Yoga is an ancient practice in the Indian subcontinent. Indian ancient scriptures have described its benefits in detail. For the last few years, people from all corners of the world have been accepting it.
People who are aware of regular yoga poses consider it to be an ancient exercise method that gives strength and flexibility to the human body. Some others consider it to be a physical process to gain mental and physical calmness. But Yoga is altogether something more than these two views. Yoga has various segments that include mind, body, and soul. All we do in our regular days affect our lives as a whole. Yoga is to guide all that in the right direction in a physical, mental, and spiritual way.
For as long as Indians can remember, they have always heard of Yoga in their culture. All the ancient scriptures such as Ramayana have mentioned it. Although the historical dates lead us back to 3000 B.C. The word Yoga can be seen in one of the oldest books of the world- ‘Rig Veda’. Later we can see them in different Upanishads, other Vedas, and different documents of sages with more than 200 sutras in total.
Yoga is all in itself a vast subject to study. While modern social practices only have one type of yoga that associates with the body, Yoga is far more than that. It can give your life a direction and put meaning in it.
the different types of Yoga
- Karma Yoga
- Raja Yoga
- Bhakti Yoga
- Mantra Yoga
- Jnana Yoga
- Tantric Yoga
- Hatha Yoga
Karma Yoga is associated with one’s deeds in life. It says that one should do all his work without being attached to the results of it. One must give time, value, respect, effort, and kindness to all around the world without expecting or gaining something out of it.
The mere meaning of this karma yoga is to allow yourself to do your duties and not hesitate while working for that. This can be the smallest act as well as the hardest one. One must wait for approval and compensation for his good deeds.
Examples- Feeding birds, repairing signs, helping elders without expecting anything in return. Karma Yoga is the most humble Yoga as it prepares you to do what’s necessary and not what your mind wants.
– It makes you humble.
– It makes you aware of your duties & responsibilities.
– You become egoless.
– You achieve more calmness and fulfillment in your life.
Raja Yoga is associated with the mind of a human being. This yoga trains your mind on intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels. This yoga includes Regular Meditation and gaining knowledge from all around and learning it for life. This yoga moves us from the sensory experience to larger enlightenment. Also, it opens up the way to dive deep into oneself to go from lower consciousness to higher consciousness.
Raja Yoga is associated with Hatha Yoga which includes various Yoga positions that prepare our body for a deeper meditation level. With this Yoga, associated are psychic powers that are mentioned in some books. However, there is no support for this claim in modern times.
Raja Yoga is important to understand the world within you. It helps us to see what we are actually when we cut off ourselves from the outer world and its attractions.
– Helps to improve personal relations.
– You gain help with anxiety and stress.
– Increase your memory and concentration.
– It helps you overcome your bad habits.
When we mentioned that Yoga does not only include physical exercise, you must not imagine it associated with worship. But yes it is.
Bhakti yoga is a form of Yoga that helps you to submerge yourselves in the love of the supreme one. It is a way of pouring out the love you have for God and performing it as you want. Certainly, it does not include only singing but everything that can show your love towards god. For example- dance can be a profound medium for showing your devotion to God. Tapasya is also Bhakti Yoga where you submit fully to God.
– Helpful in improving mood.
– It keeps your physical and mental health positive.
– Gives you freedom from stress.
– It also works as pain relief.
Mantra Yoga is practicing the fundamental sound vibrations of the universe. It is said that the mantras written in the Vedas and other ancient books are for channelizing the power of the universe and God. It helps you to focus on your spiritual life and wash out all your negative thoughts. Mantras are said to be spiritually charged and lead you to dilute the outer world from your mind. The process will lead you to follow the path of oneness with God.
– Increases self-awareness
– Helps in reducing stress.
– Helpful in gaining calmness
Gives you a positive outlook on the world.
Jnana Yoga deals with deeper philosophical questions and helps us to understand the philosophical nature of the world. The discovery of oneself with deeper questions like ‘Who am I?’
This segment of Yoga teaches us to be humble and put a question mark on everything we know. Accepting that we don’t understand anything and we will now start to learn everything from a perspective that we have never touched before.
For that we need to start a new journey of life with the guidance of our knowledge, feeling, and experience rather than what we have been told by our ancestors, people, teachers, and society.
Jnana Yoga helps you to discover your true nature of yourself. Plus it opens up new ideas of a world where no one is different from you. You will ask many life-related questions and you will find the answers yourself by experiencing the truth.
– Helpful in creating meaning in life & world.
– It helps in blood circulation when you touch your index and thumb fingertips.
– Helps to improve concentration & focus.
– Helpful in tackling stress and anxiety.
– Help you to realise your full potential & true self.
Tantric Yoga or Energy Yoga is a form of Yoga where you try to accumulate the feminine and male nature of your personality to your one being. The feminine is called ‘Shakti’ & the male nature is called ‘Shiva’- Goddess and God of the Sanatana. It is a process of bringing these two forces into a union to achieve the best self.
Tantric Yoga includes various ceremonies & techniques to understand the inner self. It is said that our beings consist of their universe. And Tantric Yoga helps to understand it through mantra meditation, visualisation, mudras, pranayama, and initiation.
In tantric yoga, Kundalini Shakti plays a major role. For any of the ceremonials, you need to awaken these kundalinis or chakras to start the energy flow from your energy points called Nadi.
The energy flows through Nadi and different chakras upwards and finally reaches to crown chakra. At that point, it is called Samadhi.
– Improves your understanding of love for oneself.
– Improves your sleep cycle.
– Helpful in intimacy and sexual courses of life.
– Reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
‘Hatha’ is made up of two Sanskrit words, ‘Ha’- Sun and ‘Ta’- Moon. Hatha Yoga is associated with flexibility and balance in your life. It is only a segment of Yoga that is now famous all around the globe as Yoga.
Hatha Yoga has different postures and Asanas that help the human body to gain strength, flexibility, and awareness. The hatha yoga also includes mudra which is hand movement and pranayama which is breathing movement.
Hatha Yoga has further been divided into four types as follows.
Vinyasa teaches you to perform breathing exercises with continuously changing asanas & postures. The main motive of this Yoga is to create balance and flexibility in your life and body.
Kundalini Yoga is associated with the chakras present in your body. There are 7 chakras in the human body and it starts from the bottom of the spine and goes to the head. These chakras are said to be the energy reservoirs of the body. Kundalini Yoga enables these chakras and lets the energy flow from the bottom to upwards. Kundalini yoga includes meditation, singing, dancing, and many other activities.
Ashtanga yoga is an advanced level of yoga postures and breathing exercises that train your body to endure more, gain strength, and master its senses. Ashtanga Yoga is associated with an advanced level of asanas.
This yoga is a modern segment of yoga founded by B.K.S Iyengar. It is a different style of Hatha Yoga which includes using props like cushions, blocks, and extra straps to perform different asanas.
Bikram Yoga or Hot Yoga is a different yoga style in which a person does the postures, asanas, and pranayama in a hot environment full of humidity. This yoga removes all the impurities of the body through sweating and cleanses you from the inside out.
– Improves your core muscles and better sleep, and is helpful in depression.
– Improves breathing, poses, and meditation-like activities.
– Helpful in managing stress.
Yoga as a whole is a wonderful activity to adapt to in life. Most people don’t even know the different segments of Yoga and focus only on Hatha Yoga. However, Yoga is much more than that. Yoga covers up the body, consciousness, and soul. In this blog, we have discussed the types of yoga and their benefits. I hope the blog has surely passed some knowledge to you. Keep doing Yoga and enjoy your life.