Yin yoga is a slow-paced style of yoga with poses, or asanas, that are held for longer periods of time—three to five minutes or more per pose is typical. Its teaching in the Western world, beginning in the late 70s, was founded by martial arts expert and Taoist yoga teacher Paulie Zink. Yin-style yoga is now being taught across North America and in Europe, in large part due to the teaching activities of Yin yoga teachers and developers Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers.
Yin yoga poses apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body—the tendons, fascia, and ligaments—with the aim of increasing circulation in the joints and improving flexibility. As a more meditative approach to yoga, yin aims at cultivating awareness of inner silence, and bringing to life a universal, interconnecting quality.
Vinyasa flow yoga, in which movement is synchronized to the breath, is a term that covers a broad range of yoga classes that originated from the ashtanga lineage. This style is sometimes also called flow or dynamic yoga, because of the smooth way that the poses run together and become like a “dance”. There is no fixed form of asana’s and sequences vary from gentle, fluid to powerful.
Teachers like Shiva Rae, Baron Baptiste, Sharon Gannon and Brian Kest shaped the vinyasa flow field. Each teacher has its own style and every class is different and sometimes music is used to support the practice.
Ashtanga Vinyasa is an ancient breathing and movement system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This ancient text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.
The Mysore style of yoga asana practice is the original way of teaching yoga within the Ashtanga Yoga tradition as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the southern Indian city of Mysore. The class is not “led” as a whole but rather all instruction is one-on-one within the group class setting. Students practice their own portion of the fixed Ashtanga sequence of asanas at their own pace. The teacher assists each student individually by giving physical adjustments & verbal instruction.
Each student is given their yoga routine according to their ability. Newer and beginner students tend to have a much shorter practice than do those with more experience. As one gains more strength, stamina, flexibility and concentration, additional asanas are given to the student one by one. The sense of the word “given” in this context comes from how the practice is taught in India, where a yoga practice is something that a teacher gives to a student as a spiritual practice. In general, the next asana in the sequence should be added/taught/learned only after obtaining stability in one’s last asana. Traditionally, practice takes place every day except for Saturdays and full & new moon days which occur about twice monthly.
The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and to develop compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness. Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind and induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content. Meditation helps to clear the mind and to ease health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way and may also involve repeating a mantra. Meditation directs awareness inward until pure awareness is achieved, described as “being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself.