience.
Information provided by:

Information in this section:Types of Yogais provided by: