A yoga school offers you the chance to enjoy good mental and physical health without any medications. Teachers at the school possess complete knowledge not just about the physical aspect of yoga but also how you can inculcate yoga philosophy in your regular life. Yoga school offers you not just yoga asanas but a whole different perspective on the yogic lifestyle.
Do you know what the word yoga means? Yoga means to unite as it combines different teachings and experiences of the yogic lifestyle undertaken by many yoga teachers in the past. You might think of yoga as a small word to pronounce but it encompasses a variety of traditions, lineages, and philosophies of life handed down from one generation to another.
Regular practice of yoga helps you access this wide knowledge that brings an enormous change to your perspective towards the world. You can also customize yoga as per your need and lifestyle, as it encompasses a wide variety of traditions.
Let us dive a bit deeper into the six yoga traditions you should know about before joining a yoga school for your journey into the yogic lifestyle.
As the name suggests, Raja Yoga is the king path of the yogic lifestyle. Raja Yoga puts focus on meditation and contemplation to help you realize your true self. It is based on the eight-limb path of yoga that helps you reach self-realization as outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. The Raja Yoga path attracts those with an inclination towards the spiritual practice of yoga.
Karma Yoga tradition of yoga is the path of selfless action. It helps you detach completely from the result of your actions. If you follow the path of Karma Yoga then you remain in continuous service for the betterment of all beings without any intention of benefit in return for the service.
The Hatha Yoga tradition of a yoga school includes practicing yoga postures and using your body for self-transformation.
Bhakti Yoga is exactly what the name says, the path of devotion with emphasis on devotion and surrender to the Almighty. You see the divine in every being and develop tolerance and love for everyone.
The Bhakti Yoga includes mantra chanting that helps you connect with the divine power and experience bliss.
Jnana Yoga, also known as the yoga of the mind is the path of wisdom and knowledge. You have to read the scriptures and develop a habit of inquiry about your self.
Mantra yoga is the yoga of sound, which is the sacred path to realizing your true self. You learn to chant mantras which are syllables, words, and phrases representing an attribute of the divine.
With that said, let us now learn about the different yoga school you can enroll in to kickstart your journey towards yoga.
Although different yoga styles are all based on practicing the same asanas, there are some major differences amongst them. The difference comes in your focus on the body alignment, the coordination between the breath and body movement, and moving from one asana to another without much hassle.
That being said, let us understand the different yoga schools you can join to gain knowledge of your true self.
The word Hatha Yoga is divided into two parts with the Ha representing the solar energy and Tha representing the lunar energy. In western countries, Hatha yoga has a combination of different yoga asanas, body flexibility, and concentration.
Hatha yoga school takes the classical approach towards yoga with a focus on yoga postures and the right breathing technique. These help you gain complete mastery over your body and mind and rid both from external distractions. You have to follow a proper diet to purify your body and mind, practice the right breathing technique during the session, and follow the right body posture. Also Read Hatha Vs Vinyasa
Developed by B.K.S Iyengar during the 1960s, Iyengar yoga emphasizes body alignment and precision during the yoga session. The Iyengar yoga school sessions focus on the right breathing technique and posture.
Iyengar yoga school teachers help you build strength and flexibility. They emphasize using yoga props like blocks, blankets, chairs, bolsters, and straps to help you find the right alignment when doing a pose. Iyengar yoga school teachers undergo intense training to help you understand the instructions given during a class.
The Sivananda Yoga was popularized by Sivananda Saraswati’s disciple Vishnudevananda during the 1960s. The Sivananda yoga school follows a slow yoga practice session with a complete focus on the twelve basic yoga asanas including Sun Salutations. Your practice session includes relaxation and yogic breathing.
Introduced in 1969 by Harbhajan Singh Yogi, the Kundalini Yoga activates the dormant serpent energy lying at the base of your spine with moving and hard yoga poses.
Kundalini yoga schools help you release this energy in your body. The Kundalini yoga class includes meditation, the right breathing technique like nostril breathing, and chanting.
Bikram Yoga was founded by Indian Yogi Bikram Chaudhary during the early 1970s. He designed a sequence of 26 yoga poses you practice in a room with the temperature turned up to 105 degrees with 40% humidity.
The Bikram yoga school sessions take place in a sauna-type room with high temperatures. Every pose of the Bikram Yoga stretches and strengthens your muscles. Bikram Yoga helps cleanse your body of any toxins.
Kriya Yoga came into the limelight owing to the dedication of Paramhansa Yogananda. He cites Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra as containing the information on Kriya Yoga. The Kriya Yoga schools inculcate a series of Pranayama techniques, mantra, and mudra, which accelerate your spiritual development.
Sri Swami Satchidananda owns the credit for bringing Integral Yoga to the forefront. He also brought classical yoga to the West in 1966. The Integral yoga schoolscombine different yoga traditions into a lifestyle system to help you develop your overall personality.
Kripalu Yoga was founded by Amrit Desai during the 1980s. It helps you understand your body and how you can perform different yoga poses. Kripalu yoga schools help you with self-improvement and develop a conscious way of thinking and acting in your daily life.
Anusara Yoga was developed by John Friend in 1997 as modern-day version of the Iyengar Yoga. The Anusara Yoga classes follow Friend’s Universal Principle of alignment and is a bit demanding on your body and mind.
The basis of Anusara yoga school is that everyone has intrinsic goodness. With regular practice, you learn to open up your heart and let your goodness shine.
The word Jivamuktitranslates to liberation while living and includes chanting, music, and reading of the holy scriptures. Jivamukti yoga was found by Sharon Gannon and David Life in New York City in 1984.
Jivamukti’s teachings are a path to enlightenment by developing compassion for all beings. It has five tenets including Shastra (Scriptures), Ahimsa (Non-Violence), Dhyana (Meditation), Bhakti (Devotion), and Nada (Music).
Sri Dharma Mittra founded Dharma Yoga after 50 years of experience practicing classical yoga. The Dharma yoga school is fit for students with any experience level of yoga. It is a devotional practice that helps you develop a clear mind and a loving heart.
Dharma yoga practice emphasizes on Yama and Niyama as you are encouraged to go a bit deeper into the practice in a meditative way.
The word Ashtanga stands for eight-limbed as it is named after the 8 limbs of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Ashtanga Yoga was found by Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois and is a fast-styled yoga practice. Jois found the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute in 1948 to spread the teachings of this form of yoga.
Ashtanga yoga school follows a specific sequence of yoga poses with each held for at least five breaths. The Ashtanga Yoga is a vigorous and demanding style of yoga, which flows from one pose to the next with the right inhale and exhale.
With that said, these are the twelve major yoga schools you can choose from depending on your level of experience and the style of yoga that appeals to you the most. Let us now find out how you can find the best yoga school.
With yoga schools located in every corner of the world, it can become a bit hard for you to choose the right one. Given below are the five secrets to help you find the right one.
1. Know Your Geographical Limit
You are looking forward to joining a yoga school providing the best yoga training but that does not mean you have to travel halfway through the world to even reach the place.
The easiest way is to limit your geographical search field. It all comes down to how far are you willing to go for a yoga session. You have to understand the public transport system including the nearest stops to your destination.
2. Ask Around
Although your choice of a yoga school would differ from your friend, it won’t hurt to ask your yoga-practicing friends about the best one. You might even get the opportunity to take a free yoga class with one of the schools if your friend is already a member.
3. Listen to Yourself
If you have been to some yoga school sessions then you should pay attention to how your body feels before and after the class. Any discomfort or uneasiness during the trial class is enough to help you understand the yoga school is not for you.
4. Consider the Benefits
The yoga sessions and teachers have to be your biggest influencers when it comes to choosing a particular yoga school. However, you should take into consideration additional benefits like a shower facility or a spacious dressing room.
5. Be Clear With Your Wants and Needs
You have to start your search for the best yoga school by being clear about what you want from the yoga practice. It might be you are searching for just physical practice of different yoga asanas or want to learn the philosophy behind yoga.
Do you know that millions of yoga lovers come to the holy city Rishikesh in India to advance their understanding of this sacred art? You might wonder that if yoga schools are located in every corner of the world then what makes Rishikesh special? Let us find out.
Rishikesh, the city of the holy river the Ganges and located amidst the Himalayas is not just a place you should visit but an experience of a lifetime. The spiritual vibe of this city gets to you the moment you arrive and breathe in its fresh air.
Are you still curious about what makes Rishikesh the best place to start your yoga practice? Allow us to provide you the right answer.
1. The Birthplace of Yoga
Yoga has been a part of the Indian culture for more than 5000 years. It is Rishikesh that gave yoga to the world. The holy city Rishikesh is known as the Yoga Capital of the World as it has some of the best yoga schoolsto help you not just start a yoga practice but also advance your present yoga knowledge.
2. Plethora of Activities
Rishikesh gives you the chance to experience the lifestyle of one of the most vibrant cities in India. Needless to say, you also have the opportunity of a lifetime to live the yogic lifestyle. The yoga schools in Rishikesh provide you with extracurricular activities like nature trekking, rapelling, kayaking, and mountain biking and a lot more.
3. Dive Deeper into Spirituality
Rishikesh is a land brimming with temples and other holy sites. There is no other place on the planet that is filled with so much air of spirituality and devotion like Rishikesh. A yoga school in Rishikesh helps you learn this sacred art beyond its physical aspect. You learn how yoga can be your best chance towards attaining spiritual growth.
4. Close to Nature
Yoga schools and retreat in Rishikesh are located near the holy river Ganges and amidst the lap of the Himalayas. You get to experience life away from the hustle and bustle of city life and rejuvenate your mind and body without any stress or anxiety.
No more incessant ringing of the mobile phone or the irritating ping of new email in your inbox! Just you and nature in sync!
With that being said, it is evident that joining a yoga school would help you a lot when it comes to keeping your mind calm and body relaxed during a stressful situation. The teachers at the yoga school help you unwind and let go of the stress of your daily life.