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Yoga is a Sanskrit word used for physical, mental and spiritual disciplines which originated in ancient India.  Yoga is one of the six "orthodox" schools of Hindu philosophy. Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

Yoga History Yoga evolved on the Indian continent over a period of 5000 years. It has its roots in the Hinduism and Brahmanism.  Contemporary western approach to yoga has little to do with any particular belief or religion. The current western approach to yoga is only a very small portion of what yoga is all about. Yoga, was developed by ascetics living primarily in the southern portions of India. These ascetics led very disciplined lives, they were vegetarians and they adhered to a nonviolent philosophy. They lived close to the earth, they observed nature, the animals and themselves. Yoga opens a deep well of personal knowledge that helps us find our meaning and purpose in life.. Yoga types/styles: 

Hatha Yoga, the physical branch of yoga that most people are familiar with.

Vinyasa Yoga, also called flow, which means breath-synchronized movement, tends to be a more vigorous style based on the performance of a series of poses called Sun Salutations, in which movement is matched to the breath.

ASHTANGA Yoga Ashtanga, means "eight limbs" in Sanskrit, is a fast-paced, intense style of yoga. A set series of poses is performed, always in the same order. This practice is very physically demanding because of the constant movement from one pose to the next and the emphasis on daily practice.


POWER YOGA Ashtanga is the root of Power Yoga, which is based on the flowing style of Ashtanga with out keeping strictly to the set series.

IYENGAR Yoga Based on the teachings of the yogi B.K.S Iyengar, this style of practice is most concerned with bodily alignment. Iyengar practice usually emphasizes holding poses over long periods versus moving quickly from one pose to the next (flow). Iyengar practice encourages the use of yoga blankets, blocks and straps, in order to bring the body into alignment.

KUNDALINI Yoga The emphasis in Kundalini is on the breath in conjunction with physical movement, with the purpose of freeing energy in the lower body and allowing it to move upwards. All asana practices make use of controlling the breath.  In Kundalini, the exploration of the effects of the breath (also called prana, meaning energy) on the postures is essential. Kundalini exercises are also called kriyas.

FREE Printable Yoga Pose Guide