Are There Various Types of Yoga? You Bet!
Yes, there are several types of yoga. Chances are, you are like most people - only familiar with one or two of them. Actually, there are a several different forms of yoga; they share many common elements, but each has its own focus. For some, they focus more on the postures and breathing exercises. For others, the focus is on the spirituality.
Each of them have their own path, including their beliefs, practices, and rituals. The "lowest" type of yoga is "Hatha," which focuses on the physical postures and breathing exercises, and the "highest" type of yoga, known as "Raja", or "union by mental mastery." There are also some newer" hybrid types of yoga. (Examples of these are "power yoga" and "acu-yoga".) Some teachers also create their own variations.
Let's take a look at a few of the types of yoga.
Hatha Yoga - Or, Yeah, This Is the Yoga I Was Thinking Of!
Hatha Yoga is "the yoga of vitality" and considered to be "The Foundation" upon which all yoga is based. It is a preparation for the higher forms of yoga. "Ha" means "sun", "tha" means "moon," so Hatha means "sun moon", referring to the positive and the negative currents within the body. These currents need to be balanced and mastered, so that the "prana" or vital force can be regulated, the mind can be cleared, and states of superconscious can be experienced.
Bhakti Yoga - Why Is It Considered the Yoga of Love?
In Bhakti Yoga, love and devotion is the important thing that is emphasized. Some Bhakti do not teach the positions and controlled meditation. Instead they stress love of God, love of God in man, and to surrender to the will of God. Some people enjoy this type of devotion and love of God and "God-as-the-world." Some use external aids to perform Bhakti Yoga, as there is no set way.
These external aids can be pictures of saints, chanting or singing, using a mantra or a ceremony that is devised to help create a mood of meditation. Some sing the names of God, or pray. These can help elevate consciousness and clear the mind, or give the environment energy. Bhakti Yoga is yoga that can be practiced in our daily life, by thinking of whether we are being loving, compassionate and fair to others.
Karma Yoga - "The Yoga of Selfless Action"
Karma Yoga is a selfless yoga, like what was practiced by Mahatma Gandhi. It is about "working in harmony with the Power that runs the universe." If the experiences we desire and are possible in this natural world, we attract it to ourselves or will be subconsciously pushed toward it.
Mantra Yoga - Being One in Voice
Mantra Yoga includes the repetition of certain sounds, chants, or mantras. The yogi repeats the mantra continually, sometimes for weeks, months, or years. Some certain syllables they believe have healing potential.
Other Types Of Yoga - You Mean There Are More?
Yes, there are more types of yoga! These include: Jnana Yoga - the Yoga of Knowledge, Raja Yoga - the Highest Form of Yoga, and Laya, Tantra, or Kundalini Yoga - which is the yoga that utilizes the energy within sexuality.