Talk:List of yoga schools

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material from "Styles/Schools of Hatha Yoga"[edit]

Content from the redirected "Styles/Schools of Hatha Yoga" article. This information should be merged into the respective articles/stubs on these various styles, linked to from the List of yoga schools article. --Smithfarm 21:37, 26 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Iyengar - Emphasis on body alignment doing the poses, use of props (blocks, belt / strap, blankets), especially for beginners.
Bikram- practiced in a room heated to 105 degrees Faherheit, the sequence of 26 poses and advice has been patented.
Astanga- name derived from sanskrit for "eight-limbed" Compared to iyengar, more emphasis on quickly shifting between poses (often by jumping).
Power (usually associated with Astanga)-

Yogaschool template[edit]

Ashtanga Yoga
FounderSri K. Pattabhi Jois
Practice emphases
Vinyassa - coordinating of breathe and movement, very physically active, ujjayi breath
Related schools
Iyengar Yoga

A template for use on the pages of the various schools of yoga, Ashtanga is shown as an example.


Copy and paste, and put in appropriate detail. Paul foord 02:17, 12 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

More information required or items to be removed[edit]

I am working through the list filling in some gaps, but:

Paul foord 13:57, 23 October 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

March 2006[edit]

These need articles if to be kept, external links alone not adequate

  1. Universal Yoga - Andrey Lappa -
  2. Raja yoga (School) - sree gnanajothi sampangi swamigal - (use of the Raja Yoga path needs differentiation from the school. See the discussion at Talk:Raja Yoga)
Paul foord 13:50, 21 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, this list needs to differentiate the notable schools of yoga from the physical schools and organizations for there to be any point. Both here and in the Category:Yoga shouldn't there be a distinction between global philosophy movements and description & link to local guru intructors? Murgh 01:21, 10 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hinduism project?[edit]

By what authority has this article become part of the Hinduism project?--Nemonoman 02:38, 1 February 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

kundalini yoga origins[edit]

As stated in the article, under "Eclectic styles; 1960s: Kundalini Yoga, propagated by Harbhajan Singh Yogi based on a concept described by Sivananda Saraswati (1935)..." ... is misleading.

Kundalini Yoga was brought and propagated in the west by Yogi Bhajan (Harbanjan Singh Yogi) in 1969. It may be probable that Sivananda and Yogi Bhajan met, but it would be incorrect to say Yogi Bhajan's teachings were "based on a concept by Sivananada". There's no existing evidence of this. I have books from both teachers. Their descriptions are similar because they are both based on the same root vedic writings; the Kundalini Yoga Upanishads. But, like the evolution of anything, their modern interpretations differ as taught in many aspects too. +RogerThatOne72 (talk) 06:16, 13 June 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Article title confusion[edit]

Some editors are reading "school" as an actual building rather than in the sense of, "a style, approach, or method of a specified character." (Oxford). This begs the question, in terms of yoga, What is the difference between a school and a style? And could the name of this article be changed to List of yoga styles? Morganfitzp (talk) 18:16, 28 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Both words are problematic. For 'style' a better word is 'format' since very often the content is comparable but the emphasis is different. --Yoga Mat (talk) 18:42, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Criteria for inclusion[edit]

I think this page is clearly lacking a criteria for selection. This list of hatha styles is laughable, dilluted with self-promoters inserting their trademarked unheard of styles. Many of these are of such fine distinction from one another that the only real difference is marketing. Most of these are vinyasa style yogas done either with a specific philosophy (which doesn't make a distinct school of physical yoga) or without clothes (which also doesn't really change the practice). I would recommend the criteria include:

A) A notable extant following internationally.

B) Distinction in either community or practice from other schools in the same category (i.e. Ashtanga is different from Iyengar and Viniyoga in the communities that practice them, the names of some poses, the sequencing (or its absence), alignment, etc. And all three school's founders authored several authoritative books)

C) The school must not be limited to followers of a restricted, patented system (luckily, Bikram no longer has a restricted use patent, and does have a 'lineage' with Bishnu Gosh, and a distinct sequencing and style)

D) The school can't just use a small piece of hatha yoga practice for a specialized purpose (e.g. Cardio Yoga has no unique techniques or lineage, only a more limited scope and would fall under 'gentle yoga' with Prime of Life and a million other therapeutic styles. Same with 'ab kriya yoga'.)

E) Must be of a certain age to be considered 'established'. Maybe ten years? Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 21:09, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The main issue I see is the taxonomy hierarchy is unreliable. Once a set of criteria, or better still 'attributes' has been agreed, the structure will make more sense. For example, to classify Iyengar yoga is somehow outside of Hinduism is hard to justify. The 'eclectic' category is also unhelpful. Some considerations might be:
  1. Year established ('Modern') is unhelpful because the Modern era includes adaptions of classical/traditional practices as well as formats that do not claim to have any traditional provenance
  2. Lineage of founder (s)
  3. Core beliefs / assumptions
  4. Main goals
  5. Cardiovascular attenuation or stimulation ('Postural' doesn't tell us anything since there are many sitting and recumbent postures where the heart rate is meant to be lowered for relaxation etc.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Yoga Mat (talkcontribs) 18:54, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]


"In late medieval Hinduism, Raja Yoga, based on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, was contrasted with the more recent Hatha Yoga. Since the late 19th century, a great number of distinct new styles of "Yoga" have been introduced by individual teachers."

This lead in doesn't actually say anything meaningful. At least not the first part. Just an off hand observation about the sutras and medieval hatha yoga. I may take a crack at a rewrite if no one beats me to it.Iṣṭa Devata (talk) 21:21, 6 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Distinguishing "schools" and "styles"[edit]

  • The current article fails to distinguish schools (teaching institutions) and styles (traditions of theory and practice). I don't particular like the term "style" for traditions of yoga but it's what the Wikipedia categories use, at least for now (Category:Yoga schools, Category:Yoga styles). There's currently no separate list article for styles of yoga, though there probably should be or at least the current article needs to be rewritten to clearly distinguish the two. This list article and its two corresponding categories need to be cleaned-up. Scyrme (talk) 22:40, 27 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To say that teaching institutions ("schools") are indistinguishable from traditions ("styles") is like saying no distinction can be made between British Idealism (a particular philosophical tradition) and Oxford University (the teaching institution which originated said tradition). Oxford isn't the best example given the broad range of subjects and views taught there, but I'm sure the point gets across. A more relevant example would be Patanjali Yogpeeth (a "school" as opposed to a "style"). "Yoga schools" can and should be distinguished from the doctrines they teach, and I don't agree that relatively minor variations of teaching between particular "schools" invalidates the distinction between "schools" and the broader "styles" which transcend particular "schools" and which may be shared between many "schools".
I do acknowledge that the line gets blurry in the case of "styles" which are very minor in respect to how widely they are taught which may yet be very distinctive in practice or interpretation, but such cases are typically described on articles about particular people or minor institutions which, for the purposes of listing, makes them irrelevant since the former don't belong on either a list of "styles" or "schools" and the latter can simply be listed among "schools" until their distinctive teachings gain sufficient notability to warrant a separate article (something which can be determined on a case by case basis according to Wikipedia's guidelines on notability).
Of-course, it could be argued that "yoga school" is a misleading name for this category of things and I would agree. I'd rather "yoga schools" refer to "schools of thought", ie. traditions, and use something less ambiguous like "yoga educational institutions" (similar to Category:Confucian educational institutions) for "schools", ie. teaching institution. The only reason I've used the terminology of "schools" and "styles" here is because that is the precedent that has been laid aid until now and it's less confusing to maintain consistency. My preference as of writing this would be to create a separate list article for "yoga educational institutions" (under that name or another), move any "schools" over to there, and rename/cleanup the corresponding Wikipedia categories to reflect the contents of the articles. Scyrme (talk) 22:40, 27 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to be arguing with yourself here. However, you are right that "style" is not a synonym for "school", at least in theory.
There are unfortunately major obstacles in separating styles from schools. Firstly, each school naturally develops its own style, and that style takes on the name of the school, as with Iyengar Yoga. Actually the example points up a threefold distinction: the worldwide school as an organisation; the institution in Pune in this case; and the style of yoga that school and institution teaches. Separating the style from school and institution would imply that people not associated with the school could teach Iyengar Yoga; but this is not so, as they would be liable to legal action if they did, and more importantly perhaps, they would be identified as impostors who were not qualified to teach it if they had not been trained by the school. If they had been so trained, and had left to run their own independent schools, they could in theory teach the same style of yoga but they wouldn't be able to use the name, so it would be a moot point - perhaps in our context WP:OR - to assert that they were in that style at all. Some schools, notably Bikram Yoga, have been vigorous in using legal action to try to prevent the use of their name or style outside their own school. So the logical distinction - a style is not a building, nor an institution - is excellent in theory but rather difficult to use in practice.
If you are going to try to create a list of styles, each entry will have to be supported by a reliable secondary source. I suspect you will find that any style you can cite reliably will turn out to be isomorphic to a school: the Iyengar style will be documented to be the style taught by the Iyengar Yoga school, and so on. The one exception is the generic "hatha yoga" (not the medieval practice which is written similarly, though usually with a diacritic), which can be practised by anyone. But that won't make for much of a list. All the best, Chiswick Chap (talk) 07:19, 28 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I do not agree with your assessment. Each "school" does not necessarily develop a distinct named "style" of its own. For example, each Iyengar Yoga Institute is still recognised as teaching Iyengar Yoga rather than each teaching a distinct named "style" of its own; San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York - all teach Iyengar Yoga. This example also refutes your assertion that the name of the "school" inevitably becomes the the name of "style"; the "style" is not "Iyengar Yoga Institute (of Wherever)", it is simply "Iyengar Yoga". In these cases (and many others) the "style" takes the name of the founding guru/teacher who first teaches at pre-existing institutions and then establishes "schools" of their own which are named after this guru or their named "style" rather than the inverse. The legal issue you mention itself also demonstrates that a distinction can be and is routinely made even by the "schools" you cite, since there can be no legal issue of this kind unless the intellectual property is distinguished from the physical property.
However, the issues you raise are important. I think it might be helpful to distinguish "proprietary styles/schools-of-thought" by listing them under a subsection with an appropriate heading and an introductory paragraph providing this legal context, though this would require the list as it presently is to be reorganised. Similar context can be given in the article lead or elsewhere which covers the issue of "styles" which may not be legally proprietary but which are associated with an culture which emphasises legitimate transmission through a lineage of successive gurus, wherein other teachers of the "style" may be identified as 'imposters' thereby enforcing a similar kind of possessiveness by non-legal mean.
I don't see why a secondary source is need for each and every entry, that doesn't seem to be how Wikipedia lists generally work, it's not what the list which already exists does (the new list I'm proposing is one for "schools"; this list is already a list of "styles" although it uses the word 'school' unlike the Wikipedia categories - the term is ambiguous, as I noted earlier), and the list I'm proposing will consist of already existing Wikipedia articles which would seem to be enough to attest to their existence with sources listed on those articles affirming that fact. To be honest, I feel like this is more an excuse to obstruct the suggestion rather than a reasonable prerequisite for making a list article on Wikipedia. Scyrme (talk) 21:22, 29 July 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]