cooran wrote:What is the difference between the various types of Yoga:
All of these are actually types of Hatha yoga with the exception of Satyananada in which Hatha practices are only one part of their path.
Hatha yoga was originally an Indian tantric practice of straightening nādis and forcing the karmic winds to enter the central channel, the suṣūmā. This was done through the adoption of various postures and the practice of breathing exercises known as prāṇāyama. The underlying philosophy of this is a deep samadhi where one is purported to recognize the universal "true self", variously referred to as Brahman, Śiva, Viṣṇu, etc by the competing traditions.
Nowadays, there are some adherents who focus on that, but it is largely taught as a fitness practice. As Dhamma practitioner you would probably be put off by Satyananda as everything is couched pretty explicity in eternalist doctrine and, as stated above, the physical practices are only a small portion of their teachings.
There was a 20th century yoga master and Āyurvedic physician named Kṛṣṇamacarya who wanted to make the health benefits of hatha yoga available to everyone in the modern world. He taught many of the most well known Indian yogis of the 20th century, including both BKS Iyengar, the founder of Iyengar yoga, and Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the modern Aṣṭāṇga vinyāsa system of yoga. Kṛṣṇamacarya developed a practice of yoga that linked breathing to movement, and created flowing sequences of postures. He called this practice vinyāsa krama. He developed one particular vigorous set of sequences othat he taught to Pattabhi Jois, and that Pattabhi Jois continued to practice and teach. This is the modern Aṣṭāṇga yoga. Most of what is taught as Vinyāsa nowadays is derivative of this system.
BKS Iyengar on the other hand focus on different sequences without the dynamic flow between poses. People are assisted into the poses using props until they develop the flexibility to perform them without, and there is no linking of the breath with the posture until later in ones practice.
Bikram's trip is a little different. He heats up a room to high temperatures, and has people go through his patented sequence of poses. There are clones of this system advertised as Hot Yoga (they aren't exact clones becuase he sues people for teaching the same sequence of poses in hot rooms without paying a licensing fee).
Like any type of physical activity, it can be beneficial but certain poses are contraindicated based on ailments people have, including some heart conditions.
Wishing you all the best.