Yoga Lineages

Yoga lineages

Grounded By Yoga only encompasses direct lineage trainings. A little different than modern day Yoga. All which is good, if it feels good, do it!

However, our mission is to not dilute the teachings from the great sages of this 5000 year old form of spiritual philosophy.

This page will be under construction from October 1st – December 1st. Expect to find here a detailed description of the lineage trainings at Grounded By Yoga plus a little bit more information about your teacher!

LUC WATELET, 200 RYT Yoga and Meditation Teacher. Lineage: Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhagan

The Branches Of Yoga

Grounded By Yoga Branches of Yoga

To fully understand the Yoga Tradition, we must illustrate the roots of the philosophy and practice. To the best of our knowledge, we have explicitly described the history of the great Yoga Tradition, which illuminates where the vast array of our most current styles have come from and have influenced the modern practice and teachings in all lineages.

Pre-Hindu: Archaic Yoga (Indus Valley Civilization) Before 4500 BCE

The earliest known human presence in India occurred circa 250,000 BCE. In very early pre-Vedic times Indian spirituality was primarily a shamanic practice.

Vedic Era

4500-1900/1500 BCE

Pre-Hindu/Archaic Yoga (Indus Valley Civilization) Before 4500 BCE

While most scholars long thought that the Vedas were written around 1500 BCE, Georg Fuerstein, Ph.D. and Dr. David Frawley date
the first Vedas to circa 4500 BCE, with some may be dating earlier. During the Vedic Era, Brahmins, the highest ranking caste, were
the custodians of the sacred traditions—they memorized the Vedas, and Brahmanas, and passed on the traditions orally for
generations. The Brahmins were the keepers of sacred text and ritual and were the only ones allowed to conduct the elaborate
rituals and sacrifices in the temple. You’d have to pay a pretty price to have the Brahmin Priest conduct a special ritual for you and
your family.

Primary Vedic Texts (between 5000-4500 BCE):
■Rig Veda: Knowledge of Praise
■Sama Veda: Knowledge of Chants
■Yajur Veda: Knowledge of Sacrifice
■Atharva Veda: Knowledge of Atharvan

Brahmanas, Puranas, & Aranykas Texts (4500-2500 BCE)
■Brahmanas: commentaries on the Vedas
■Puranas: collections of stories about royalty and deities drawn from fact and legend. Documents the lineages of Kings & their
■Aranyakas: Ritual texts for Brahmins who withdrew from the world to live in the forest and practice meditation and mystic rituals.

Pre-Classical Yoga: Upanishads

1900/1500 BCE-200 CE/AD

Between 1900 and 1500 BCE, the Saraswati River dried up, ending the Indus Valley Civilization and sending people east towards the
Ganges River. During this time of social, cultural, and economic changes, many new philosophies emerged.

Primary Upanishads ideals:
■Vedanta: End of the Vedas. Birth of the asetic, and no longer needing Brahmin Priests to perform rituals. Primary Vedanta Texts
include: Updanishads and Bhagavad Gita.
■Samkhya: The Epic Era: Primary texts include Ramayana and Mahabarata. Primary philosophical beliefs include a qualified non-
■Buddhism: Founded by Guatama the Buddha (563-483 BCE). Primary teachings include Dhamma (Dharma) Pada

Modern Yoga


Influential Indian Gurus, teachers, and living saints who popularized and influenced Modern Yoga.

Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902): Devotee of the great saint Ramakrishna who spoke at the 1893 World Parliament of Religions in
Chicago where he introduced Yoga to the west.

Swami Sivananda Maharaj of Rishikesh (1887-1963): Founder of Sivananda Yoga

Sri T. Krishnamacharya (1893-1989): Huge influence on three large bodies of Yoga. Father and teacher to T.K.V Desikichar (Viniyoga),
B.K.S. Iyengar (Iyengar style), and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois (Ashtanga Yoga)

Paramahamsa Yogananda (1893-1952): Author of Autobiography of a Yogi and founder of Self Realization Fellowship.

Krishnamurti (1895-1986): Influential teacher and prolific author who traveled extensively in India, the U.S., Canada, and Western

Neem Karoli Baba (Late 19th Century-1973): Considered to be a living saint. Practiced yoga through music. Guru to many influential
Western Yogis including Ram Dass, Krishna Das, and Jai Uttal.

Swami Satchidananda (1914-2003): Devotee of Swami Sivananda and founder of Integral Yoga and the Satchidananda Ashram in
Yogaville, VA. He also gave the invocation at Woodstock.

Paramahamsa Satyanada Saraswati (1924-?): Devotee of Swami Sivananda Saraswati Maharaj of Rishikesh and founder of the Bihar
School of Yoga. Now lives as an ascetic life in India.

Swami Vishnu Devananda (1927-1993): Devotee of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh who popularized Sivananda in the U.S.

Swami Muktananda (1908-1982): Founder of Siddha Yoga. Teachings are based on Kashmiri Shaivism and focuses primarily on

Swami Chidvilasananda (1955-?): Successor to Swami Muktananda and head of Siddha Yoga. Guru to John Friend who founded
Anasura Yoga.

Current Yoga Teachers and Styles

B.K.S. Iyengar–student of T. Krishnamacharya and founder of the Iyengar Style. Iyengar classes and poses are typically held for
longer periods of time with particular attention to alignment. Another attribute specific to the Iyengar Style is the use of props,
including belts, chairs, blocks, and blankets to help accommodate special needs and alignment. Students of Iyengar include John
Friend, Patricia Walden, Marry Dunn, John Schumacher, Ramanand Patel, and Rodney Yee. Visit for more information.

T.K.V.Desikichar—son and student of T. Krishnamacharya and founder of Viniyoga. Viniyoga is an empowering and transformative
practice that uses a tailored practice to evolve on the physical, emotional, and intellectual level. Students of Desikichar include Gary
Kraftsow and Pure Prana’s Jessica Silverman. Visit for more information.

Sri. K. Pattabhi Jois-student of T. Krishnamacharya, and founder of Ashtanga Yoga. An ever growing practice in popularity, this
system based on six series of asana which increase in difficulty, allowing students to work at their own pace. Class is fast paced and
flowing with emphasis on the breath as you move from pose to pose. Students of Jois include Richard Freeman, David Swenson,
David Life, Sharon Gannon. Visit for more information.

Beryl Bender Birch-founder of the Power Yoga.

Sharon Gannon and David Life-founders of Jivamukti Yoga.

Kali Ray-founder of TriYoga

Ganga White and Tracey Rich-funders of White Lotus Yoga.

Joseph Le Page, M.A-founder of Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) in San Francisco.

Rama Berch-founder of Svaroopa Yoga

Bikram Choudhry-founder of Bikram Yoga

Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh-founder of Sivananda Yoga

Revered Sri Swami Satchidiananda-founder of Integral Yoga

Swami Kriyananda-founder of Ananda Yoga

Yogi Bhajan-founder of Kundalini Yoga






Yoga Lineages

Yoga Lineages

Ananda yoga (uh-non-duh)

Originated in California with Swami Kriyananda (Donald Walters) who, in the 1960s, completed a period of intense yoga training aspiring to loftier goals than simply building a hard body. The practice includes gentle postures, gentle transitions, and self-awarenesswith Paramahansa Yogananda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi and guru to Bikram Choudhury.) Students use silent affirmations while holding a pose,

Anusara yoga (ahn-ooh-sar-uh)

Established in 1997 by John Friend of Spring, Texas. Anusara means “to step into the current of divine will” or “flowing with grace.” The unique emphasis is on the “Universal Principals of Alignment” which are Opening to Grace, Muscular Energy, Inner Spiral, Outer Spiral, and Organic Energy

Ashtanga yoga (osh-tong-uh)

Created by Pattabhi Jois, is a pre-determined set of poses divided into the Primary and Secondary series (advanced students learn as many as six series) and the movement is rapid, which quickly builds heat and strength. Use of sun salutations help touch each muscle of the body. Popular teachers include Richard Freeman; brothers from the Texas Hill Country, David and Doug Swenson; and Beryl Bender Berch.

Baptiste yoga (bap-teest)

Baron Baptiste, influenced by Ashtanga Yoga, created what he calls Power Yoga. Like Ashtanga, the movement is rapid and heat- inducing

Bikram yoga (beek-rum)

Founded by Bikram Choudhury, who now resides in posh Southern California. The key to Bikram yoga is its replication of yoga’s birthplace—India. The atmosphere within the studio is hot (topping 100o) and very humid which is meant to loosen tension from the body and remove toxins through sweat. Like Ashtanga, Bikram has a pre-determined set of poses, 26 of them, which are never altered in any way. If the practice is not exactly as prescribed by Mr. Choudhury, it is not Bikram yoga, no exceptions!


All physical yoga styles . It is the yoga of physical well-being, designed to balance body, mind, and spirit.

Integral yoga

Created by Swami Satchidananda, who was a follower of Swami Sivananda, presented his philosophy of “an easeful body, a peaceful mind, and a useful life” in 1966. Integral yoga spends 30-40 minutes a day doing postures to get the body fit, followed by a deep relaxation, then a pranayama practice of rapid breathing to energize the body. The approach is gentle and meditative.

Integrative Yoga

Therapy Joseph LePage developed Yoga Therapy in 1992 in San Francisco, California for hospitals and rehab centers. Therapeutic use of gentle postures, guided imagery, and breathing techniques are used to aid heart disease, AIDS, and psychiatric disorders

Iyengar yoga (eye-en-gar)

B.K.S. Iyengar is from Pune, India, studied under Krishnamacharya, and came to the United States in 1974. Intense focus is placed on the subtleties of each posture and includes detailed, slow, precise postures using props such as belts, blocks, chairs, walls, and blankets to accommodate special needs, weaknesses, or imbalances. The practice is very demanding mentally because of the attention to physical detail. Iyengar’s most popular teacher is Patricia Walden who has many books and videos available.

Jiva Mukti yoga (jee-vuh mook-tee)

Partners David Life and Sharon Gannon teach Jiva Mukti yoga in the heart of Manhattan. The practice combines Ashtanga, vinyasa, chanting, meditation, readings from sacred texts, music and affirmations, and courses in Sanskrit

Kali Ray Tri yoga

In 1986, Kali Ray established Tri Yoga in California. Flowing vinyasa movement and mudras (hand seals) are taught in a deeply meditative environment often accompanied to music. Tri Yoga renamed popular yoga poses to fit its needs: Down dog is called Mountain, Pigeon is called Swan, and when moving into standing forward bend the instruction is to “touch earth

Kripalu yoga (kri-pah-loo)

In the 1970s, Amrit Desai studied under the Indian guru Kripalvananda, who was a master of Kundalini yoga. Desai later founded The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, in Lenox, Massachusetts. The Kripalu Center is the largest yoga retreat center in North America, located in the Berkshire Mountains. The focus is self-discovery with three distinct stages of practice: willful practice, willful surrender, and meditation in motion. Practice- intensity ranges from gentle to vigorous.

Kundalini yoga (koon-duh-lee-nee)

Once a closely guarded secret practiced by a select few, Yogi Bhajan broke the tradition in 1969 and brought Kundalini yoga to the west. Using postures, dynamic breathing techniques, bandhas, chanting and mantras, meditation, and mudras, students perform to move energy into the higher chakras (energy centers.)

Pheonix Rising Yoga

A combination of classical yoga, breathing, and one-on-one psychology

Sivananda yoga (shi-vuh-non-duh)

Based on the philosophy of Swami Sivananda. In 1957, Swami VishnuDevananda, a follower of Sivananda, brought his teachings to the United States. He founded the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers (now totaling 80 world-wide), which teachers the 5-principle system of proper exercise (Sun Salutations and 12 basic asana), positive thinking, and meditation.

Svaroopa (svah-roo-puh)

Means “transcendent inner experience,” developed by Rama Birch who was frustrated with teaching yoga and with students who seemed to be forcing the pose onto their body rather than allowing the pose to express itself from the inside out. Rather than just “learning” the poses, her approach is to feel the effect and the “opening” nature of the pose. The practice is generally very approachable, and accepts an ability to teach differently for the given situation. This led to the development of yoga for Dr. Deepak Chopra and his Center for Well Being.


Uses visualization, chanting, asana, and strong breathing practices to tap highly charged energy in the body called kundalini.


Created by T.K.V. Desikachar (son of Krishnamacharya), Viniyoga is a vinyasa-like approach to asana, occasionally intense, and also therapeutic. Poses are synchronized with the breath and the practice is determined by the needs of the students as they grow and change. The most well-known Viniyoga teacher is Gary Kraftsow who now runs the American Viniyoga Institute in Maui and leads workshops world-wide.


“In the many wisdom traditions throughout history, the body has been called a temple for the spirit. We prefer to begin with an image that is less grandiose than a temple. A temple is an awesome destination. To go to a temple requires that I come outside of my home and everyday life in order to come in contact with the presence of the sublime. Rather than a temple of magnificent marble columns and lofty spire, we are inviting you into an image of your body that is more personal, more like a cozy seat in front of a hearth, shared with your most trusted friend. And this trusted friend beside you is yourself – not the lofty teachings of an authority on mystical transcendence, but the wisdom of your own inner counsel.

Among the many views present in the work of yoga today, we hold a perspective that comes from an inquiry into who you already are. In our view, yoga is an inquiry that begins when you come to the questions of meaning an purpose in your life. Yoga can be a mirror for you to behold the power, beauty and wisdom that is bubbling inside of you. We sincerely desire that the time you invest in this inquiry will result in a deeper appreciation of the flesh and blood home of your own body. Nothing less than a homecoming to the cozy security of your home within. In contrast, yoga is often presented in the West as an austere and esoteric discipline, somewhat unattainable. The books, journals and media have produces image of perfect postures modelled by perfect people that become internalized as secret goal we long to achieve. These presentations can easily become more ways to separate ourselves from our in-born wisdom by glamorizing the technology of yoga and idealizing the authority special star yoga teachers. Yoga can appear as yet another way to look outside of ourselves for the peace and harmony we seek.

What if there were another way to a harmonious integration of body, mind and spirit that did not require you to leave the truth of your own inner wisdom and the comfort of your body as your home? What if you relaxed into a relationship with yourself in which you have the attitude of fascination, being so absorbed in the intrigue of your actual experience that you become interested in yourself as you are, interested both in the pleasure and the pain of being you? Is it possible that the environment of your body could feel like home – like a place you would want to be in which there were no goals you had to impose upon yourself to make your body different of better? To return to the vivid sensations of being at home in our bodies requires a new kind of journey that does not travel beyond ourselves as the source for self-improvement. To come home to ourselves, we are needing a return to the original creativity of spirit which allows us the freedom and benevolence to begin with ourselves as we already are.

Our sense of who we ar as individuals develops within the context of our culture’s wisdom, history, and traditions. But hidden in the nature of being identified within any group – be that family, religion, or culture – is the seductive force that homogenizes all idiosyncratic differences into the unifying characteristics of the group. To come to intimately know ourselves as individuals requires turning inside to identify personal meaning and fulfillment.

In looking to the historic traditions of yoga as a map for making the inner journey, I have discovered that unless I look to the early spirit of inquiry and creativity modeled in the origins of Yoga, I am likely to get caught up in the expectations inherent in the contemporary versions of yoga that are cycling through our culture at the moment. Many popular forms of yoga are offered with such fundamentalist zeal that personal inquiry is discouraged and experimentation with the traditional form is met with caution and fear. Routinized or formulaic approaches to yoga that do not vary with the individual or take into account the developmental needs that arise at different stages of life can become internalized as a substitute for genuine self-inquiry into what stimulates our evolutionary capacities toward growth and change.

We use the word “yoga” in a similar in a way in which the word “adobe” has become universal. The word adobe is not indigenous American or Spanish, as I had always thought. Adobe is an Arabic word that found its way into use throughout the world, from Africa to Israel, from India to Costa Rica, from Santa Fe to Peru. In all those places, adobe refers to huts and cottages that are constructed of mud bricks. In my estimation, the word yoga has similar universality. As I watch the word yoga enter mainstream culture, I appreciate its wide reference to a multitude of practices and modalities that share the foundational intention of bringing abut integration of all aspects of one’s being through a combination of physical and mental practices that both expand self-awareness and produce spiritual attunement.

Our bodies, like the clay we impress with the designs and shapes of our imagination, are infinitely malleable. We are the beings endowed with the ability to both shape and be shaped by the worlds we live in.


“As Yoga has entered into the mainstream culture, we have noticed that the word “yoga” has become a generic term which refers to a multitude of practices and modalities sharing the foundational intention of bringing about the integration of body, mind and spirit. By contexting yoga as interdisciplinary, we draw from the Eastern and Western traditions of body-mind culture to stimulate the creativity which makes it possible to have yoga come alive in today’s world.

A teacher and student who opens into an interdisciplinary inquiry of yoga is capable of participation with the evolution of yoga through the validity of their own experimentation and discovery. Ultimately, we view the goal of yoga to be an avenue to self-awakening. Traditionalists who prefer to keep yoga pure to the conventions of a particular school or historical past in India, are facing an erosion of support for a fundamentalist view that there is a true yoga. What are often being presented as historical records that strictly outline the do’s and dont’s of yoga are being revealed as contradictory, historically unverifiable and given widely differing interpretations. What is verifiable is that yoga in many forms has been practiced for centuries and is the result of a continuously evolving process of inquiry.

We do not view yoga as a 6,000 year-old-science or religion that must be historically related to be of use in our growth as human beings on the planet at this time. We do view yoga as an art – like the art of painting for example. If you want to learn to paint, you begin with the style and material of the teacher who introduces you the experience. You learn the basic of the approach and open into the wider field of experience by studying many artist, many styles and many traditions. But if your prematurely fixate on the style of one school of thought or expression, you will never find your own personal style. Each new teacher will give you a window to see your unique expression and contribution to the field.

In addition to yoga as an art, we also believe that you is a science, the truth of which is revealed through direct, personal experience and results. We believe that the archetypes of experience which are unfolded through various yoga posture and movements are open for a wide variety of experimentation and are revealed as meaningful in the life of every individual who take son the practice of yoga – in whatever form one is introduced to the experience. ”

“Come home to who you already are!” In experiences of yogic inquiry, you will discover your ability to listen to your body through communication with your internal self. You will find that your body is a place of refuge, renewal and self-regenerations, as well as a source of intuition and wisdom. The energy that your receive is the energy of sensory awareness, An attunement to the pulse of your own inner being. You will come the sense that your body is not just a house that you enter from time to time, but a home – a place that is continuously being fashioned by you to fulfill your needs and to make deep contact with the unfolding layers of yourself.

After all, the story goes that God got his hands stuck in a lump of clay to fashion an image in his own likeness. If we are to participate with the creative force moving through all of creation, isn’t it possible that we must claim the power within our being to shape the world in which we live – from the inside out. ”

“Consciousness is not something we learn or create, it is discovered through a process of unlearning habitual patterns which keep us locked into the past.”


Yoga provides a process of inquiry that leads to consciousness within ourselves. The immediate physical benefits are the results we experience. We have energy. With this new abundance of energy, we direct our attention back in to deeper and deeper levels of awareness, expanding into the domains of the primal programming in our biological organism. Yoga develops one’s ability to tap into the inexhaustible source of creative energy that keeps bubbling up when you stay open to learning form your own experience. The opportunity to teach you is a privilege in that our students draw out realizations that remain hidden to us until they are called forth. The relationship between student and teach is a direct connection to staying fresh and involved in the inquiry process.”