Yoga Styles

General presentations of Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Pranayama, and Meditation…

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Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga Institute as defined)


Vinyasa means breathing and movement of the principle of breath. For each movement, there is one breath. For example, in Surya Namskar vinyasas there are nine. The first is the inspiration for the first vinyasa while raising your arms above your head, and putting your hands together, the second vinyasa while exhaling and leaning forward, placing your hands next to your feet , etc. In this way all asanas are assigned a number of vinyasas.

The following aspects are specified by Pattabhi Jois defined as the main components of Ashtanga Yoga. Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was sent to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900's by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was then sent to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.

The purpose of vinyasa is cleaning house. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot, or as Pattabhi Jois says, "boil the blood." Thick blood is dirty and causes disease in the body. The heat created from yoga cleans the blood and it is thin, so it can flow more freely.

The combination of movement and breathing asanas makes the blood circulate freely in all joints, and removes the pain of the body. When there is a lack of circulation, pain occurs. The heated blood also moves through all the internal organs removing impurities and disease, which are made out of the body through sweat that occurs during practice.

Sweat is produced by the vinyasa, because it is only through sweat that disease leaves the body and purification occurs. In the same way that gold is melted in a pot to remove its impurities, by virtue of dirt to the surface as the tip of gold, and dirt is then removed, the same way yoga boiled the blood traces on the surface all our toxins, which are eliminated through sweat. If the method of vinyasa is followed, the body becomes healthy and strong, and pure as gold.

Once the body is purified, it is possible to purify the nervous system and sense organs. These first steps are difficult and require many years of practice. The sense organs are always looking from the outside, and the body is always subject to laziness. However, the practice of the determination and diligence, they can be controlled. Once this is accomplished, mind control is set up automatically. Vinyasa creates the foundation for that to happen.


This means the three places of attention or action: posture, breathing and principle of the placement of the eyes. These three aspects are very important for yoga practice, and cover three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and mind. They are always made in relation to one another.


help in the purification, strengthening and giving flexibility to the body. Breathing is rechaka puraka and this means that inhale and exhale. Both inhale and exhale should be steady and the same duration: the duration of inspiration must be the same length as the exhale. Breathing in this manner purifies the nervous system.


is where you look while you are in the asana. There are nine dristhis: the nose between the eyebrows, navel, thumb, hands, feet, upper right and left side. Dristhi purifies and helps stabilize the operation of the mind.

To clean the body from the inside two factors are necessary, air and fire. The place of fire in our bodies is four inches below the navel. This is the permanent place of our life force.

To allow the fire to burn, air is required, hence the necessity of breathing. If you stoke a fire with a fan, the regularity is necessary so that the flame is not smothered.

The same method is for breath. Long, identical, regular breaths will strengthen our internal fire, increasing heat in our body which in turn heats the blood for physical purification, and burns the impurities in the nervous system as well. A long and even breathing increases the internal fire and strengthens the nervous system in a controlled manner. When this fire is strengthened, our digestion, health and life will increase. If the inspiration is uneven compared to the end, if breathing is too fast, will create an imbalance in the beating of the heart, disrupting both the physical body and the autonomic nervous system.

An important component of the respiratory system is Mula Bandha and Uddiyana. These are the locks of the anal and lower abdomen, binding energy, give lightness, strength and health of the body, and help build a fire inside. Without bandhas, breathing will not be correct, and the asanas will give no benefit. Mula bandha is when perfect, mind control is automatic.

The six poisons: A key aspect of internal purification that Pattabhi Jois teaches the six poisons that surround the spiritual heart. In the yoga shastra it is said that God dwells in our heart in the form of light, but this light is covered by six poisons: Kama, krodha, moha, lobha, mdtsarya and mada. These are desire, anger, delusion, greed, envy and sloth. When yoga practice is sustained with great diligence and dedication over a long period of time, the heat generated by these poisons it burns, and the light of our inner nature shines.

This is the philosophical basis and practice of Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

Hatha Yoga


Hatha Yoga seeks to unite the energies of the Ha and Tha by merging breath and mind in the center of the body to the heart. Hatha Yoga balances the refreshing energy of the moon (THA) with the energy of the hot sun (HA).

This is done by the practice of asanas and pranayama, movement and breathing. Hatha Yoga helps circulate energy throughout the body, helping the body to function properly internally.

The teaching of asanas are practiced to improve physical health and clear mind in order to prepare for concentration (dharana) and achieve through meditation (dhyana) to the state of samadhi.

The Jivamukti method

The Jivamukti method was created by Sharon Gannon and David Life. Jivamukti Yoga one of nine internationally recognized styles of Hatha Yoga. Jivamukti Yoga class involves an ever changing flow of postures (vinyasa) that is intended to challenge you on many levels. Each class revolves around a theme based on ancient wisdom and emphasizes the importance of practicing with an elevated intention. Chanting, meditation, and inspiring music are a part of every class.

Practice of Yoga in India

Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra, lists eight members of Yoga (ashtanga) are: yama, niyama, asana (postures), pranayama (control of vital breath), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses inside), dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), Samadhi (contemplation preparing spiritual liberation).

The Indian practice of Hathayoga strives to develop breath control (pranayama) and stability of postures (asanas) which can be linked together in almost choreographic sequences as the Sun Salutation.

Practice of Hatha Yoga in the West

In the West, the vast majority of yoga centered around a number of positions held by level of participants and the objective of the session (Bhavana).

Breathing may be paced in the postures or concentrated during a special time. The session usually ends with a moment of relaxation. These three components can be arranged very differently depending on the school, the time of day, age and the expectations of participants. Less frequently, extracts of the Yoga Sutras can be sung, and the Yoga Sutra, this step is more common in context, India.

All postures (asanas) that the body can be adopted yoga as the intensity respect contentment that comes out of this practice. Non-violence to his own body, humility, are principles that avoid confusing yoga and acrobatics. The postures can be static. When they are dynamic, they can be practiced in a precise sequence, often in a particular order breathing.

It takes some experience to take a position in a relaxing "structured", with a regular breathing and a good spinal alignment coordinated with the alignments of the other body segments.
The postures have an impact:

  • In terms of stretching, which helps drainage and relieves muscle pain from tension.
  • In terms of massage internal organs, by successive compression and decompression
  • In terms of concentration and a certain self-knowledge, in order to contract the muscles necessary for the architecture of the posture and relax the contrary those who oppose it.

Breathing (pranayama)

The four basic phases of breathing are explored: the inspiration, the lungs full retention, exhalation and retention lungs empty. In advanced levels of practice, other phases are explored.
Different exercises focus on:

  • one or more of these four phases,
  • the speed and the slow pace of implementation, or rapid
  • only one nostril or both nostrils or two alternating nostrils together
  • production or absence of sound,
  • a period compatible with the capabilities of the practitioner.

These techniques of pranayama allow the development of concentration by decreasing the dispersion mental, and when to collect sufficient basis has been established, the body and mind could acquire a new vigor and vitality, drawing on the energy of Prana.

It also promotes the ability to withstand stress the awareness of the irregular rhythm of the breath, to bring it back to a slower pace.

André Van Lysebeth, in his book: Pranayama, breath dynamics Paris, Flammarion, 1981, speculates that the prana corresponds to negative ions (electrons) from the surrounding air. However, the theory sees a prescientific pranic life force perhaps more fundamentally, the basis of all life and consciousness.

The relaxation

One could say that the relaxation is a minor or a Samadhi meditation training. This phase, which usually concludes the session is accomplished by sitting or lying, and is the emergence of a sense of peace. It is accompanied by a slow, deep breathing, suggestions, or sounds very sweet.

Relaxation prepare for meditation. Meditation as it is objective or not, and / or volitional or not, has access to different levels.


The concentration will include postural or respiratory various aspects such as speed, location and coordination. From the perspective of yoga, persevere in postural stability, improves concentration and promotes a long psychological stability. The regular practice of asanas and pranayama deployed in a quiet and non-competitive, leading to a pause, stop disturbances of the mind. In this, hatha yoga is seen as a preparatory phase for deep meditation.

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