MansukhPatel

Mansukh Patel, BKS Iyengar, Swami Vishnu Devananda, founders of yoga styles everyone should know about.

There are so many styles of yoga available at every studio these days that it can be tricky to distinguish the different subtleties. Some yoga schools have an international following, and have stood the test of time. Here are three popular styles of yoga that are taught worldwide, which everyone should try at least once.

Dru Yoga from Mansukh Patel

Founders
Founded in the 1970s by enthusiastic UK university students, including Mansukh Patel, Chris Barrington, and Rita Goswami, this flowing style has a holistic emphasis.

Why it stands out
Working on every level, from physical (it’s excellent for back pain according to scientific research journals) through the emotions (the manomaya kosha, as they call it in Dru) to the spiritual level (with blissful meditations) – Dru has something for everyone. There is no need to be particularly fit or bendy to try this style – according to founder Mansukh Patel, “Dru is for everyone no matter what age or level of flexibility you have. The most important thing is to just start yoga, rather than worrying about whether you can touch your toes.”

What’s a typical class like?
In Mansukh Patel’s Dru Yoga class, you’ll experience flowing movements to remove energy blocks or stiffness from the joints, traditional asanas performed with an emphasis on alleviating back pain, and deep relaxations. To a newcomer, Dru is light hearted, with spiritual depth and a focus on the therapeutic side of the practice.

Where to find this style?
Dru Yoga was developed in the UK. Classes, retreats and teacher training courses may be taken throughout the UK, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and in BC, Canada.

Classic quote
“Dru Yoga is a journey of self discovery.”  Mansukh Patel

Iyengar Yoga from BKS Iyengar

Founders
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar, who passed away in 2014, lends his name to this style, and is credited with bringing yoga to the West in the 1960s.

Why it stands out
Iyengar yoga focuses on detail, alignment in the performance of posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama). This style concentrates on precision, and uses props such as blocks and bolsters to help students achieve perfection in each posture and develop their mind, body and spirit step-by-step.

What’s a typical class like?
A Iyengar yoga class will include traditional yoga poses, taught slowly and with attention to detail – poses may be held for up to 10 minutes. Classes often start with a sanskrit prayer to Patanjali (the father of yoga) and finish with a long Savasana. While one won’t experience a sweaty workout like in certain yoga styles, muscles are most likely to feel tired after the lesson. Students usually sign up for 10-12 week series of classes to get the most benefit from this style.

Where to find this style?
Founded in Pune, India, Iyengar classes and courses can be taken in just about any country from Argentina to Yemen!

Classic quote
“My body is my temple and asanas are my prayers.” BKS Iyengar

Sivananda Yoga from Swami Vishnu Devananda

Founders
Swami Vishnu Devananda, instructed by his guru Swami Sivananda, established a yoga centre in Montreal, Canada in 1959.

Why it stands out?
Boasting 60+ worldwide locations, Sivananda is a traditional yoga school that may be found everywhere. Sivananda Yoga’s mission is to spread peace, health and joy through yoga.

What’s a typical class like?
A typical open level Sivananda class includes pranayama (breathing exercises), warm-ups including Sun Salutations,12 basic asanas (postures) and deep relaxation. The asanas follow an exact order that allows for the systematic movement of every major part of the body in a balanced way that enhances prana or life force energy, keeping the mind quiet and without the need to think beyond each individual pose.

Where to find this style?
With 26,000 Sivananda teachers across the globe, there are yoga classes in most towns and cities worldwide.

Classic quote
“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.” Swami Sivananda

 

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