The key to health and fitness is the mind. Positive thinking, intention, dedication and consistency all form the basis of a sound fitness regime. One part of that regime is yoga and its many diverse disciplines. Here’s a brief description of the branches of and the different types of yoga.


Jnana, self-inquiry, meditation and contemplation (Wisdom)

Bhakti, focuses on the Divine, or the heart.

Increasing tolerance, love, and acceptance of others (Devotion)

Karma, how our actions taken yesterday will affect our lives tomorrow and in the future

Raja, the act of meditation

Hatha, the act of performing what are called asanas (Postures)

Tantra, rituals of yoga

Kriya, breathing techniques intended to purify and cleanse the body’s energy channels

Kundalini, energy that lies dormant in the body until released

Mantra, words that are considered capable of creating transformation in yoga


Ashtanga, a faster, more aerobic, flowing style of yoga

Bikram, hot Yoga developed by Bikram


Iyengar, known for its use of props, such as belts and blocks, as aids in performing postures

Jivamukti, incorporates ashtanga yoga with spiritual teachings and how to apply yogic philosophy to life

Kripalu, based on inner focus and meditation along with standard yoga poses and breathwork, as well as “development of a quiet mind” and relaxation

Viniyoga, emphasizes the breath of yoga

Kundalini, releasing energy that lies in the body

Vinyasa, a style of yoga based on sequential postures and breathing (Flow)

Sivananda, five principles to develop physical, spiritual, and mental health

Forrest, focuses on breath, strength, integrity, and spirit

Marc D. Thompson, owner of VirtuFit® & VirtuGen, is a prominent fitness trainer, personal coach & professional genealogist with a background in medicine, exercise physiology & family history research. He has pioneered virtual training and teaches via webcam one-on-one and group classes. He also combines traditional genealogical research methods with cutting edge internet surfing while using multiple computers to produce the fastest, most accurate results. Along with over 25 years of experience in both fields, he draws from thousands of exercises, fitness disciplines, sports psychology techniques, nutritional principals & research techniques to teach and empower each individual client. He currently pens blogs at and His fitness books are available at