Types of Yoga

If there’s one thing that almost everyone outside of India identifies this country with, it is yoga. It has almost become a trend even for various foreigners to attend regular yoga classes. More than anything else, yoga is an art. It soothes all the chakras of the body and infuses energy into the mind, body and soul. It provides that healing touch that any individual needs to stay fit and calm. It does not only bring a change to physical state of mind but to the mental state of mind as well. There are different types of yoga that an individual can choose to practice according to his comfort levels. Most of these are different from just doing yogasanas. A lot of them pertain to the mental state of being also.

1. Bhakti Yoga

This kind of Yoga believes in attachment or love for God. Any action related to God comes under this form of yoga. However, they can be broadly classified into nine forms: Sravana (hearing about God), Kirtana (singing of God), Smarana (remembering God), Padasevana (serving God), Archana (worshipping God), Vandana (prostrating before God), Dasya (being God’s helper), Sakhya (being God’s friend) and Atmanivedana (surrender of the self).

Bhakti is the highest form of worship – it is almost being one with God. Following this path will lead one to spiritual achievement and mental peace.

2. Karma Yoga

This relates to action. Basically, doing something good can help one unite with God faster than committing crimes or evil. This is one of the oldest forms of yoga when the art was related more to life disciplines and paths and less to the physical act of exercising.

3. Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga

Patanjali can be called the father of yoga. This type of yoga consists of eight main aspects.

1. Yama (principles) – one should always adhere to the right principles and realize his true purpose in life.

2. Niyama (displine) – personal discipline is a must and one should regular oneself first before advising others.

3. Asana (yogic postures) – these are the various asanas that we associate modern-day yoga with.

4. Pranayama (yogic breathing) – this is calm, regulated breathing and different breathing exercises that help us gain control of the time and space around us. These even help in curing various ailments.

5. Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses) – this follows the principle of detachment.

6. Dharana (concentration) – this tests how much of an object can one imbibe in oneself with the power of concentration.

7. Dhyan (meditation) – this is to do with concentrated meditation upon God, an object, place or person. This helps in improving the functionality of the body.

8. Samadi (salvation) – this is the last stage of life which focuses on achieving Nirvana.

All of these eight yogic principles can turn into a way of life if followed meticulously.

4. Hatha Yoga

This form of yoga deals with the practice of asanas or yogic postures. The techniques used here harmonize and purify the body and focus the mind in preparation for more advanced practices. This type of yoga brings with it higher states of mental and physical awareness as well as prevents the mental and physical self from getting polluted with any external factors. It basically helps in the detoxification of the self.

 

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About Lipi Mehta

I am a student of the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (UG). Apart from acting like I am busy at college day, I actually manage to do some work as the Editor of www.dfuse.in, a youth-oriented e-magazine. I enjoy reading though I wish I wasn't so addicted to my laptop!

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