A condensed introduction
The roots of yoga lie in India’s Hinduism. The beauty of Hinduism is its tolerance. It's an extreme combination of freedom of expression and complete restraint. Every believer is free to find its own balance between freedom and restraint, that what fits the best for him. So is the approach to Yoga. This explains why there are so many streams and schools. The question for you is: which fits the best with me?
Yoga teachers, schools and styles have different combination of approaches, accents, paces and pauses.
Approaches are either mainly based on control and mastering of the senses or based on exactly the opposite: on non-intervention, freeing of the senses and mastering through acceptance of what is as it is.
When its accent lies on bodywork it's called Hatha Yoga, when the accent is mainly intellectual it's called Jnana Yoga, from the heart Bhakti Yoga, based on deeds and its effect Karma Yoga, its accent on energy and breath Pranayama Yoga, on movement of energy Kundalini Yoga and on sound and its effect Mantra Yoga.
Paces go from staying for a long period of time in the same pose through slow movement to fast movement and even to very fast movement depending on the yoga type.
Pauses take place in between the poses, or after a series of poses, and are short or longer depending on the teacher, school or style.
Pauses in between the poses are designed to create more time to better experience the effect of the poses or as a meditative moment.
Not every yoga type uses pauses extensively. Some are used to do series of poses without any break in between.
And? Which one to follow?
As you can see there are a lot of possibilities.
Soon you will find a list here with possible choices between the different approaches in yoga. Choices between working on your physical health or focusing on your mental health. And within these choices there may be yoga classes with a more therapeutical background or those that are purely focused on spirituality.