Types of Yoga – Their Effects and Benefits

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Yoga originated around 4000 years ago in the Far East as a spiritual practice designed to realize the Divine nature of the self. Today in the West, yoga usually includes three elements of the traditional yoga techniques: postures (or asanas in Sanskrit), breath control (or pranayama) and meditation. Imagine an activity that increases your flexibility, strengthens your muscles, centers your thoughts, and relaxes and calms you.

Types Of Yoga

Raja Yoga – This is attaining Yoga or unification and reach Samadhi or oneness by practicing the Ashtangas of Yoga like Yama, Niyama, etc. (which we discussed in the last article). One who achieves the yogic state by this mode is considered to be the Raja or King of Yoga – we can take Swami Vivekananda as an example.

Bhakthi Yoga – This reaching the ultimate oneness by sheer devotion and faith. Kuchela can be an example for this. The traditional bhakti yoga does not preach the traditional pranayama, mudra, yogasnas or controlled meditation. Instead of all these, bhakti yoga devotes attention towards loving God, surrender to obey God’s will and love of God towards humanity.

Jivamukti Yoga: Developed in 1986 by Sharon Gannon and David Life, the Jivamukti Yoga method expresses the spiritual and ethical aspects of the practice of yoga that have been disregarded or devalued in contemporary times.

Ananda Yoga: Ananda Yoga classes focus on gentle postures designed to move the energy up to the brain and prepare the body for meditation. Classes also focus on proper body alignment and controlled breathing.

Effects

Any one of several paths of spiritual discipline intended to lead a person to deliverance from samsara and the realization of moksha--i.e., to at-onement with ultimate reality. Specifically, it means a "yoking" of the self by spiritual discipline, a method of training designed to lead to union of the human spirit with ultimate reality and release from the limits of the individual ego. Also called margas (paths to salvation). Normally following a yoga involves apprenticeship to a guru (spiritual teacher or guide). [Read more...]

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