When we think about the different types of yoga styles we typically think of physical yoga. However not all yoga relies on asana and postures. In this page I will describe the different types of yoga that exist in the world and how you can get started with each.
First let us talk about what is yoga. Yoga is a way of life. Its goal is to bring your body, mind and spirit together. One way is through poses, meditation and breathing. This is the yoga we in the west are most familiar with. There is also styles of yoga that rely on the actions you perform in your daily life.
Here is a description of the basic yoga styles.
The word Hatha comes from 2 Sanskrit words: “Ha” meaning Sun and “Tha” meaning moon. It comes from balancing your body. Also balancing your mind and the different aspects of yourself, masculine and feminine for example.
Benefits of Hatha yoga can be seen very quickly. You will be more relaxed, your mind will be clearer and with more practice you will notice better muscle tone and increased strength.
There are many types of Hatha yoga. Here are the discriptions:
I will be adding many pages describing other hatha yoga styles over the next couple weeks.
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion and selfless love. It comes from the Sanskrit word bhaj which translated into English means to serve.
The practice involves devotion to a divine being. It can be whatever divine being you want, for Christianity it would be God, for Islam Allah for Hindus it could be many different possibilities. So remember if you believe in some kind of higher being this is a good way to add to your worship of it.
Bhati yoga consists of practices of contemplation, singing, dancing, chanting and praying.
The main principal of Karma yoga is to do selfless service, with no thought of gaining in any way from it. Simply do it because it is the right thing to do.
An example of this style of yoga is doing volunteer work or helping people who are less fortunate then yourself, Visit our Karma Page for more on this.
One of my favourite yoga styles is Jnana Yoga. This is the yoga of wisdom. In Sanskrit Jnana means wisdom or knowledge. The main goal of this kind of yoga is to learn what is real and what is not real.
Its main idea is for people to think of themselves as spiritual beings and to find enlightenment though study and reason.
Yoga and meditation have always had a strong connection to each other. Mantra Yoga is actually a meditation Technique where you repeat a word aloud or in your mind. The common word that is typically used is “Om”
The sound of the word is used to heal the body and centre and clear the mind.
Coming soon to this section with be a couple meditation exercises that you can try and see how they work for you. One of the key benefits of this style of yoga is ability to lower a person’s stress level and improve focus and concentration.
Tantra Yoga uses ones breath and movement to awaken the spiritual energy in the body. A couple very popular forms of Tantra Yoga are Kundalini and Kriya.
In conclusion we see that yoga is much more then just asanas and postures. It is a way of thinking as well as a way of acting. Also it has much more to offer then just good health and fitness, it also offers us a clear and calm mind and a confident and enlightened spirit.
Bookmark this page because coming in the next few weeks will be a lot more info on the specific practices of the above Yoga styles, as well as information of how to get involved with them.