This is a question I get asked at least once a week. Is this vinyasa yoga? Do you do hot yoga? Are anusara and ashtanga the same? Can you teach me power yoga? Iyengar is a funny word…do you do that type? As yoga studios popped up all over my town the style of yoga they offered became a hot topic. Everyone wants to do the most trendy style, best for you style.
But consider this…here you have a beautiful practice that’s meant to balance your body, mind, and spirit. It’s not a workout, it’s a lifestyle, a path. I mean, you don’t do yoga, you live yoga. I feel like the question of “what type of yoga do you do” was being answered in the wrong way. Here are the answers we should be giving…
I am a bhakti yogi, I practice the yoga of devotion. Bhakti yoga is based on devotion to a deity and/or a well-defined spiritual path.
I am a karma yogi, I practice the yoga of service. Karma yoga is based on serving others without attachment to the outcome.
I am a jnana yogi, I practice the yoga of knowledge. Jnana yoga is the search for the knowledge and truth that lies within us.
I am a raja yogi, I practice the royal path of yoga. Raja yoga is the study of the 8 limbs of yoga.
Each path of yoga is trying to balance body, mind, and spirit. Each path uses asana, pranayama, and meditation along with other practices and to varying degrees. However, the focus of the 4 paths isn’t a handstand or the perfect lotus pose. Yoga should take you deeper into yourself. Then is should help you explore your mind. Yoga opens the door to compassion, love, and healing.
Yes, choose a style of yoga that you enjoy doing. The one that engages you physically and mentally. Then consider what path of yoga you want to pursue and let your style of yoga lead you deeper on that path.