Yoga Styles



Although there is a common thread to all the styles of yoga promoted here, you may find a particular style suits your body and life journey. We aim to offer a brief guide to styles of yoga - more detail can be found via the links or on teachers' websites.





Ashtanga (Astanga) Yoga



A system of yoga popularised by K. Pattabhi Jois. The order of asanas is predefined. A practice will comprise four main parts: an "opening sequence," one of the six main "series", a back-bending sequence, and a set of inverted asanas, referred to as the "happy ending" or "finishing sequence." Practice ends with savasana. The opening sequence begins with 10 Sun Salutations and then several standing asanas. More can be found on THIS link. Astanga teachers on this site are: Emanuele Rossi, Mariella de Martini, Sasha Norton,

Ashtanga Yoga Mysore Style

Mysore Style is the traditional way Ashtanga Yoga was taught by the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and continues to be taught by his grandson R. Sharath Jois in Mysore, India, at the KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI). Ashtanga Yoga is characterised by its therapeutic and progressive set sequences of postures. In a Mysore Style class each student is taught individually as part of a group and practices up to a point in the sequence according to their ability and experience. For more info please click here. Mysore Style Ashtanga Yoga teachers are Emanuele Rossi, Mariella de Martini​ and Tracy Leo.

Sanskrit Counted Method

Sanskrit Counted Method, is a class led by naming the postures in Sanskrit and counting the numbers of Vinyasas a little like a metronome, whilst going round to assist the students. Here the group moves together, but the teacher can also offer variations if necessary and suggest a point at which some students might need to finish their practice and rest.



Hatha Yoga



A general term for what might be termed ‘traditional yoga’. Individual teachers will have their own particular style of teaching which may range from the more challenging to the more gentle. A hatha yoga class will generally commence with a short period of relaxation or focusing, followed by warm up stretches and then various postures (asanas). The class is likely to close with some breathing exercises (pranayama) before a final relaxation and or meditation. Teachers on this site are

Elaine Whittaker, Sue Pennington, Nikki Jackson, Kristine Homoki, Brita Benson, Rachel James, Klaren Iles, Derek Elliott, Liz Parham.

Hatha- British Wheel of Yoga

Equal importance is given to alignment and precision in postures as to breath and inner focus. Postures are approached in stages with students progressing from one stage to the next in their own time, each working at their own level. As important as each individual posture is the sequence of postures which flows from pose to counter pose, gradually creating balance in the energetic body, the psyche and the central nervous system. Pranayama and relaxation form a vital part of each class. Progress in postures is measured not so much by stretching further as by the increased awareness and sensitivity that each student brings to the posture. More can be found on THIS link. Teachers on this site are: Robin Lipsey, Rachel James, Jo Child, Kay Millar, Zena Kidd-May, Jenny Blyth.

Akhanda Yoga

Akhanda yoga is a traditional and holistic approach developed by YOGRISHI VISHVKETU. Akhanda is a complete and balanced practice including asana, pranayama, relaxation, mantra and meditation as well as discussions and readings on the yogic lifestyle and yoga philosophy. This integral approach offers access to diverse teachings and techniques that the yoga system has to offer. When practiced and understood holistically, yoga becomes even more beneficial and helpful for humanity in bringing harmony and balance to our lives, families and to society. Akhanda Yoga balances a commitment to body mechanics with guidelines for inner inquiry. Balance means including diverse aspects of the yoga tradition, balancing all of the directional movements of the spine in every class, as well as balance of effort and allowing, of yin and yang. The seamless flow created avoids any extraneous movements, and prevents disbalanced flexibility and disbalance or loss in the Pranic energy system. Akanda teachers on this site are Maria Hardman.

Dr Bali Method

It is Dr. Bali’s belief, backed by ample research, that stress management is the key to health, not only for the individual but also for humanity as a whole. Stress affects every aspect of life – physical, mental, social and overall wellbeing. It disrupts natural healing processes and wears down the energy and vitality of the human body. Through the calming and renewing practice of yoga, and particularly Dr. Bali’s method, lessening the detrimental effect of stress on our wellbeing is possible.

Read some of the articles on stress and yoga we have gathered for you to learn more about the affect of stress on your life and especially your health.

The first thing to know about the method is that it is not about the poses (Asanas). Complete focus on a pose or your breath is advanced Yoga, no matter how flexible you are, and even the most complex pose is beginner's Yoga if your mind is elsewhere. The method is scientific. Just as science requires empirical (sensory) proof, your experience is the ultimate judge of whether Yoga in general – or this style – is ‘working’ for you. Initially, you will learn to observe your body and busy mind. Eventually you learn to tame and focus the mind. You will also experience deep relaxation and relief from daily stress.

Practicing this method, students will notice immediate improvements in flexibility, strength, and the ability to concentrate, relax, and deal with stress. It’s not about the poses. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests Yoga and meditation may help reduce low back pain, hypertension, asthma, stress, pain management, and other ailments. Teachers on this site are: Jeremy Howick

Dynamic Hatha Yoga

A flowing class incorporating the attention to correct alignment with the sensitivity of the breath, emphasizing healthy movement patterns. Dynamic yoga combines traditional yoga postures with fluid movement and key breathing techniques to deliver a flowing, meditative and energetic practice. In this way, dynamic yoga helps to build strength, improve flexibility, calm and focus the mind, and improve circulation. Teachers on this site are: Stephanie Ross-Russell, Lissa Rodd, Karen Iles, Roosa Leimu-Brown, Derek Elliott.

Integral Yoga

Integral yoga follows the teachings of Sri Swami Sachidananda, who came to the United States from India in the 1960s. Integral is a gentle, hatha practice, and classes often also include breathing exercises, chanting and meditation. Integral yoga teachers on this site are: Sissel Fowler, Jude Clements.

Aerial Yoga

Aerial Yoga uses a fabric hammock as a tool to help students achieve the traditional Yoga positions. Qualified teachers on this site are: Emma Robinson, Julie Bolitho-Lee

Seated Yoga (chair yoga)

Seated Yoga allows people recovering from injuries/illnesses, or with mobility issues, disabilities or age-related issues, to practise yoga. It uses the same concepts and poses as Hatha Yoga styles and translates them to make them accessible to all. It increases flexibility, range of movement, strength and balance, as well as offering breathing and meditation to reduce stress and tension and encourage improved sleep. Qualified teachers on this site are: Alison Partridge, Elaine Ulett.

Zen Yoga

Zen Yoga practice uses physical yoga postures and movements to improve strength and flexibility in the body, whilst at the same time trying to connect these exercises with our mind and breathing so students develop an awareness of energy flows within the body, learn to release tension, and can begin to open up, reduce stress and live more freely. For more info follow THIS link. Qualified teachers on this site are: Chris Graham


Kashmir yoga of non-duality

This gentle and contemplative approach invites us to explore our essential identity beyond our conditioned habits. In our daily lives, the body and life itself are seldom tasted directly without an agenda. We rarely allow experience to simply blossom with its natural, organic intelligence. In fact we have deeply disconnected from direct experience and even when we turn back towards the body for example, we come with a purpose and ideas that we project upon it, only to perpetuate a network of belief, tension and density that we identify with as 'myself'. With the help of guided meditation, simple postures and asanas, movements, breathing exploration, visualisations and dialog, we will explore our experience in its totality and our felt, tactile and sensorial experience moment by moment, free of any agenda. We will touch our open listening presence which is our essential identity. Simultaneously the body will uncover its own organic and natural resonance with this presence which is its source and substance Gently and effortlessly, it will flow with more and more ease, intensity and transparency. Qualified teachers are: Ellen Emmet.



Hot Yoga (Bikram Yoga style)



Hot Yoga is a series of Hatha Yoga postures and breathing exercises performed in a room heated to 40 degrees. The same series of postures is performed in each class and are designed to work every part of the body. Each posture (asana) stretches, strengthens and prepares the body for the next to maximise oxygenation and detoxification. Suitable for all levels and ability. For more about hot yoga go to THIS link. Qualified Hot Yoga (Bikram) teachers on this site are: Caroline Falce-Gozzi



Iyengar Yoga



The system of teaching is methodical and progressive, emphasising detailed correctness and safety. It uses props, when necessary that allow students to progress in their practice of postures at their own pace, to suit their body. More information can be found on THIS LINK. Qualified Iyengar teachers listed on this site are: Anna Heavens, Matthew Greenfield, Jacqueline Mangold, James Pritchard, Sophia Argyris, Emma Pinchin, Evelyn Crosskey, Vanessa McNaught, Victoria Pypus, Toby Lockyer.



Kids Yoga



Kids' yoga takes traditional poses and makes it accessible to children of different ages through games, play and other activities such as dance. It incorporates breathing, balance and mindfulness. The approach used changes to match the age and developmental stage of the child, encouraging healthy habits for life. Qualified teachers on this site are Liz Parham


Kripalu Yoga



This style focuses on developing nonjudgemental awareness--or witness consciousness--of body, mind and spirit. It is a yoga that is open to everyone--from the beginner to the advanced yogi. Kripalu yoga places emphasis on the individual experience--not on the aesthetic look of a pose. The unique body, mind and spirit are honored. Kripalu yoga, like most forms of yoga, focuses on breath awareness and merging breath with movement. Postures aid in producing both physical and mental benefits--at times allowing the mind to take a much-needed break, giving the body an opportunity to move freely. Qualified teachers listed on this site are: Julie Bolitho-Lee



Kum Nye Yoga



Kum nye yoga is a Tibetan yoga and meditation practice, originating from both Buddhist meditation and medical traditions. The words kum nye are Tibetan for ‘massaging’ (nye)the ‘subtle body’ or ‘our whole presence’ (ku). A typical class starts with a purification breathing exercise and will include self-massage exercises, deep relaxation mind techniques, gentle and sometimes very slow movements and periods of sitting /standing / lying down meditation. Movements can also be invigorating and energizing, practiced at different levels of intensity, adapted to the individual. These exercises have a healing aspect as well as melting unnecessary tensions in body, breath and mind, which means they are generally deeply relaxing and restorative. Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche has been the main teacher who adapted and systematized kum nye for Western students, teaching in California since the 1970’s. See THIS link for more information. Qualified teachers listed on this site are: Mary Henegan



Kundalini Yoga



Kundalini Yoga is called the Yoga of Awareness. It is a dynamic, powerful tool that is designed to give you an experience of your soul.

In Kundalini Yoga we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the domain of the will, which is the instrument of the soul. This technology precisely and consciously combines breath, mudra, eye-focus, mantra, body locks, and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity, and purify the blood. It brings balance to the body, mind, and soul.

Kundalini Yoga is not a religion. When we apply the technology of Kundalini Yoga to our bodies and minds, it has the effect of uplifting the spirit. It is for everyone. It is universal and nondenominational. Qualified teachers listed on this site are: Ro Turan, Maria Hardman, Stella Shakerchi



Pregnancy & Postnatal Yoga



Yoga can increase energy levels and provide a sense of well being at any time in your life, but it is particularly suitable during pregnancy. As well as developing strength and flexibility in your body without straining, it can also help you cope with both the physical and emotional changes that occur during this very special time. Useful information is available on: Activebirth, NCT, Birthlight, Yogabirth Pregnancy Yoga Teachers on this site are: Kay Millar, Zena Kidd-May, Nicole Croft, Laurence Nagy, Emma Dashwood, Sara Barker.

Postnatal Yoga

Postnatal yoga helps women regain strength and tone after childbirth and supports them on an emotional level by providing time and space for calm and relaxation. Poses are selected to aid natural healing and avoid exacerbating any common postnatal issues such as abdominal separation (diastasis recti)and a weakened pelvic floor. Some classes may include the baby and offer moments for bonding and connection, others may be just for the mother and concentrate on her wellbeing. Qualified teachers on this site are Sara Barker, Liz Parham



Restorative Yoga



The restorative practice differs from other forms of introspective yoga systems, in that the poses are generally supine and supported by props, encouraging a safe letting go. With a deep release in the physical body, the mind also has the opportunity to undo, and the outcome is a relaxed, grounded and more centered state of being. These classes may also incorporate some meditation and breathing practices. They are suitable both for a person with an active asana practice to reach the more subtle layers which can then illuminate an active practice. And also for those who are challenged by an active practice, when the restorative practice can act therapeutically and start to open and heal the body in a way which may enable more active movement. Teachers on this site are: Derek Elliott.



Scaravelli Yoga



Vanda Scaravelli was an Italian teacher, originally trained by BKS Iyengar. She went on to develop her own unique approach which she describes in her book 'Awakening the Spine'. This is a form of yoga that can be enjoyed by everyone - the fit and the unfit, the flexible and the stiff, the young and the old. Vanda believed poses required 'undoing' and unfolded as a process of finding rest and release. Practice is unhurried and each asana is approached with an attitude of exploring. The intention is to allow the natural intelligence of the body to take over rather than impose on the body. More information can be found on THIS link. Qualified teachers are : Kay Millar, Jo Child.



Sivananda Yoga



This style of yoga is based on the teachings of Swami Sivananda who is regarded in India as a modern saint. His teachings and many publications may be summed up in 'Serve, love, give purify, meditate, realise,' and 'adjust, adapt, accommodate.' In 1957 he sent his 20 year old disciple Vishnudevananda to the West saying 'People are waiting'. The result has been the founding of yoga ashrams and centres on five continents and over 26 thousand graduates of teacher training and advanced teacher training. Postures are just one of the five aspects of this form of yoga. It is characterised by the consistent use of introductory breathing practice, 12 key postures, regular short relaxations and a very flexible approach to the needs of individual students. More information is available on www.sivananda.org. Qualified teachers listed on this site are; Netia Mayman



TriYoga



This teaching method is based on creating a very slow, conscious flow in the spine. By integrating these flows in to and around classical Yoga poses, flexibility, strength and joint health are promoted. This system also harnesses the breath and breathing exercises are included within the classes, along with the teaching of meditation. Qualified teachers listed on this site are: James Reeves



Vinyasa Yoga



Vinyasa Yoga is a style of Hatha Yoga where each of the postures (asanas) is joined together by a specific intelligent movement (Vinyasa). Thus the way of getting into and out of each posture becomes as important as the posture itself and one posture flows into another throughout the class. The flowing asana sequences (Vinyasa Krama) are ever changing depending on the focus of the class. Teachers trained in Vinyasa Yoga are precise and pay attention to each student's ability. Each session ends with 5-10 minutes relaxation. More information can be found THIS site. Qualified Vinyasa Yoga teachers listed on this site are: Laurence Nagy, Beatrice Barbareschi, Karen Iles, Kamatchi Krishnan, Alessandro Gozzi, Emma Robertson, Brenda Hamlet, Kristine Homoki, Serena Momberg Lissa Rodd Roosa Leimu-Brown

Power Yoga

A vigorous, fitness-based approach to vinyasa-style yoga, with emphasis on strength and flexibility.. This style of practice was originally based on the Ashtanga method, though, unlike Ashtanga, power yoga does not follow a set series of poses. This means that classes can vary widely depending on the teacher. Teachers offering power yoga classes on this site are: Cassandra Cardiff.

Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti is a style of Vinyasa Yoga that is physically and mentally challenging. Created by Sharon Gannon and David Life, it focuses on the original meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘asana’ as seat; seat as the connection and relationship to all you come into contact with in daily life. The method places emphasis on Asana practice with a focus on Vinyasa as well as alignment. A class includes Vinyasa (flowing asana sequences), hands-on adjustment, Pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, Sanskrit chanting, Yogic philosophy and relaxation. Jivamukti Yoga works with the philosophy of ahimsa (non violence), meditation, yoga scriptures and music as integral to the class. For more information go to THIS link. Teachers are: Alessandro Gozzi.

Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga

This style can be described as a “perspective” on all yoga, rather than just its own style. It provides a focus on the core of our yoga poses on all levels: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic. Its principles and poses simplify how to use constant "core” connection to gain the maximum yoga benefits (calorie burn, strength, flexibility, balance, focus, self-awareness, confidence...) in the least amount of time. For more information follow THIS link. Qualified teachers on this site are: Kristine Homoki



Yin Yoga



A nourishing and meditative form of yoga, Yin classes provide an opportunity to slow down and take your focus inwards. Most postures are floor based and are held for 3 to 5 minutes whilst the body is in a relaxed state to work into deeper tissue, such as ligaments, fascia, bones and joints. Yin yoga particularly targets the lower back, knees and hips, and knowledge from Chinese Medicine is incorporated to invigorate the body's energy flow. You can find out more on THIS site. Qualified teachers on Yoga Oxford are Karen Iles, Cassandra Cardiff



Yoga Therapy



Yoga Therapy is a combination of traditional yoga practises and therapeutic movements specifically adapted for medical or mental health conditions to enhance recovery during the process of rehabilitation. Where mainstream yoga classes are proving too challenging or inappropriate, yoga therapy promotes a gentle, self compassionate approach to soothing the mind, body and breath back to their natural state of health and well being. Teachers are: Nikki Jackson, Derek Elliott.