Yoga is generally understood as a process of unification. This unification is multifaceted. In a single dimension, it is a unification of the various systems which exist inside the human being including the emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual systems. As a whole you will find believed to be five different systems within human life. These are typically referred to as the koshas which are the physical, energetic, mental, subtle, and bliss sheaths. Within our current knowledge of yoga, we’re working to unify these five bodies or layers of the human being. Another process of unification occurs between of the individual consciousness and also the universal consciousness.
This unification is usually known as Samadhi and is one of the greatest transformations that occur inside the practice of yoga. Observing this from the different angle, Samadhi is really a transformation of perception in which disillusionments about the world are reformed so that the truth behind reality can be seen in its purest of form. Yoga, as a system, has changed into a various branches through which people pursue the evolution and unification of the elements within their being. Each branch retains its own unique set of ideas and philosophies which defined the process and eventual obtainment of complete unification.
There is no wrong or right system of yoga because the each possesses their own distinct characteristics that accommodate the requirements of various characteristics and personalities that exist among people. Each product is made to accommodate a different personality type, and yoga has developed into a broad reaching system that may be practiced by nearly anybody who has an interest in pursuing a spiritual life. An exercise like Jnana yoga is fantastic for somebody that is philosophically minded whereas the practice of bhakti yoga will work for someone who is emotionally perceptive and inclined towards a feeling of devotion. In the following paragraphs we are reviewing the greater mainstream practices of yoga which are derived from the tradition of yogic spirituality. These traditions of yoga are as early as 500 years and as old as several thousand. While there are many modern practices of yoga that have been defined by various teachers, the systems we are discussing are traditional systems which have been around throughout many generations.
Bhakti Yoga The very first system we will discuss it’s Bhakti yoga. Bhakti yoga is really a practice in which the spiritual practitioner concentrates on developing a state of devotion inside the mind and also the heart. In bhakti yoga a strong sense of faith is needed as one is anticipated to submit themselves to God through a process of self surrendering. The practices and methods of bhakti yoga are thus made to help surrendered the ego and embrace with love the idea of the creator. The more common practices of bhakti yoga are kirtan (chanting/song), japa (mantra repetition), and meditation around the divine.
Usually the practice of bhakti yoga is advised to be practiced by those people who are well connected to their emotions as well as receptive more subtle feelings within themselves and others. Emphatic love defines the concept of bhakti yoga as the practitioner devotes their whole being towards the spiritual divine. A belief in God or a higher being is essential towards the practice, and without it, it is near to impossible to rehearse bhakti yoga. The devotion that is practiced by the bhakti Yogi is not one of slavery for the divine. Rather, it’s a relationship that is full of love, friendship, and companionship. In bhakti yoga people view God like a friend, a lover, a father, or mother. It is through this relationship that bhakti yoga is practiced. There are lots of facets of devotion for that bhakti yogi; there are lots of types of God that are worshiped in yoga including Shiva, Vishnu, Brahman, Parvatti, etc. Aside from the metaphysical types of God, a guru or teacher can also be worshiped inside the practice. The main reason for this practice is to assist in relinquishing the ego and unifying the person being using the universal.o
Karma Yoga Karma is definitely an aspect of human life that’s responsible for our thoughts, feelings, and actions. It’s supported yoga that Karma keeps the cycle of rebirth in motion as past actions and events force us to consider another life in the world to balance the inequalities we have imposed within our spirit and also the universe. Once accumulated Karmic merit is balanced or destroyed then cycle of birth and death is stopped and also the spirit is return to its origins within the universal divine. The practice of Karma yoga directly addresses this primary facet of life, activly works to abolish the effects of Karma with disciplined action that formulates a separation between the individual and also the results of Karma. This separation occurs via a procedure for disassociation in which the individual separates themselves in the benefits or losses using their actions inside the world.
The practice of Karma yoga is usually based on one’s Dharma or duties within the world. Dharma is determined by those things of the baby in the past, including both past of the present life as well as the past of previous lives. In some respects, Dharma is easily the most efficient way for a person to make use of time on earth for spiritual progress as it is based on the realistic capacities and potential of the individual. One of the main components of Dharma is acting on the planet without thought of the advantages or losses of one’s actions. The practitioner lives and acts inside the world with no expectations or imposed impressions of how the long run should unfold. Your brain is centered on selfless service and working for the advantage of the higher good as opposed to the independent needs of the baby. In Karma yoga the practice is gradual because the individual slowly relinquishes the bonds of karma and liberates the spirit from the confines of egocentric thought processes.
Although a Karma yogi may practice techniques such as the asanas, breathing practices, and meditations, the primary focus of their spiritual practice is service and actions using the focus of selflessness and humbleness. The first mention of Karma yoga is within the Bhagavad-Gita inside a dialogue between Arjuna and Krishna. In this dialogue, Krishna informs Arjuna that he can merge his consciousness with Krishna’s when he surrenders his actions towards the divine (which in this case is Krishna). Krishna encourages Arjuna to act and follow out his duty without worry or thought on the advantages or losses of his actions. He informs Arjuna that acting within the name of Krishna (or divine) will provide him using the liberation that he has established to attain.
Kundalini Yoga Kundalini yoga is really a practice of yoga which originated in the concept of tantra yoga. Historically speaking, tantra yoga is believed to become one of the oldest types of spirituality which is still in practice today. Among the key components of tantra yoga is the incorporation of kundalini that is considered to be the primordial force existence within each individual. The practice of Kundalini yoga was formed to control and harness the potential of the kundalini energy within the body. Unlike another systems of yoga, kundalini yoga can be a highly unstable practice of yoga because the release of kundalini energy can result in extreme psychological and physical disorders if not controlled within the proper manner.
Therefore, the practice of kundalini yoga is a highly advanced system that is usually only used by those who are well advanced in the practices of spirituality. One of the greatest prerequisites of kundalini yoga is really a strong mind and a healthy body without which the release of kundalini energy can be damaging or perhaps fatal. Even a specific term in psychology known as kundalini syndrome continues to be produced for anyone who has gone into dementia due to the improper discharge of kundalini energy. In kundalini yoga the techniques presented are designed to help awaken the kundalini energy. Apart from its definition as the primordial energy, kundalini is also known as the serpent energy. Just before its awakening, the kundalini energy rests at the lower spine in the form of a spiraled coil similar to that of a serpent. When released, the kundalini energy shoots up with the spine, making its way for the crown of the head. Based upon the purification from the energy channels across the spine referred to as chakras, the kundalini will either reach its final destination and also the head or will be stuck within one of the chakras. Usually kundalini yoga starts by purifying all of the chakras. This purification helps to maintain a balance flow of prana in the human body. It is believed that a balance flow of prana in the human body results in a sound state of mind and body. Once the body, mind, and pranic channels are purified, the practitioner of kundalini yoga activly works to release the kundalini energy. The purification process an essential quality of the practice as it helps you to ensure an even flow of kundalini energy with the chakra system.
For both the purification of the chakras along with the release of kundalini energy a wide variety of techniques are implemented. Included in this are yoga asanas (postures), pranayamas (breathing practices), meditations, and mudra (gestures) specifically designed to help regulate the pranic energy and awaken kundalini. Unlike some of the others of yoga, kundalini yoga will not be practiced through self training. It is vital that one who is interested in practicing kundalini yoga finds an adept practitioner and teacher of this system of yoga to steer them through the process. Without such guidance, it is likely that severe physical and mental disorders will arise as kundalini energy is really a highly potent element within the human body that isn’t meant to be tempered with unless your body, mind, and pranic channels are fully purified. There are countless tales of individuals who released kundalini yoga prematurely and found themselves in a disoriented and neurotic state. There are many books published on kundalini yoga and people who have experienced kundalini energy always advise to possess a highly knowledgeable and observant teacher to steer a practitioner through the system of kundalini yoga.
Hatha Yoga The term hatha has several meanings. Typically it’s divided up into two individual words, ha and tha. The meaning of these words could be interpreted as the sun and also the moon. It is also said that these two words are Beeja Mantras or primordial sounds that handle composing matter. Simultaneously, ha represents the pranic body while tha is the mental body. Whichever interpretation one chooses to believe or follow, an essential component of hatha yoga is a balancing of the polarities of one’s in the human body (ida and pingala) as well as a purification of the mind and the entire body.
Most people, inside a modern context, consider hatha yoga to be a practice of the body. Although this is not incorrect, hatha yoga includes many more philosophies and techniques that address more subtle aspects of the human system. Among the essential components of hatha yoga is the element of purification. In hatha yoga purification occurs within the many facets of the human being; there is a purification from the physical, mental, and energetic, and emotional bodies. It’s thought that once all of the our body is purified than spiritual advancement towards self liberation can occur. Unlike Raja yoga, which we will discuss later, hatha yoga doesn’t outline a prerequisite of ethical values before conducting the strategy of yoga. Rather, hatha yoga starts with the yoga postures or asanas and the energetic purification techniques of pranayama. Once a considerable knowledge of these two practices is attained, more advanced techniques including Shatkarmas (body cleansing), Pranayamas (nadhi cleansing), Mudras (energy channeling), Bundhas (energy locks), and other techniques which lead towards Samadhi (self-realization) could be practiced.
Similar to most practices of yoga, hatha yoga maintains the fact that techniques such as meditation and concentration must only be done following the body and the mind having purified. Without such preparation it is useless to practice meditation as no benefit will be caused by the practice. Hatha yoga originated from numerous texts which were written between 500–1500 A.D. In comparison to the other forms of yoga we are discussing, hatha yoga is the youngest of all of them using its major text the Hatha Yoga Pradipika being finalized within the 16th century.
Hatha yoga might be considered to be a preliminary practice to more advanced systems of yoga, however it possesses within itself the capability to lead towards spiritual liberation. A far more modest system of yoga, hatha yoga can be practiced by most people and does not need a well-established body and mind to start the practice. Therefore, it’s a practice used by lots of who would like to use yoga as an aid towards spiritual freedom.
Raja Yoga Raja yoga is considered the Royal path and it is literally translated as royal union from Sanskrit. The system of Raja yoga comes from the teachings of Patanjali within the Yoga Sutras that have been written between 100 and 300 A.D. Some may also refer to this system of yoga has Ashtanga Yoga, however Raja yoga has been the traditional terminology used for the practice of yoga guided by Ptanjali’s Yoga Sutras and a few distinctions separate the 2 in one another. Here, we’re primarily concerned with the traditional system of Raja yoga which has been practiced in India because the origins from the Sutras. Raja yoga is a path of intuition and also psychic perception. Therefore both of these facilities are needed to ensure that spiritual growth to occur. Some spiritual masters like Swami Tureyananda think that Raja yoga is practiced after you have obtained substantial transformation through preliminary practices of yoga.
Even still some other teachers believe that the concept of Raja yoga is commenced after preliminary states of Samadhi are experienced. Therefore, Raja yoga isn’t a practice for that vast majority of people. Within the yoga sutras, Patanjali lightly outlines the prerequisites for the more complex techniques of yoga. The vast majority of the yoga sutras are devoted to understanding and manipulating the mind including its four components of Chitta, Buddhi, Manas and Ahamkara. Considerable attention is given to the way the mind works and operates as well as the various levels and dimensions that exist inside the mind. The remainder of the text discusses the stages by which one experience across the path towards self-realization, and a focus is offered to any or all the different pitfalls that may arise along the way. The system of Raja yoga is generally outlined in defined inside the “8 limbed path.” These limbs include:
oYama- code of conduct and self restraint
oNiyama- religious observances, devotion to ones practice, and discipline
oAsana- formation of the stable seat for both the mind and the body
oPranayama- regulation of breath which results in a unification and balance between your body and also the mind
oPratyahara- withdrawal from the sensory organs of perception from the external environment including all five senses (six if you include the mind)
oSamadhi- self realization, or perhaps a super conscious condition of being.
Together these eight limbs form the practice and systematic approach of Raja Yoga. Like kundalini yoga, Raja yoga needs a tremendous amount of guidance and direction without which many problems and ultimate failure will arise. It is therefore essential that one who is interested in practicing Raja yoga finds an instructor or guru that has perfected the system and has achieved a real condition of self-realization.
Jnana Yoga The practice of Jana yoga is definitely understood within the two words ‘Jana’ and ‘Yoga’ which together mean ‘Union through Wisdom.’ the practice of Jana yoga is a very practical system for the Western mind which often approaches things with the intellect and rational deduction. While ultimately these two aspects are abandoned later in the path, Jana yoga starts with intellectual inquiry and rational observation. While Jana yoga encourages a belief in God or the supreme, it does not necessitate the idea and therefore it may be also used by those people who are rational atheists. The strategy utilized in Jana yoga are primarily worried about a procedure of deduction by which one observes all aspects of life.
A procedure of self inquiry and questioning is undertaken because the practitioner gradually removes the illusions and misperceptions from the mind because they work towards the truth of the simplest nature. The practice of Jana yoga could be understood within the simple Sanskrit phrase “Neti, Neti,” that is openly translated as not this, not that. In Jana yoga one removes the different layers from the onion of the mind until they reached the main that is no-thingness or unmanifested. Jana yoga has four major guidelines which helped to lead to the practitioner towards self-realization. As Jana yoga is usually a system of inquiry, it doesn’t require techniques for example pranayama and asanas in order to achieve self-realization. The 4 guidelines from the Jana Yogi include: Viveka- Discrimination (between truth and never truth); Vairagya- Dispassion (from attachment world and the mind/body); Shad-sampat- Six Virtues (tranquility, dama (sensory control), uparati (renunciation), titiksha (endurance), shraddha (faith), and samadhana (concentration)); and Mumukshutva- longing for liberation.