Although the classic postures proven and they remain unchanged for millennia, hatha yoga continues to evolve and has taken various forms, especially in the twentieth century. Each of the styles of yoga combines postures, breathing exercises and meditation in a more or less energetic or gentle, lively or quiet. Here are the most common in the West.
Ashtanga: Characterized by synchronized breathing with rapid sequences of postures increasingly demanding. This raises the metabolism and body temperature. Excellent pour l’endurance. Excellent for endurance. In the U.S., we developed a particularly dynamic called Power Yoga.
Integral: Integral. Designed in the United States in the 1960s, it offers a balanced integration of postures, breathing, meditation, and relaxation. (Do not confuse with the spiritual approach of Sri Aurobindo, also called integral yoga.)
Iyengar: Disciplined and rigorous courses where the emphasis is on the alignment of members and, especially, the spine, very oriented toward health. No spiritual connotations, but the meditative aspect is present.
Kripalu: A dance of body, mind and energy, with an emphasis on breathing techniques. Promote particular the cardiovascular, digestive and nervous systems.
Kundalini. Aimed primarily to awaken the kundalini, the original energy healing, the approach works on the meditative consciousness through sequences of postures.
Sivananda ou Vedanta: The courses are taught by the Sivananda organization in its own centers, it insists on positive thinking, meditation, breathing, relaxation and nutrition. This is very spiritual aspect.
Sudarshan Kriya: This form of yoga was founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in the early 1980s 70. Present in over 140 countries, it relies heavily on breathing to rebalance the body and mind.
Viniyoga: Characterized by the integration of movement with breathing, and a personalized education that fits each individual.
As for prenatal yoga, this course focused on the specific needs of pregnant women. The instructor then chooses some exercise (postural and breathing) to help them overcome difficulties related to pregnancy, promoting stages of childbirth and a return to a balanced body after birth. Instructors can be practiced in one or the other movements mentioned above. They also included Tibetan yoga is practiced using belts or straps to keep the body in certain positions, and especially promote relaxation.