A little insight into how far most yoga practiced now days has travelled from the original source and practice.
In a recent conversation someone expressed that they were so stressed they were trying yoga and although they didn't really like bikram yoga they thought they would start there as it only had twenty two asanas and they could have a chance of remembering them.
You can not learn or remember yoga with your mind (among many of the physical benefits the ultimate practice of yoga is to go beyond the domination of the mind) and exist in a quiet, still reflective state.
So when did yoga become dominated by the mind?
Perhaps it began in the 17th century when the Western culture separated the mind from the body and man from nature. Through this dissection we also separated ourselves from the recognition that we are an ecosystem living within one.
You only need to look at current research that has revealed that the earth upon which we walk is teaming with a biome that nourishes our own gut and keeps us healthy and vital. While we poison and pollute the earth we in symbiosis become a sicker and more diseased species.
When the enlightened sages developed the internal practice of yoga it was in recognition of the ego and the need to still the 'monkey mind', they knew it would be needed in this world when they sent their direct disciples to the West.
I met one of these disciples in New Zealand when I was seven years old... I am now fifty four, a significant number in Ayurvedic science. We are living in a time of great change, both in a rise of consciousness and mass destruction.
If you are seeking internal peace and joy, there are many internal Eastern practices you can turn to. For the happiness you seek cannot be found in the external world, the journey must be inwards. These practices will support and help you with the understanding that it is enough to simply attend a weekly yoga class or go twice a week and relax a little in not needing to remember. For the far greater intelligence of your body through the nervous system will create the imprint within you.
And what were the earlier paths of yoga?
Hatha yoga, Ashtanga yoga and Iyengar yoga, the first form being the original form, from which all the other forms we see nowadays are drawn from.
As always take your time to find a teacher that you can relate to, this is critical. A teacher of merit will always let you attend one class only to see if it is right for you.