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6 modern yoga styles by entrepreneurial teachers you must check out

I’ve written about the difference between traditional yoga styles, such as Hatha and Ashtanga, and modern interpretations on this blog before. Modern yoga styles often appeal to people simply looking for the exercise benefits yoga can bring. The traditional types appeal to those looking for the wider, perhaps more spiritual and meditative experience.

There are modern takes on yoga that have been developed by entrepreneurial yoga teachers. What I mean is they have created yoga brands and business models around their own unique interpretation of yoga. Perhaps the most famous of these is Bikram Choudray who created Bikram Yoga which is now well known throughout the world as a sequence of 26 poses taught in a very hot room.

There are others that are well worth checking out. Here are 6 modern interpretations of yoga developed by such entrepreneurial teachers, all of which have touched me to different degrees on my own journey to be a yoga teacher.

modern yoga styles entrepreneurial teachers

Baron Baptiste hails from the US and promotes a style called Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. It’s quite a challenging class taught in a very motivational style focussing on physical achievement. Traditional yoga trappings are kept to a minimum though there are nods to the Sanskrit names and the power of meditation.

Baptiste describes himself as follows:

“… not a spiritual, moral or religious teacher of any kind, nor is he a guru or spiritual master of any sort; he makes no claim to having any special brand of wisdom or enlightened knowledge. Baron is inspired by sharing his experience and contributing to others by teaching from the body of principles and distinctions that make up Baptiste Yoga and from his own upbringing and training in yoga and transformational practices.”

His book “Journey into Power” is well worth tracking down on Amazon.

modern yoga styles

David Farmar a graduate of the Baptiste school and teaches in Denver Colorado. I’ve included him here for two reasons. First his teaching style is amongst the best I’ve ever seen, perhaps a little loud for some, but motivational with very clear instruction. He also injects humour into his teaching which won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I think it makes for a unique experience.

Secondly he publishes regular audio podcasts of his classes on iTunes? They show case his style of teaching and are a great source of good teaching points for teachers. The instruction is so precise you could do a whole class without needing to see him. I find this quite remarkable.

modern yoga styles

Sadie Nardini positions herself as a wellness expert and her own style of yoga is called Core Vinyasa. Check out her videos and the great articles she writes on wellness topics. Her innovation is the ability to have a consultation with her via Skype.

She describes her approach:

“My intention is to make yoga and centering simple, fun, engaging and clear, so everyone ┬ácan take charge of their own future, by getting back to living honestly, and fully, right here in the present moment.”

modern yoga styles

Shiva Rea is probably the most graceful yoga presenter I have ever seen and she has a great name. Again a prolific producer of videos, her yoga brand is called Prana Flow. And flow it does. Her sequences of poses melt together to create beautiful intricate and sometimes challenging patterns.

Shiva sums it up as follows:

“Vinyasa is a natural sequence unfolding with creative intelligence – a conscious evolution connecting each moment with unifying breath.”

modern yoga styles

A well known entrepreneur in the UK fitness market for over a decade, Jayne Nicholls introduced her brand Freestyle Fitness Yoga (FFY) specifically for people looking only for yoga’s exercise benefits. It is unique that it uses no yoga terminology at all. You won’t hear words like Warrior Two in an FFY class, nor will you have to learn Sanskrit pose names.

Jayne’s focus is on the physical benefit of the exercise. You’ll know why you are doing each pose, which muscles it works, and what effect it will have on you.

She explains her approach:

“FFY concentrates on movement, breathing, transitions from one posture to another and progression. There is no dogma, chanting or use of Sanskrit terms as postures are prescribed from a modern fitness perspective.”

modern yoga styles

Finally Yoga Today is a lovely website run by a team of American Yoga teachers. They regularly release whole classes on video in various traditional and modern styles, sometimes mixing the two. You can buy an hour long class for a couple of quid, amazing value for such quality instruction. Some of the films were shot outdoors in simply stunning locations. Yoga against a backdrop of such breathtaking scenery adds an extra special element to these lovely videos.

My favourite teacher is Adi Amar. Her precise instruction shows her deep love for what she does. Watch her teach the traditional Ashtanga Primary Series, or a modern Power Yoga sequence. She is addictive.

I have learned so much from these inspirational people, who thanks to the Internet, have been able to take their brands and teaching expertise to a worldwide audience.

Over to you: What do you think of these websites and modern yoga styles? Have you come across any other yoga styles and brands developed by entrepreneurial teachers? Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.