Types of Yoga
Yoga exists in many different ways, with all directions going back to the yogasutras of Rishi Patañjali – Astanga Yoga (eight-fold yoga). This yoga is also called classical yoga. For an explanation of the different stages of Astanga Yoga, see Yoga as a Method.
In general, the different yoga directions focus on individual stages of Astanga yoga. Depending on the needs of the learner, a different type of yoga is recommended.
Hatha-Yoga: the focus is on classical physical exercises (asanas); Hatha yoga includes steps one through four. The main goal is health and relaxation.
Raja Yoga: the focus is on meditation; Raja yoga includes steps four through eight. The main goal is spiritual development.
Classical Yoga: In classical yoga we combine hatha yoga and raja yoga. The health-worthy physical exercises are supplemented by breathing exercises, mudras (especially valuable for the hormone system) and meditation.
Kriya Yoga: Kriya Yoga is a special form of Raja Yoga. A detailed description of Kriya Yoga can be found in the main article on Kriya Yoga.