Hello truth seeker,
Yoga is a fantastic idea, but there are many styles.
Hatha yoga is not actually a style but rather a generic term for the physical practice of yoga. So while you may see alot of classes advertised as hatha, they can vary in their practice.
Regarding your knees, the practice of the asanas, the third limb of patanjali's eight limbs of yoga, is designed to train the physical body to become fit , healthy and relaxed through a series of physical movements.
So, even though you have dodgy knees ,it doesnt mean you cant do physical asanas.
Ashtanga yoga is 6 series of set sequences handed down to sri pattabhi jois by sri krishnamacharya,which can put demands on the body, but the beauty of the practice is that it combines breath with movement and has an holistic healing effect on the body, when practiced regularly.The vinyasa flow system is based on this practice.
Iyengar yoga is based on the teachings of bks iyengar (also taught by sri krishnamacharya), who suffered with scoliosis. He developed a way of moving and realigning the body through individual asanas while using various props. This would be an excellent way for you to go.
Sivananda yoga, is a more sedentary form of practice. It does not believe in tiring the body out so after each asana there is a savasana, rest, before moving on to the next asana. It is a more meditative practice which may also suit you quite well.
Pranayama is the practice of developing and controling the prana/chi ,through a series of age old breathing techniques. It is healing , cleansing calming and life giving. A great book called 'the science of breath' by yogi ramashsaraka,will help you understand this practice from basics to indepth techniques. Be sure though, that you learn from a reputable pranayama teacher as these techniques while incredible and highly effective, are not to be trifled with.Sri O P Twari is the man and has been studying, practicing and teaching pranyama his whole life. Google him, he is an amazing individual. I had the good fortune to study under him briefly. Another great pranayama teacher would be paul dallaghan.
I hope this helps in some way truth seeker.
The most important thing in beginning a yoga journey, is to be patient, happy with your teacher and accepting of your body and its limits. Pratyahara, the fifth limb of patanjalis yoga speaks of focus ,acceptance, one pointed awareness and not listening to the mindless chatter, monkey brain. Bring this with you each time you role out your mat and no matter what style you practice, the benefits will be far reaching. In time, the body mind and spirit will blend into one magnificent self.
Yoga has been 5000 years in development, and is as alive today as when it first began. Trust your gut instinct when choosing a teacher and practice and you wont go wrong.It may take some time before you find your perfect the one for you, but , like druidry, its a life long and fullfilling practice. There is a saying in yoga. If you come to practice in this life then you are just continuing a practice you began in a past life.
Practice, practice ,practice and all is coming ( sri K. Pattabhi Jois)
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