New Or Old School: An Evolution of Yoga Meditation Techniques

There seem to be so many apparently different yoga meditation techniques, yet there also seem to be different schools of thought on this subject. Some purists like Bikram Choudhury (who I featured in yesterday’s Slideshow) believe that there are only the eight original yoga styles (karma, hatha, raja, vedanta, bhakti, mantra, jnana and laya), while others have created or adapted some aspects of traditional yoga into some of the newer yoga styles (i.e. kundalini, power, vinyasa, dog yoga, and the list goes on). Alanna Kaivalya, author, writer and Founder of The Kaivalya Yoga Method, presents us with a lively discussion about the subject.

New Or Old School: An Evolution of Yoga Meditation Techniques

Even in the decade that I’ve been teaching yoga, I’ve seen postures “appear.” Most recently, additions like “falling star,” “reverse warrior,” and “flip the dog,” weren’t around even 10 short years ago. Actually, it feels like they’ve appeared over the past few weeks! We can even take a look at modern yoga schools and realize that most every type of practice we enjoy here in America has a fairly recent history. Beryl Bender Birch was a practitioner of Ashtanga Yoga, who boldly took it into the realm of innovation by creating power yoga, and from there we have most every branch of vinyasa evolving from this singular root. Thank you, Beryl, and Baron, and Brian and other fearless innovators of vinyasa yoga!

yoga meditation techniques

Many new yoga meditation techniques have emerged recently. Photo by Jupiterimages c/o Photos.Com

Despite the fact that our beloved asana has a relatively new existence, it still remains a powerful practice for about 16 million Americans. None of this news of newness of the tradition of asana is supposed to diminish it’s importance or relevance in our world, but rather to create an awareness that it’s up to us to verify it’s validity. Many (myself included!) regard asana as a deeply spiritual practice, though the traditions of meditation and bhakti (devotional) yoga have far more historical precedent. If we, as Westerners, have developed and placed in prominence the practice of asana, then dammit, it’s up to us to prove that it really works.

Read more over at The Huffington Post:

What do you think? Are you a traditionalist, an innovator, or maybe a bit of both? There are as many different yoga meditation techniques out there as suit those who practice them. For the traditionalists, the exacting discipline of the old techniques satisfies a need, just as the more modern and recently debuted Western contemporary yoga styles fulfill the needs of its adherents.

Do you have a preferred style of yoga? Let me know with a comment. Tell me what you think about this and please click the like button to let your friends share in the discussion.

A photographer gets people to pose for him. A yoga instructor gets people to pose for themselves.

T. Guillemets

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