A Guide to Popular Names in Yoga – PartII

oga has continued to change as teachers blend styles according to their training and experiences with the practices in their communities. Below is a list of yoga forms more recently popularized by yoga instructors and/or spiritual leaders.    

Founded by Swami Kriyananda and based on the teaching of Yogananda, this organization emphasizes service and community work as path to enlightenment.  

Created by John Friend who trained with Iyengar and continued his practice and studies with the Siddha Yoga community under Gurumayi. Emphasizes strength of upper body through hand stands and triangle variations. Can be identified by use of specific languages such as “lifting the heart” and “spiraling thighs.”

A specific sequence developed by Bikram Choudhury that is done in an extremely heated room – having the effect of warming and therefore relaxing the muscles and producing sweat which cleanses and purifies. The 26 posture routine does not vary and is quite rigorous physically.  

Developed by Sharon Gannon and David Life whose influences include Pattabhi Jois, Sivananda, and various philosopher-gurus such as Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. Both instructors were performing artists and their teachings reflect their experiences in the dance and music scene of New York City.  

Integrates Eastern philosophy and Western psychology into the practice. Frequently emphasizing restorative poses and connection of thoughts with body. Stephen Cope is the well-known teacher and author from this community which promotes a holistic approach to yoga including healing arts, meditation and knowledge from all spiritual traditions.  

Mysore Style
The Ashtanga sequences done in a group setting but each person is doing  their own level under teacher supervision.

Power Yoga
Offers a more athlete-centered routine as developed by either Beryl Bender Birch on the east coast or the Baptiste family.  Baron Baptiste’s fitness driven Power Yoga was shaped by his famous body-building yogi parents. Characterized by dynamic repetitive vinyasa sun salute sequences, he takes a boot camp approach with swift, athletic moves that appeal to mainstream gym settings. His sister, Sherri Baptiste, has developed a yoga routine with weights. Power Yoga as developed by Beryl Bender Birch focuses on use of asanas by athletes, especially for runners.  

Shadow School
Developed by Shandor (Zhander) Remete, one of the forms is named Nata Yoga and is inspired by the images of the Dance of Shiva. The “karanams” movements resemble more of a martial-arts yoga with slow, movements through warrior poses and sun salutes.   

Siddha Yoga
Founded on the teaching of Swami Muktananada, whose current spiritual leader, Gurumaji Chidvilasananda heads the SYDA Foundation. The organization runs hundreds of retreat centers including the largest in upstate New York. Initiates focus on meditation practice, chanting and community service work.  

TM-Transcendental Meditation
Founded by Maharishi Maha Yoga, the most influential organization in popularizing meditation techniques as medically proven practices that reduce stress, promoting health well-being and peace in communities. The Iowa based Maharishi University offers courses rooted in the Vedic knowledge of enlightenment.

Instructions are individualized in the form of Yoga Therapy popularized by Gary Kraftsow who continues in the traditions of Desikachar and Krishnamacharya.

Vinyasa Flow
A non-stop flow of sequences blending Ashtanga, Iyengar and Viniyoga postures often done with music.

A Guide to Popular Names in Yoga

Author: Glenn Wollman

Glenn Wollman, MD, has always been at the leading edge of medicine. He helped pioneer the specialty of Emergency Medicine and, at the same time, also developed and ran one of the first hospital-based Integrative Medicine programs in the Unitied…