Types of Yoga

Yoga seems to be much more than meditation and there seem to be many types of yoga. Sharing a few that I found interesting!

Yoga resonates with meditation in many of our minds. However, it is much more than that. Yoga is a set of physical, mental and spiritual practices to control our breathing, mind and senses. There are 6 (if not more) types of yoga. A brief glimpse of them below…

Bhakti Yoga

Stresses on devotion & selflessness

Karma Yoga

Emphasises work or service, surrender to God

Dhyana / Ashtanga Yoga

By controlling the mind and senses, focuses on achieving enlightenment through the understanding of true knowledge

Kundalini Yoga

Teaches specialized breathing techniques along with postures and visualizations to stimulate forces of enlightenment residing in the sacrum

Hatha Yoga

Using the physical body as a means to enlightenment

Swara Yoga

Provides balance through the use of breath, which creates balance of the mind

Started connecting the dots in my mind.

  • Swara yoga – Focuses on breathing techniques, uses music as a means of therapy, different ragas can cure diseases. Had written this article earlier (https://learningthursdays.com/music-and-ragas-part-2/)
  • Dhyana yoga – When we attend a yoga class, this dhyana or meditation is what we focus on to start training our mind.
  • Hatha yoga – Sadhguru speaks about this frequently. You can check out his videos for more information
  • Kundalini yoga – Healers practice this type to activate and use their Kundalini shakthi
  • Bhakti yoga – Focuses on God and devotion. One can express devotion in 9 ways (Navaratnamalika).
    1. Sravana – Listening to scriptures about God
    2. Kirtana – Singing or reciting couplets about God (music)
    3. Smarana – Remembering (or pondering about) the teachings from scriptures
    4. Pada seva – Praying unto the feet of the Lord. In Ramayana, Bharata is seen to do pada-seva to Sri Rama’s slippers while He was on exile
    5. Archana – Reciting various names in praise of God
    6. Namaskar – Bowing down and propitiating God
    7. Atma nivedana – self surrender to God
    8. Sankhyatva – Considering God to be your friend and discussing your day to day ordeals with Him
    9. Dasya – Service to the Divine. Volunteering in a temple to make garlands, clean premises, help in decorations/sevas and many more.
  • Karma Yoga – Extremely tough as we lead our day to day lives. Crux is to do your duty. Not knowing what your duty is – is Ignorance. If you do not know what you are supposed to do, do the next right thing right in front of you. Life evolves and clarity also evolves over a period of time.

Some of these are described in detail in Bhagavad Gita. Those interested to know more can read the book or listen to videos on youtube.

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