Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Basic Yoga Descriptions

Hatha Yoga
A basic yoga most people associate with yoga practice. "Ha" means the moon and "tha" the sun. This is the regularization of breathing to modify the circulation of the "prana," or vital fluid in the physical body. This is yoga of the physical exercises known as "asanas.".This is essentially a Shivaist yoga consisting of the physical movements, postures and breathing techniques.

Raja Yoga

Raja is known as royal yoga or the "royal road." It begins where Hatha ends. It works on the mind to direct the current of the prana. It is essentially Vishnuist yoga. Raja incorporates exercise and breathing practice with meditation and study to produce a well-rounded individual.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti is the yoga of devotion. It is the love for the divine, the guru in human form. It is a practice of extreme devotion in one pointed concentration upon one's concept of God. This is more of a religious yoga.

Karma Yoga

This is the yoga of action and is subdivided into many other yogas. This is the yoga of duty accomplished without affection, selfishness or self interest. Karma is all movement, all work of any kind done with the mind centered on a personal concept of God.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana is the yoga of knowledge, the intellectual realization of the divine. Jnana is the path of wisdom and is considered to be the most difficult path of yoga to follow.

Tantra Yoga

Tantric yoga is a way of showing the unseen consciousness in forms through specific words, diagrams and movements. It joins the physical and spiritual bodies. Tantric yoga takes into account both inner and outer realities. Tantra is most often associated with sex magic, sexual power and enlightenment.

Kashmir Shaivism

This yoga system states everything in the universe has both male and female qualities. The male and female principles form an equal partnership that can not be separated. Kashmir Shaivism is based on emotion rather than intellect.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga is a sequence of breathing and movement that produces a heat to purify the body, nervous system and mind. Ashtanga is referred to as Classical yoga. It possibly dates back as far as the 1st or 2nd Century BC. It was compiled by Patanjali, a scholar. It consists of the eight steps or eight limbs.

Many of the original classifications and types of yoga are today blended to form a well-rounded simple yoga for everyday use.

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