Hatha Yoga is the branch of yoga that many of us are familiar with today. Hatha Yoga focuses on working the body as the centerpiece of purifying oneself. Through the process of this modernization of Hatha Yoga, it has also undergone many transformations and adaptations to fit the students of the modern world. Today, this form of Yoga is practiced in many yoga classes as fitness training, sport, therapy and as a lifestyle.
Here are the prominent styles of Hatha Yoga practiced in classes today:
Viniyoga focuses on practicing a posture to fit one’s needs and capacity, instead of achieving an particular form. In Viniyoga, the breathing techniques are important and need to be properly coordinated with the movements.
Ashtanga Yoga (also known as Power Yoga) is created by K. Pattabhi Jois, and set up his institute in Mysore, India. Ashtanga Yoga is an athletic form of Hatha yoga.
This style of yoga is easily identifiable, and is one of the most popular styles of Hatha Yoga today. It focuses on precise postures and uses various props and aids like cushions, benches, and straps.
Kripalu Yoga is practiced in 3 stages and is tailored this way to fit the needs of the students. In the first stage, the focus is on posture alignment and breath and movement coordination. In the second stage, meditation is included with postures held for longer periods. Finally, the advanced stage brings meditation together with movement.
Integral yoga is fitted for students who use yoga as a fitness exercise. This form of yoga aims to integrate the different parts of the body through the movement and postures, proper breathing, meditation and chanting, as well as relaxation.
Ananda Yoga is a form of yoga to prepare students for meditation. As you will expect, this form of Yoga is gentle and slow, allowing the students to relax and focus on the affirmations associated with each posture.
Bikram Yoga (also known as Hot Yoga) is a special form of Yoga and is also very popular today. As the name suggests, this style of Hatha yoga is practiced in a heated room to facilitate injury prevention and deeper stretching. There are total of 26 different postures and 2 breathing exercises, spanning 90 minutes per session.
Somatic Yoga is a gentle form of yoga that focuses on visualization, very slow movement, proper and conscious breathing techniques and relaxation between postures. With this, it aims to achieve a more harmonious development of the mind, body and soul.
Apart from the eight styles of Hatha Yoga mentioned here, there are many several adaptations, like the Hidden Language Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Tri Yoga, White Lotus Yoga and more.