So i already wrote about the most known types of yoga in part one. So here are the less known.
The name Kriya, originating from Sanskrit, is made up of ‘Kri’ – acting, and ‘ya’ – soul. Basically all yoga movements have Kriya in them. By doing kriyas, a certain sequence of attitudes, you learn to find peace and to break free from the world around you, but also from your ego or any physical obstacles.
However, Kriya is also a specific yoga method that assumes that everyone is burdened with a karma from previous lives. You can neutralize that karma with the help of yoga and meditation. The powerful Kriya technique accelerates the process towards neutralization.
Kriya yoga uses energetic exercises that ‘recharge’ the body bit by bit. In addition, the chakra-bearing (mental energy centers in the body) includes meditation and chanting (rhythmic speaking or singing of words and sounds).
If you manage to handle your feelings better, you are more the basis of your life. That is the starting point of Dru yoga. The ‘yoga of the heart’ is also called this form. You learn to release emotions such as sadness and anger with the help of exercises, the so-called Energy Block Release.
They are gentle stretching exercises, twists and turns that cause tension from the joints and muscles. Use is also often made of visualizations and positive self-suggestions (affirmations). Typical for Dru yoga are gentle movements in the postures. Often they are variations on familiar postures. For example, joints are often relaxed and not overstretched.
Dru yoga places a great emphasis on the silence within yourself: Dhruva Nakshatra means pole star in Sanskrit. The Dru yoga refers to an inner concentration point, just as the polar star refers to a fixed point in the sky. At Dru, yoga is also seen as a training ground for everyday life.
This form of yoga comes from the tantric tradition that has as its starting point that everything is connected to each other. The idea is that you use your body to achieve consciousness expansion, whether through yoga, meditation or sex.
The goal is to let energy from the lower chakras – energy centers with more earthly and egocentric desires – flow to the higher chakras, which stand for love and connectedness. This energy is called kundalini. This kundalini energy is stored in your first chakra, at the level of the coccyx, and is also represented as a coiled sleeping snake. Kundalini yoga is a way to ‘wake up’ the snake and let energy flow through you.
Typical for Kundalini yoga is that in the postures a lot is moved to generate the energy: you turn rounds from the pelvis or pull out your navel as you exhale. A Kundalini class often consists of breathing exercises, meditations and mantras.
It is the yoga on Broadway. Many famous Americans practice Jivamukti yoga. It is one of the nine recognized forms of Hatha yoga and also stood at the cradle of Power yoga.
Jivamukti means something like ‘liberation during life’. The movement is based on five pillars: Indian writings, spiritual devotion (bhakti), music as a way to get closer to God (Nada yoga), a meditation session in the morning and nonviolence (Ahimsa). In practice, the latter means that teachers are at least vegetarian and students are encouraged to become them.
The way in which Jivamukti asanas are carried out goes against more traditional forms of yoga. Jivamukte contains athletic and competition-like elements – it can always be higher, faster and better – and is physically demanding. According to the organization, these requirements serve a purpose, namely relief and the elimination of mental blockades.
The movement is named after its founder: B.K.S. Iyengar. At first sight it seems like a strong physical yoga. After all, the emphasis is on precision, the alignment of postures, the persistence of the poses, the tools as blocks and belts and the fact that corrections are made during the lessons. Yet Iyengar yoga is also focused on spirituality.
By practicing yoga very carefully and accurately, you can open the gate to the soul. There is a balance between left and right, below and above, body and mind, ratio and feeling and the right and left hemispheres. By bringing everything in line, you ultimately develop the mind.
The Anusara yoga is based on the ancient traditions of tantric philosophy and Hatha yoga. It is an original and modern style. The method is graceful and focused on the heart, on joy and on the expansion and dissemination of shakti: life energy. During the lessons jokes are made, but that laugh has a higher purpose.
The basis of Anusara yoga are three A’s: attitude, alignment and action. The institution is the ‘intention of the heart’, this is the power behind every yoga posture. With the right intention, every movement can be an expression of the divine. The purpose of Anusara is to awaken our divine nature and celebrate life. You do that through, among other things, breathing, softening your face and having a smile appear.
With proper alignment, the life energy can flow optimally through the body according to Anusara yoga. That flow of energy is the action and this results in a sense of unity and freedom. Within the Anusara yoga, therapeutic adjustments are often made in case of injuries.
Actually, Kripalu yoga is not much different from most other yoga forms. Everything is possible in Kripalu. And there are attitudes and techniques that are said to be typical Kripalu, but in principle you can also encounter them in other yoga schools. Kripalu is a very open, tolerant yoga form in which elements from all kinds of variants are used.
Within Kripalu, no distinction is made between good and bad techniques. Asanas, breaths, chakras, mantras: you can meet them all. However, it is mainly about honest learning to look at yourself. And you do not have to do that complicated. Every yoga form or meditation technique can help you discover who you really are and that is where it turns around at Kripalu. It is not about standing on your head; Learning to stand on your own legs is more important.
The starting point is that with each lesson you are as good as you feel at that moment. The Kripalu yoga consists of three stages: the physical level, the inner experience and the meditation in motion. In the third stage, everything you have learned is actually automatic.
Swami Satyananda wanted to make yoga accessible to as many people as possible. What he mainly thought about is consciousness in everything you do. The yoga form contains aspects from different yoga flows. Practically this means that Satyananda yoga uses asana, pranayama and meditation to bring body and mind in harmony.
Within the Satyananda yoga there are, among other things, 34 exercises. The first series consists of anti-rheumatic exercises to loosen the joints. The second group focuses on the digestive system and the third series of exercises aims to improve the energy flow in the body and break ‘knots’ in the pelvic area. Chinese physicians also see the exercises as acupuncture without needles.
Not all lessons are covered in every lesson. Satyananda focuses strongly on awareness. The lessons have a more spiritual impact. Mantra singing is also part of a session, just like an end relaxation according to Yoga Nidra: the sleep of the yogi’s. At Yoga Nidra you leave the state of normal vigilant consciousness and you go beyond the dream state to a state where you are awake, but in which your brain has a corresponding state as with a deep sleep.