Differences between Sivananda and Anukalana types of yoga
Static and dynamic practices. Old traditions and modern styles. The paths of yoga are infinite, one could say. And indeed, everyone can find their own way. These are the characteristics of two very different but very popular styles, the ancient Sivananda yoga and the modern Anukalana yoga.
What is Sivananda Yoga?
The first variant is a practice that follows the teachings of the spiritual teacher Swami Sivananda, after whom it is named. His teaching is summed up in the words: “Serve, love, give, purify, meditate, actualize.” Defined as yoga for physical and mental well-being, it consists of slow and deliberate movements and is recommended for all ages.
What is Anukalana Yoga?
The second approach, Anukalana, is a newer variant of hatha yoga developed in Italy by Jacopo Ceccarelli. The name means “integration” and suggests a seamless and comprehensive way of practicing yoga by integrating various ancient Eastern practices. For those who want to try a different discipline.
Differences in types of yoga: static and dynamic practice
But what are the macro differences between these two practices? We discuss this with Marco Benghi, a yoga teacher at Alma Matters in Milan, who gives us a compass to guide us in the diverse world of yoga.
“It is not uncommon for there to be a clear division among yoga practitioners. Between those who prefer static practice and those who prefer dynamic practice; between those who appeal to an ancient, purely static tradition, and those who see dynamism as a way to make the yoga experience more accessible and motivating.
On one side are the advocates of the practice taught by masters such as Sivananda, the great master of the early 1900s who is rightly among the figures who have contributed most to the yogic boom of the last century. As a physician and a Brahmin, he used his authority to revitalize a discipline that had gradually lost its importance. His practice focuses on a series of static positions that are repeated consistently each day.
On the other hand, the defenders of more dynamic practices, who also at the beginning of the 20th century integrated techniques, figures and steps from other disciplines into the static tradition and thus created something new, unprecedented, which had immediate success.
The integration of different disciplines has produced a large number of approaches over the years.
Perhaps the most recent is the practice called Anukalana yoga, where “anukalana” means “integration” in Sanskrit. It is a school founded in Italy by Jacopo Ceccarelli that combines yoga with practices such as qigong and tai chi, creating a very fluid, dynamic and smooth style.