I like the Iyengar style of hatha yoga the best because it is detail oriented and you hold the asanas longer to get the full benefit.
To me it would be like asking what is the best chocolate or the best relationship or the best religion. There is no best yoga. There is the yoga that works for the particular student in question (in this case me, or you).
I personally began my practice (11 years ago) in such a way that it was only physical. And over time I’ve come to very much appreciate a physical practice which truly balances effect and safety. For such a mission an alignment-based practice is beneficial and the Iyengar practice is alignment-based.
However over time I’ve also found that I am more nourished on the path when there is applied philosophy, lifestyle, nutrition, and meditation within the practice. If (for you) that is found in the Iyengar practice that is wonderful.
I like Iyengar… and therapeutic yoga. In my opinion from these two styles one leans the form, if you wish the proper and safer way to do poses. Maybe because these two were the yoga I tried first because it cures. I was in trouble and this two styles helped me 10 years ago to transform myself. I guess all yoga (even some vishy-vashy lousy practice) can be transforming and beneficial. I would think it is hard to learn proper and safe poses while fast pace vini-yoga.
I agree with Gordon…each person needs to find their own way and what suits them.
Iyengar can be great for learning the asanas in a safe and technical way but for me I got very frustrated with the constant faffing with props the the very uptight teacher I had.I felt that we were constantly getting ready for an asana and doing preps but never actually just doing it.
Also I found that holding asanas for a long time made me tighten up and not be able to get deeper and the long holds made me start to feel tension and stress in my body not openness.
I prefer my own vinyasa flow which keeps my body warm and very open and I repeat the asanas so that I can get deeper and deeper each time and the fluid movement allows me to feel energy flowing through my whole body which does not happen in more static yoga forms.
I find seated meditation difficult…my mind bounces around madly as soon as I sit still…I have now joined a Buddhist meditation group and am working at it.
When I do my Vinyasa flows (practice not teaching) I find it becomes a moving meditation as I repeat the sequence over and over and I achieve something like a meditative state and my body feels great.
Those are all good points. I like the Iyengar method because it fits my needs.
If you enjoy Iyengar classes I would recommend you check out Anusara
John Friend was an Iyengar instructor prior to creating Anusara. His style has the alignment focus of iyengar while providing a heart opening practice. It also follows the tantric philosophy that at the core of our being we are good.
(Our instructor Erin seems to have a hip and heart opening practice so perhaps it is good for both transmissions!)
I like vinyasa yoga, moving with the breath. I find it very meditative.
I like vinyasa and yin yoga equally. Vinyasa gets me moving while yin allows me to really breath into the poses.
My style of yoga is heavily Gita based. I first started yoga in the Gita style and have always found myself coming back to it.
I love hatha yoga and always have, but that's not to say that I love every style of hatha yoga. Here are my 4 favorites:
-Bikram Yoga (my preference is their "Power Hour" class)
-Yoga Sculpt (which is a blend of yoga and pilates)